Cowgirl, Saddle Up

April 18, 2017
By , Belle Chasse, LA

On a bright, normal Sunday in January, I was on my way home from a dermatologist appointment. I was going to the barn with my mom to feed a horse that I take care of that is named Katie. My Mom and I rode with the windows down all the way to the barn and smelled the freshly cut grass. When I pulled up to the barn, I noticed that our Ranger, a motorized buggy, was in front of the barn and all of the gates were opened. I became suspicious because I didn’t know how the Ranger got over there or why the gates were open. Walking further back, I realized that a new fence was put up on the side of the barn. Being as clueless as I am, I continued to walk to the barn and did not think anything of it. When I walked into the barn, there were the following five people there: my dad, Mr. Wayne, Mrs. Sue, and two other people  renting stalls in the barn. Mr. Wayne and Mrs. Sue are the owners of the horse that I take care of and are like my grandparents. I became really suspicious that my dad was at the barn because he does not like horses and does not go to the barn unless he absolutely has to. While kissing everyone hello, I was asked to let some of the horses out. I did as asked and let every horse out except for this new, dappled grey horse that I had never seen before. Little did I know, that this horse would change my life forever.

When I got to the last horse, I casually asked Mr. Wayne where to put him. He replied in his country accent, “Bring him to the side pasture that we just built, he needs to be kept there for a while.” When I did that, I noticed that my dad began to video me bringing the horse out. I did not think anything of it and continued to bring him out. My dad followed me all the way to the pasture and asked me if I recognized this horse. I replied that I had no idea and that he is new. My dad said that he knew that the horse was new and asked me again if I recognized him. Again, I said that I did not. I sat there for about five minutes rubbing his muscular and silky body and feeling all of his muscles. I knew that he had to be a well trained horse that worked a lot on a daily basis. The last time that my dad asked me, I began to get aggravated and thought that he was just messing with me. He then said, “What did you do a month ago today?” Having the busy life that I do, I cannot even remember what I did the day before, much less a month ago. I began to think for the next couple minutes and still could not remember. Finally my dad caved in and told me that it is the horse that we had seen race at the racetrack a month before and that he had won. I said, “What is he doing here?” My mom quickly shouted, “Meet your new horse!” At that moment, my jaw dropped and I didn’t know what to say.

I instantly started crying and thanking my parents. I didn’t know what to do with myself and whether I could trust the horse or not. For the rest of the remaining daylight, I walked around the pasture with him. I named my horse Thunder which is short for his racing name, Pocket Thunder. This name is very relevant because he is so full of energy and is very unexpectant. I stayed up for hours that tiring night watching videos of all of the races that he had been in. I was so proud that I was now owning him and could not believe that he was now sitting at the barn. Knowing that he will never have to constantly be whipped by the jockey was heartwarming for me. I know that he will be treated better and will live a happier life. Getting my own horse for the first time was the best day of my life and has allowed me to know what responsibility really means.

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