The Right Horse
Yes, I know I'm writing two stories at the same time, but I had a great idea and couldn't resist making this! This is a story about a 15 year old girl named Tessa who is the only one in her family that is a horse person, but when her birthday comes, her parents decide to buy her a horse. It is a risky business buying a horse, especially with parents that don't know anything about these majestic creatures. Will Tessa get the right horse, or will she end up with a nightmare that is all her responsibility?
"Tessa, listen to me for once! Just because you're getting your own horses doesn't mean you can just zone out. There are conditions!" My mom snapped. It took all I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes. Couldn't I have a moment to let the news sink in? I was getting my very own horse, something I'd been wishing for since I could talk. "You're 15 now," my mom began. "We thought that since you're a responsible young lady, you can handle having your own horse. But it is to be completely your own responsibility, do you hear me? We will pay for the necessities like hay, feed, the vet and farrier, but you are to pay for it's equipment and whatever else it might need. You are to ride, groom it and do whatever it is you do with a horse. Your trainer said you're ready for a horse as long as it fits you and your riding level. If any problems are to occur, we're returning the horse, understood?"
I nodded eagerly.
"Oh, and we're not paying for lessons anymore, we can't afford everything in the world, like you may think. We're going to look at some horses tomorrow. I've contacted a sales barn and arranged a time, so you better be up early tomorrow," her dad added. "Also, the stable needs cleaning out. It's been used as a storage space for years, and it's gathered cobwebs.There's some junk left from the previous owners as well, so it's going to be a lot of work. Just pile the crap out in the yard and I'll get rid of it for you, but that's all I'm doing, understood?"
Again, all I could do was nod. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than clean out the stable. In fact, I had dreamed of doing it for a long time, not just for the fun of it, but because it meant that someone was going to live there, and that someone would be my horse. "Can I start know?" I asked. My mom looked surprised.
"But you haven't even touched your cake! It's your favorite. Raspberry and cream." Now that I thought about it, cake did sound good, so sliced one huge piece and ate quickly, then thanked my parents for this lovely birthday, before heading for the door. "Not so fast!" my mom chided. "At least change your top first." I stared at my white lace top. Wouldn't want that getting dirty. My blue skinny jeans could get dirty. In fact, they already had faint grass stains on them from yesterday when I had sat in our yard trying to coax a ladybug to climb onto my finger. The only reason I wore the jeans for my birthday party, if you could call it that, was because all my other ones were in the wash.
I slid open the top drawer and pushed aside all my unsuitable clothes until I found my gray Rolling Stones t-shirt. Perfect! It was getting small for me anyway. When I finally opened the front door and stepped onto our semi-large
porch, a gust of fresh air blasted me in the face. That was one thing I loved about Maryland. It was cool and fresh. Not hot and humid like Florida. I could hardly believe it had been 5 years since I switched to this new landscape. I used to live in a large neighborhood, with neighbors on all sides, but now I lived in practically the middle of nowhere, with a big fenced in property, rolling hills, forests and even a big lake nearby. Now with a horse coming in, life couldn't be better.
A scratching noise came from behind our closed door, and as I opened it, Wally came out to greet me. He was my rescue puppy and a border collie, so no wonder he was at the shelter. Most people didn't get border collies due to their need to constantly work. Every dog needs a job, but a border collie needs one most of all. Their hyper activeness can catch most people of guard, and when it gets out of control, their owners don't know what to do with them, so off to the shelter they go! Wally, his mother and the rest of the litter were found racing around in an abandoned yard, and they were quite skinny, but not too close to death, and a month later they were all put up for adoption. Wally was the last to need a home, and lucky for him, I fell in love with the scraggly little pup immediately.
I walked towards the stable and could see Checkers, one of our two cats disappearing in the bushes. Wally tensed and I could see he wanted to go in for the chase. "No, Wally," I commanded sternly. Wally gave a small whine but didn't run away, which was good. All our training and effort had payed off. However when our other cat Tabby appeared, he couldn't control himself. He lunged at the cat, but surprisingly the fat kitty was too fast for him and jumped onto our car and settled down, ignoring Wally's barks of frustration. Our stable was small. It only had two stalls, a narrow aisle in between, and a tack/feed room in the back. However, there was such a huge pile of junk that I couldn't see the door that lead to the back room.
