Chapter 19

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**********************************A week later*************************************

When Heather and I got on the bus to school this morning, I was about done with school. It's sooo boring!!!!! At least I only had half a week of school because I have spring break next week and on Thursday and Friday. School hasn't even started yet, and I'm already ready to go home. Well, to the barn. Hunter Creek is starting to feel like home to me. I guess wherever your horse is is home! Our barn is almost fixed, I'm really excited! I'm going to miss Hunter Creek, but it's going to be nice to not have to get up at 5 in the morning every day! I've been working with Cowboy everyday since I started using tack with him, and I've fallen off a total of 6 times. I have bruises on my legs and arms, but overall I'm fine. No major injuries! It was the first three days that he kept throwing me off, but after a while, we sort of just clicked. He's definitely one of the smoothest ponies I've ridden. I can now walk, trot, and canter on him with tack, without being thrown off! Now I call that major progress! Mom is really happy with how much progress he's making.

Mom and Julie have been working with Tucker and Buddy a lot. I've helped when I could, but training Cowboy and riding Missy is very time consuming. This weekend, Lauren is coming out to ride Candy Girl! I'm so excited for Lauren and Candy Girl! I really believe that they'll be a good match for each other. I'm not sure if Julie is too happy about it, but she knows that it's best for Candy Girl to get a forever home.

Also, we are taking in a new abused horse! His name's Geronimo, and he's a black and white paint colt. He's three years old. Our friends- the Randof's- saw him a lot when they would drive to work and back, and they thought he wasn't getting the proper care. So, they bought him for $200 and are giving him to us! They have their own small barn with their own horse, Max, and they want to keep him, but they can't afford to have another horse. I'm really excited to see him! He comes today!

The bus stopped in front of the local public school, and Heather and I got out. We split up and went to our lockers. I opened the lock to mine and grabbed my binders, books, and folders. I looked on the inside of the door of my locker, and looked at all of the pictures I had up. There were pictures of me and Pepper, Missy, Candy Girl, Fiona, Cowboy, and a previous horse that we had named Randy. She was a chestnut paint, and was really sweet. She got adopted by a family who had two daughters that were learning to ride. I'm glad that she found her forever home, and that Pepper did too, and that maybe Candy Girl would soon!

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After a long day of school, going on a ride sounded like the perfect thing to do. I didn't have any homework, and neither did Heather. We got off of the bus and raced towards the barn. I put my backpack and lunch box in our tack locker, and grabbed my bag with my barn clothes in it. I went to the bathroom and quickly changed into a t-shirt that had horses on it, and put on black riding pants and my brown paddock boots. I walked out of the barn and went to the isle with all of the rescue horses in it. At the very end was a pretty, paint horse who had his head poked over the stall door. "Hi boy, you must be Geronimo," I said softly to the colt. He was definitely full grown, but he wasn't that big. He was about 15 hands, and from what I could tell, he was not shy of people. He sniffed my hands for treats, and I petted his neck. Julie walked up and started petting him too. "Mom said that since Lauren is coming to look at Candy Girl, I get to do most of the training with Geronimo," Julie said. "That's cool," I replied. I'm glad that Julie will have another horse to help with if Candy Girl does end up getting adopted, because if she didn't, it would just be Buddy for her. "Will you tell Mom that I'm taking Cowboy out for a ride?" I asked Julie. "I guess," she said. "Thanks."

I got Cowboy into his halter, and lead him out of his stall. I brought him to some cross ties, and Heather already had Cloud in cross ties. She was almost done brushing her. I grabbed Cowboy's brushes from our tack locker, and got to work on him. He was shedding a ton! After ten minutes of shedding him out, he wasn't anywhere near stopping. "Oh well boy, I have to get you tacked up so we can meet Heather and Cloud in the outdoor arena." It was really warm today-70 degrees! So Heather and I are going to ride outside today, and we'll finish up on a trail. It will be Cowboy's first trail ride, well, second if you count the time where I fell off of Pepper and he came to my rescue. But his first real trail ride.

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