Chapter 22

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"We got this boy," I whispered to Cowboy. I scratched his neck, and then picked up a trot. We were headed to a tiny cross rail, Cowboy's first real jump! We trotted up to it, and he popped over it! I brought him down to a walk. "Good boy!" I cheered. He tossed his neck and his mane flew up and down. He knew he had rocked the tiny cross rail. "Ready to try it again?" I asked. He went into a trot right when I said that. "Whoa boy," I said. I got his attention and focus back and we popped over the cross rail again. "You are wonderful," I told him. I dismounted and set up a mini course of all tiny cross rails. "We can do it boy." I mounted him again I trotted a warm up circle. Then we headed for the first jump. We popped over it, and the next one, and the next one. We were hopping over each jump easily, and we finished the course cleanly. "Great job boy!" I said, and then I took him out of the arena and onto the promised trail ride.

As we walked around in the woods, I thought about what it would be like if Cowboy left. That would be a very sad place. I don't know what I would do! There's no horse that could EVER replace the spot that Cowboy has in my heart. We have a really tight bond, and if he leaves, the bond would break. He wouldn't trust me anymore for leaving him, just like his old owners did. I can't do that to him. There's GOT to be a way that I can stop this. I'm so messed up, I can't even think straight! I'm trying not to think about it, and just enjoy him now, and worry later.

We reached an open meadow, so I asked for a canter. As we cantered across the meadow, the song "Cowboy Take Me Away" popped into my head. I wish Cowboy and I could just run away from this. I know I should be more grown up about this, but it's hard for me. I get a bond with one horse, then it gets adopted. I should be used to it by now. Wait, the song, Cowboy take me away. We could run away? No, again nobody would trust me with their horse. The only thing I could think of now is to just beg Mom to keep him, but I doubt it would work. I guess I should be happy for him, but I wish I could be his forever home.

We reached the end of the meadow, and by then I was exhausted of worrying. I wish there was a simple solution, but there isn't. I'll think of something later. "You hungry boy? Cause I have a little snack for you." I cooled him out and then dismounted. I opened my backpack and took out he blanket that I brought along and laid it on the ground. I grabbed my nachos lunchables, apple slices, and brownie from my bag, and grabbed the bag of grain that I packed for Cowboy. I poured it on the ground for him, and he dug in. I also put a few of my apple slices in his grain. "You deserve it, you were amazing!" We ate our lunches together and I talked to him about everything under the sun. It went from school, to summer, to camp, to shopping, and anything else you can imagine. It was so relaxing. I wish it could be like this always. I looked at my watch: 2:45. "It's getting pretty late boy, we should probably head home. I told Mom that we would be home by 3:00." So, we went home, and I gave him a very thorough brushing. I got most of the hair off, but there's still a little bit of hair that's still shedding.

Mom walked over and started petting Cowboy. Cowboy liked Mom now, and Julie, Dad, and even Art! He is really friendly now. "How was he?" Mom asked. "Sadly, he was wonderful. Did everything I asked," I said glumly. "That's a great thing though, not a sad thing," Mom said, confused. "It's great, but the better he does, the closer he is to being put up for adoption," I said. "Oh, well, um, actually, I put him up for adoption last night. I thought he would need another month, but the way he is now, he's ready for a forever home," Mom said. "WHAT?!! I THOUGHT I HAD A WHOLE MONTH TO STILL BE WITH HIM!! HE'S GONNA GET ADOPTED AND I'LL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN!!!" I wailed. "Oh honey you'll see him again don't worry! He hasn't even been adopted yet!" Mom said, trying to soothe me. "NO! You ruined everything! What about the show in May? What about all of my summer plans with Heather? And the camp? I can't believe you did that without even talking to me first!" I yelled at Mom. "C'mon Cowboy, lets go," I said. I lead Cowboy out to the field, and put him in it. "I'm sorry boy, I'm trying. I'm doing my best to not let you get adopted. But if you do, I promise that I will come see you. That's a promise that I can keep."

Cowboy looked me straight in the eye, and I swear I heard a whisper that said,"We will be okay."

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