"Let's see," I muttered. I began by hauling out the old junk. This task alone would take hours, and there was no way I could get the job done by today. There was a wide range of crap in the stable. An old bike, some musty-smelling carpets, a swing set, you name it. I was surprised my parents had hauled all this junk with them. I remembered seeing some of these items in the garage of our old house. A lot of the items were sealed in boxes, so those were easy to carry outside for the most part. Some of them were really heavy though. "What's in here, cement?" I groaned and dropped a heavy box onto our driveway. I was probably halfway done with emptying the stable when I decided to call it quits. I trudged inside, my arms feeling like noodles.
"Oh my god, Tessa, your hair!" My mom shrieked as I came inside. I ran to the bathroom to have a look. It wasn't as bad as my mom made it sound. My nearly black hair was very dusty, and strands straying from my pony tail were pointing in every direction. Honestly, it could have been worse. I took a long shower that night. Even after my hair was clean I stood there, letting the warmth envelope me. I only stopped the water when my mom came angrily knocking at the door. "You've been in there for 20 minutes! Brush your teeth and get to bed!"
I sighed, but did as she commanded. Only then, under my warm covers, did I realize just how tired I was. Sleep overtook me almost immediately.
The dapple grey's muscles rippled beneath a shiny coat and long, dark mane. He pawed at the ground impatiently, but stood still as he felt the light pressure of the reins. He was huge, 17 hands at the very least. Finally, the dark-haired girl holding him back eased up on the reins by thrusting them forward. She gave a short squeeze with her legs and practically leaned forward as the huge Thoroughbred picked up a frighteningly fast gallop. But the girl wasn't frightened. She trusted this horse with her life. Him and her were one. Suddenly, an obstacle came into the pairs view. The girl narrowed her eyes, but without hesitation she tightened one rein and steered her horse to the jump. One, two, three...she counted the strides, and before she knew it, they were flying, defying gravity. But that's when I woke up.
I blinked a couple times. The dream had felt so real; I rarely had those moments. I remained on my back, staring wistfully at the ceiling fan as it whirred around and around. I sighed. Why couldn't the dream be reality? Then I froze. But it could! How could I have forgotten? Just then I could have slapped myself. Today was the day I was getting my own horse! I quickly looked at the clock. Six-thirty, no matter, the early bird gets the worm! After changing I raced out of the room, Wally hot on my heels. I had to stop myself from racing down the stairs, because my parents were still sleeping, and there were several floor boards that creaked. I was to excited to sit down and eat, so I grabbed an apple from the kitchen and called Wally to me. Together we made it out the door. The cool, early morning air blasted me in the face and made me shiver, but I loved it. I was so excited I launched myself off our porch onto our driveway and went into a full run. Wally gave a high-pitched squeak of excitement and barreled after me.
We made our way down the smooth, dirt road. Wally was panting heavily as we came to a halt when we reached a fork in the road. I was breathing heavily as well, and my sides hurt. I turned around and we inched our way home, Wally dragging his paws on the ground. I felt hot as I plopped onto the couch back at home. Wally looked at me pleadingly, once again alert. I sighed. "Alright, alright, you'll get your food!" I poured some kibble into Wally's food bowl, and checked on the cats food bowls outside as well, and refilled them as needed. Suddenly, my dad appeared in the kitchen and looked at me with surprise.
"What are you doing up at 7:30 in the morning?" My dad asked, shocked.
"I'm just so excited, I couldn't sleep! I'll just go change into my riding clothes now and then I'll be ready. Eat breakfast quickly, I can't wait!" Without giving my dad a chance to reply, I dashed upstairs and chose my newest pair of riding pants which I had gotten for Christmas. They felt and looked like jeans, except for the leather patches on the back and on my legs.
As I raced back down stairs my dad was leisurely sipping his coffee. After staring at him for a while I asked,"How much do you have left?" He gave me one of those stares. "Okay, okay," I said quickly. It felt like forever until he finally set his coffee mug down in the sink and started putting his shoes on. Once he appeared on our front porch, I was already in our black SUV with my seat belt on.
