The drive home was quiet. I wasn’t too proud of myself, and I think Navy could tell. Wanting to improve the little guy’s mood, I tried some small conversation. “So what did you do with Trina today? She teach you anything?” He smiled a bit, probably glad to cut the air. “Well, she had me help her feed the horses, and give them water, and we even got to brush a pony! She said I was a really good helper, and that I needed to tell you that I was the best helper ever, and I had to come back and ride sometime!” I smiled, happy to know about Trina’s love for my little brother. She did do lessons with younger kids, but I’d never seen them, so I never knew how much she loved working with them.
He giggled a bit, then continued, “She also said you was crazy.” I turned and glanced at him quickly, with a mock-shocked look on my face. “And did she tell you why she said that?” I asked jokingly. “Uh-huh! She said that horse of yours was crazy, and you was riding him, and that means you’re crazy!” I had to laugh out loud, not surprised at Trina’s teasing of Kiro. “Well I outta get both of you for saying such things!” I reached over with one hand and tickled his side, making sure the steering wheel was steady with the other hand. He exploded with laughter, which I joined in.
I did wonder what would come of Kiro. It scared me, knowing now that teaching him to jump could be impossible if I did it. Trina wouldn’t keep a horse with no potential. She’d sell him on a heartbeat now, seeing the event that occurred in the arena. I swore to myself, wishing I could just get over the past. But it was harder than you’d think.
“Wow Kat, that sucks.” I bowed my head at Jared’s reply to the telling of the previous day’s events. “I know. I just don’t understand! The accident was so long ago, and..” I went on, and could have gone longer if he hadn’t had interrupted me, “No, it was about 2 years ago, barely. You’re just scared, it’s natural. You’ve gone through a trauma, those things aren’t hard to get over. And you know I’m not fond of your trainer either.” I rolled my eyes playfully. Jared always teased me about Trina, seeing as she was a bit tough on her students. I liked it, but Jared was more fond of a positive reinforcement approach. Trina was anything but. “You’re terrible!” I gently punched his arm, and continued, “But still. I know Kiro would do anything, and he would do it perfectly. I’m not scared of him hurting me …” I looked for the words, not knowing what to say. Jared found them for me, “You’re scared of you hurting him.” I nodded. “That won’t happen, Kat, I know you. You’re just getting hyped up over everything. It’s not good for you.”
I sighed, knowing he was right. I didn’t know what else to do, though. We had done enough flatwork to win the Dressage Olympics, or so it seemed. Jumping was out of the equation, and I never really got into Western. Kiro wasn’t particularly the western type either. “Tell you what,” Jared broke my trance, “Come out to my barn with me some time. We’ve got trails all throughout. Maybe you’re just a little ring sour! A little woodland joy would cheer you up. They are beautiful around this time of the year, with the trees all frosty. You will love it, so will Kiro. Me and Northgate get awful lonely all by our lonesome…” I laughed, and after some pondering, agreed. Trail riding was really good for green horses. It gave them the chance to see things, get them a bit more spook-free. And maybe he was right, I could just need to get some air. “Thanks, Jared, I appreciate it.” I smiled at my best friend, and we split up – him to Algebra II, me to Gym.
Upon coming home, I yelled a greeting to Mom. Navy came in behind me, as I had picked him up, per normal. No reply. “Ma?” I called again, then began looking through the house. No sign of her … finally, I spotted a scrawled note on the fridge. I read it aloud to Navy’s eager ears, “Kids – Out with the girls. There is some food in the fridge. Kristine, cook something up for your brother, I won’t be home until late. If I’m not back by tomorrow, make sure you two get up and go to school. Love, Mom.” I turned to my little brother, now sitting at the kitchen table. “Guess it’s just you and me, bud!” He nodded. He didn’t like being away from mom. I knew why she was always gone now – dad. Navy, on the other hand, didn’t understand, and didn’t need to.
I patted the little guy on the back. “Come on, let’s go out back and throw the football around. We’ve still got a few minutes before it gets dark.” His dissatisfied look turned into a cheery grin, and he bolted out the back door. I laughed and followed him, grabbing the ball on the way out. As we threw the pigskin around a bit, me careful to throw it gently, and him eager to catch it, I thought about the upcoming weekend. Jared and I planned to ride Saturday at 4, just after Trina finished her morning lessons. I called her after school, and she agreed to let me borrow the trailer once she had finished. I’ll admit, an afternoon spent with my best friend and his beautiful horse would be really, really nice. I’d been so busy lately, with school and the barn, I hadn’t really had time to dote on my social life. It was never really a huge priority – the horses have always come first. I sighed, “A little buddy-buddy time certaintly wouldn’t hurt though,” I mumbled to myself. “Sissy, I’m getting hungry … can we go in now?” My little Navy popped my thought bubble, and I smiled and nodded. Once we were settled in the house, I pondered what to do for food. “What sounds good, little guy?” I asked, honestly not very hungry myself. “Pizza! Pizza!” Was the obvious reply. I could have guessed it myself. “You sure? We’ve got some roast in here, a few pieces of chicken, some fish sticks …”
About 45 minutes later, me and Navy were sat down at the kitchen table, set at the two ends, with a pizza box in the middle. He would play with the oozing cheese, before shoving the Italian delicacy into his mouth. I reached into the box for another piece, my meat-lovers side. We always got a half and half pizza – one side for me and my mom, a side of nothing but cheese for Navy. Typical 8 year old, never was a fan of toppings on his pizza. “Alright Navy, finish up soon, I’m going to get your bath running.” Navy grumbled, “But it’s Friday, I ain’t got no school tomorrow!” I laughed at his grammar, “’Ain’t got no…’ Boy, you probably should be having school if you’re going to talk like that!” He just laughed, and stuck his tongue out at me. “Fine, fine, Mr. Too-Good-For-Proper-English, you can stay up late. But you still have to get a bath now.
He agreed to this, and soon we were preparing for our nightly slumber. It wasn’t half an hour after his bath that he was laying out on the couch, passed out, with Disney Channel playing softly in the background.
~ When I Die, Remember Me By My Horses ~
* Because They Are Responsible *
.: For Letting Me Live :. (c) xJumperx