Chapter 18

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After a looooong cool out ride and a thorough grooming, I put Pepper back into his stall. I fed him an apple cookie, and gave him a hug. I pet him for a while, then gave him a kiss on the forehead and left to go get Cowboy.

When I reached Cowboy's stall, he was taking a nap. He was laying down in his stall! It was so cute! Coincidentally, Heather was in Cloud's stall, putting her halter on. "Heather, are you gonna go for a ride?"I asked. "Yeah, are you?" "Yeah, I'm gonna take Cowboy out for a ride. I'm gonna try putting tack on him today." "Cool, can I help?" Heather asked. "Please do! I'm not sure how he's gonna take it," I admitted.

We lead the horses to the cross ties, and we brushed them. I brought out my English tack, and started to tack Cowboy up really slow. I let him sniff the saddle pad, and he was a little bit cautious of it. I lightly set it on his back, and he threw his head around. "Whoa, boy, it's okay,"I whispered to him. I pet him and he started to calm down. Then I got the saddle, and let him sniff that too. "It's just a saddle boy, it ways nothing at all." I started to set it on his back, and when I almost had it completely on his back, he swung his behind around and knocked the saddle out of my arms. "Cowboy!" I yelled. He looked at me like he was completely innocent. "Let's try it again," I said. It took 6 tries to get that saddle on. Heather has to hold his head for me. "Finally, good boy," I said. I grabbed the girth and put it on really loose. He didn't seem to mind it, so I tightened it a little more. I left it loose, and I would tighten it when we got into the ring. Usually we wouldn't ride the horse the same day we first tack it up, but it's obvious that he used to be ridden, and that he's comfortable with me on him. I grabbed the bridle and easily put it on him. "Good boy," I said. "Thanks Heather," I said. "No problem, always happy to help."

I grabbed my helmet and put it on while Heather finished up tacking Cloud. We went into the indoor arena, and while I worked on tightening Cowboy's girth, Heather mounted Cloud. Once the girth was tightened, I ran the stirrups down and lead Cowboy to the mounting block. I mounted him, and as I was settling myself, Cowboy took off at a gallop and bucked as hard as he could. I grabbed his mane and tried to ride it out, but he was bucking as hard as he was the first day he arrived! He stopped, and then he went up into a rear. I threw all of my weight onto his neck, and he put all four feet on the ground. I started to do an emergency dismount, but he started galloping and bucking again. The next time he bucked, I could feel my grip loosen and I was all of the sudden not on a horse anymore. With a THUMP I hit the ground.

"Owww," I grumbled. Heather had gotten off of Cloud and was helping me get up. "Are you okay? That was a pretty big thump I heard," Heather said. "I'm fine," I lied. My head hurt, but overall I was fine. "I still think you should take a break and go see your Mom,"Heather said. "No, if she finds out I fell off of Cowboy, that he bucked me off, I'll never be able to do anything with him again! Besides, I'm fine,"I said. "Where is he, is he okay?" I asked. "He is right here, and he is fine,"Heather said. "Good."

I walked over to Cowboy and checked his tack. Everything was fine, there wasn't anything pinching him. He probably doesn't like the girth. "I'm sorry if you don't like the girth, but you have to wear it," I told him. He snorted, and didn't looked convinced. I lead him back to the mounting block, ready to get back on. "You're getting back on?" Heather said. "Of course, you always have to get back on when you fall,"I said. "Not when you're hurt,"Heather said. "I'm not hurt though," I said. "Whatever," Heather said. I mounted Cowboy, and he stood still this time. "Good bo-" I started, but the next thing I knew was me flailing through the air and hitting the ground. Again.

"Oh come on!" I groaned, frustrated. It's okay Melody, this happens all of the time with rescue horses. I can do this. Ignore the pain in your head, and get back on. So, I got Cowboy AGAIN and mounted him. Once I was in the saddle, I already had my reins together and quickly urged him into a walk. I kept the reins extra short so he couldn't get his head low enough to buck. We walked around the arena in both directions a few times, luckily without any problems. "That's all that we'll do today," I told Cowboy. Pleased with myself, I dismounted and lead Cowboy to the gate. "Thanks Heather for helping me tack up Cowboy," I said. "Anytime, but be careful!" Heather added. Sheesh, I'm going to be fine! I'm tough, nobody needs to keep telling me to "be careful". I've got the message!! "I can handle you, I know I can," I told Cowboy. I put him in cross ties, and untacked him, brushed him, fed him a treat, and put him away.

I walked and found Mom grooming Fiona. "Mom, do you have any Advil? I fell off of Cowboy twice and my head sorta hurts," I said. I tried to sound casual, but now that I heard it aloud, it did not sound good. "What happened?" Mom asked. "Well, Cowboy didn't like the girth so he bucked me off and I got back on but I fell of again but then I got back on AGAIN and he was good," I stammered. "Oh, well that's good that you got back on, but how bad does your head hurt? You might have a concussion!" Mom said. "I do not have a concussion," I said. "Well, there's some Advil in our tack locker. Be careful around Cowboy! I told you that he's hurt people before," Mom said. "I know Mom, but he didn't mean to hurt me! Because of what his old, terrible owners did to him, he hates the girth and he's scared so he followed his instinct! He wouldn't hurt me on purpose, and I know that for a fact," I said. With that, I stormed off to the tack lockers to get some Advil.

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The rest of the day, I hung out in the lounge room and read a book. My head still was a little sore, so I decided to listen to what everyone was telling me to do and took it easy the rest of the day. I was happy to get in bed that night after being at the barn all day. I fell asleep within 1 minute of being in bed.

Hiiii!!!! Thanks for reading, and sorry this chapter is boring and endless. It's kind of a filler, but I needed it for something that's coming later in the book. Please please please keep reading! Tell others to read my book! Please comment and vote PLEASE!!!!!!! Thank you bye bye👋

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