The drive only took about 30 minutes, but it felt like eternity. When our car finally pulled over at Corazon Stables I shoved the car door open and leaped out, then waited as the owner, a burly looking old man marched over to us. I had been to Corazon Stables once, to help out with stable chores in exchange for a chance to ride one of their sales horses. That was how long ago, though? Impatiently I watched as my dad and Dave shook hands and shared a few words. I was overjoyed when Dave finally clapped his hands together and announced,"Well, why don't we have a look at the horses? I have several that might be suitable for your daughter." We were led into a neat barn with a center aisle and about 10 stalls on either side, plus a bathroom, wash stall and tack room. There were so many horses, and they all looked absolutely stunning. "If it pleases the young lady she can choose a horse to test ride. I can tell you a little something about each of these horses." I nodded. I halted in front of a stall door where friendly-looking bay with one blue eye looked at me, then stretched his neck out to see if I had brought carrots. When he found none, he drew his head back and stared at me. Hesitantly I pointed at the bay. "Who's this little guy?"
"He's a 9 year old gelding who used to be owned by this little girl who showed him a lot. Showjumping, I think. She quickly lost interest though and sold him. He's a really sweet guy though, and has very good basic training. Would you like to ride him?" Somehow it just didn't click, but I politely obliged. Who knew what would happen once I rode the horse?
He wasn't the tallest horse, below 16 hands was my guess. He had a smooth trot which was lovely to sit to, and his canter was much like a rocking horses. I even popped over a few jumps with him, and he listened to me perfectly. Dave looked pleased, and as I rode over I heard him and my dad discussing. "I think the horse will do nicely, how much do you ask for him?"
"I think $5000 would be adequate," Dave said and clapped his hands together, a habit he had.
"Wait, I didn't say I wanted him yet," I pointed out and stopped their scheming. Dave looked at me, flabbergasted. "Didn't you like him? He's one of our best horses."
"Oh, I loved him. But I'm looking for more of a challenge. Something big and powerful." Suddenly, feeling brave I blurted,"Do you have any Thoroughbreds?"
Dave looked surprised. "Um...we do have one, but he's much too wild for a girl like you," he insisted.
"Could you show him to me?" I questioned as I hopped off of the horse I had named Fudge, not knowing his real name. Hesitantly, Dave nodded. I gave Fudge to a stable worker and gave him a piece of carrot, then watched him being led to the cross ties. I felt a little sad to see him go. A good horse like that deserved a home. I followed Dave and my dad to a round pen, where I saw a stunning dapple grey Thoroughbred, who stood tall and proud, head high, nostrils flared. "Oh, what's his name? How tall is he? He's so pretty!"
"His name's Defying Gravity. We measured him to be exactly 17 hands, and I must admit, he is a beauty. However, I don't recommend him for you. He is much to wild, a Thoroughbred straight off the track. He's a little hot head, this one."
I sighed. "Don't worry, I've dealt with several difficult horses in my life. I've been riding for eight years now."
"Young lady, have you ever ridden a Thoroughbred?" Dave asked, a serious expression on his face. I shook my head.
"Well I have, and trust me, sometimes it's not pretty," he confessed, and just then I realized his missing hand, cut off at the wrist. The sight sent chills down my spine, and I hoped my dad hadn't noticed. I glanced at him nervously and was relieved that my dad looked as clueless as ever when horses were involved.
"I want him," I stated, so determined that Dave didn't argue anymore.
"You can have him for a $1000. Just a weight off my back."
I steadily swept the dust out of the barn aisle. I concentrated on getting every stray bit of old hay out and onto the grass. Lifting the broom up to the ceiling I located a spiderweb and twirled the broom around, gathering the web and disposing of it. The process continued until the ceiling looked as clean as ever. Earlier in the day my dad and I had bought shavings at the local farmers supply store, and I had spread them evenly in Figaro's stall. Yes, I had figured out that Figaro was the perfect name for my new horse. Sort of like a mixture between the two words in his original name: Defying Gravity.
I was excited, for today was the day for our new family member to come home, at last! Even though it had only been two days, I was about to explode with impatience. I had found a dark green wheelbarrow among all the junk, along with a manure fork. Although the wheelbarrow had a bit of rust in it, it was no matter. Manure didn't need any luxuries! Everything looked spotless, and even the huge pile of junk from our lawn had disappeared. I had no idea where my dad had stuffed it. Had he really manned up and thrown it all away? It was hard to believe. I was afraid to open the kitchen cupboard because I pictured a rusty bike pedal hitting me in the face.
