Sassy - a Guardian Angel
Her name was Sassy.
Well, that was her barn name, at least. She was, in fact, a registered Thoroughbred. 'Personal Awe' was the very first horse I ever rode, at the young age of eleven years old. She was a spunky trail horse with a checkered past, and as I stood outside of her stall, gazing on with admiration, I couldn't help but daydream of galloping through grassy fields with her black mane whipped back in the wind, tickling my chin.
Sassy was eight years old. She was sixteen hands, approximately, and a terrific jumper. The first day of riding camp, after all the paperwork was signed and the t-shirts and friendship bracelets were distributed(most of which were lost halfway through lunch), we were assigned to our horses and began the tacking up process. It was my first time around horses, unless you count all those hours at the petting zoo, or in the pony ride's line. I was nervous, sure, but this was what I wanted. I knew I loved horses, even at such a young age, and nothing was going to stop me from learning all there was to learn about them.
Sassy was obedient as I haltered her and clipped the lead line on. She walked alongside me as I led her to the cross-ties, and stood patiently as I groomed her and saddled her. With the help of a riding instructor I mounted Sassy for the first time outside of the indoor riding arena. She was quiet and gentle as we walked along the rail, and even at a jog she remained patient as I fumbled with the reins. She hardly stepped out of line, and unless you count the occasional chomp at the bit, she was perfect, all day long.
For the rest of camp I looked forward to riding Sassy. Every morning I would bounce in the passenger seat as Dad drove me to the stable. I would run to the office and scan the chart where all of the riding assignments had been posted the night before. Never again did I see the familiar five-letter name that would send a shiver of excitement down my spine. Sassy was a one-time deal.
The camp was fun, I have to admit, even if it didn't turn out the way I'd wanted it to. I got to meet some pretty fantastic horses and we even took a field trip to a dressage performance down the road, where I watched beautiful Andalusians at work.
When camp ended, I spent the next few months earning money for riding lessons. I washed cars, walked dogs, and sold cookies and cakes at bake sales all summer long. When August finally rolled in, and Dad agreed to take me back to the stable, I was ecstatic. I knew for certain that I'd be seeing Sassy again. Even if I couldn't ride her, I could visit her in her stall and feed her carrots.
That was just what I did for the next eight weeks. As my lessons progressed and I became more comfortable both in and out of the saddle, I spent most of my time with the dream horse any girl could ask for. By the end of November Sassy would be waiting for me at her stall door, her delicate ears pricking forward at the sound of Dad's engine idling in the driveway as I gathered my things and scrambled out of the car. To her, I was associated with long, enjoyable grooming sessions and sliced carrots and apple sticks. Sometimes I would be granted permission to lead her out to the paddocks and watch as she dipped her muzzle to the ground and began yanking away at the thick stems of grass.
And then the unimaginable happened. Kathy, the stable manager, asked me one day if I'd like to compete in a musical freestyle event, in which the rider and horse demonstrate their ground work in tune to a beat. I agreed, and she asked me which horse I was interested in. Can you guess what I said?
That was a really good story. Sad, but good. You're a good writer.
That was really sweet and sad. you are a good writer. i wish i could write like some people.
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