With a little help from dad, I had built a saddle and bridle rack and adjusted them in the tack room. We had also bought some grain, a metal feed bin and an enclosed three quart scoop. We had it all stored in the tack room, and I had even spent all my money on a red halter and lead rope, plus a hook to hang it on, which we attached on his stall door. I decided red was to be Figaro's "color". It fit him so well. The issue of a saddle and bridle were not yet resolved, but who cares? I could always ride with a halter and lead rope. The lead rope was long enough to tie on the other side. I didn't think of the possible danger of riding a wild Thoroughbred without a bridle and saddle. I was much too excited to think anything bad about my horse.
My dad was busy mowing the pasture. "I can do it myself," I had insisted. "Besides, didn't you say that you and mom would only pay the basic fees and let me do all the work?" But dad muttered something about not trusting me with a "man's" tool. Dad was like that, he said one thing but did another. He couldn't resist helping out, while mom was happy to stay away from hard work.
Finally, a familiar white truck pulling a horse trail appeared on our street, and I rushed to open the gate. However, Dave parked his car in the middle of the street and hollered,"Your yards to small to come into, is there a gate that leads to the pasture?" I nodded and ran down the dirt road until I stopped at a gate, which opened up onto the pasture. I held it open as Dave maneuvered his vehicle inside, and then closed it after him. Figaro was kicking viciously in the trailer and I rushed back to the barn to grab his halter and lead rope.
He already had a halter on, so I just unhooked him and clipped my lead rope on him. "He's good to go," I called out. Dave opened the back of the trailer and removed the butt bar. Figaro sprang backwards while Dave held onto his tail and tried to steer him, so he wouldn't fall off the ramp. I held Figaro back to slow him down. He did slow down, but the rope burned my hands as I huffed and puffed from the effort. After Figaro calmed down he stepped off the trailer and out into the pasture as if nothing had happened. I could see he had the urge to run, so I quickly slipped off his halter before he could drag me around the field. He burst into a full gallop as soon as he realized he was free. I watched with admiration as he pushed off from the ground, sending dirt sprawling everywhere. His muscles ripples and gleamed as the sun hit him. He was definitely a well cared for horse. "He's so fast," I gasped. "Why's he still not on the track?"
"Too old, too slow," Dave replied. "Could be anything?"
"Well, how old is he?" I asked, ashamed that I had forgotten to ask this important question.
"He's about seven is what they told me, so he' still young for a riding horse, but too old for a racehorse." I was satisfied. Seven was a perfect age. Dave and dad talked business for a while while I stared at Figaro, now trotting around, nostrils flared, tail and head high. He had such a lengthened, smooth looking trot. He looked like Fudge had felt, and I didn't regret my decision for a second. Ten minutes later Figaro started to calm down and nibbled on the grass some. He was still a little nervous and excited though, you could tell by the way he lifted his head occasionally and huffed.
"Well, are you happy with your purchase?" My dad inquired as he came and put his arm around my shoulders.
"Why don't you take him for a spin?" I looked at him, bewildered.
"Dad! You know nothing about horses. He needs time to settle down. I'll ride him tomorrow. Later on today I'll bring him in for a good brushing, and walk him around the pasture so he can see the fence line."
"Sounds like a plan," Dad concluded. "Now come in for lunch, you've been working hard today." As much as I would've wanted to stay and watch Figaro, I still followed my dad inside.
I understand my chapters are short and it bugs me, but I can't help it:(.
69 views yet no comments? Critique is welcome!
I just read it. There were a couple of things that caught my eye. You kept talking about Dave clapping his hands after comments, then all of a sudden he is missing a hand. I had to go back and make sure it was the same guy..
The other thing was falling into the "I's" a lot. Always try to figure out another way to word nearby sentences to keep from having so many sentences started with it.
I steadily swept the dust out of the barn aisle before concentrating on getting every stray bit of old hay out and onto the grass. Looking up at the ceiling you could find an extravaganza of art work made by all the spider webs. Having a long handled broom made it easy to dispose of them quickly. The process continued until the ceiling looked as clean as ever. Earlier in the day my dad and I had bought shavings at the local farmers supply store and wasn't long before it was spread evenly in Figaro's stall.
Hope this helps you...
I do like the story a lot, but can someone do a buy story,,,:lol::lol::lol:
There has to be some adult writers out there that can write an adult story line...???:hide::D
I just realized my spelling statement..lol
That should have read " I do like the story a lot, but can someone do a GUY story..." All these girls are making me claustrophobic. haha
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