Chapter 27

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"Cowboy?" I whispered shakily. He walked up to me and nickered. "Cowboy!" I said happily, and I threw my arms around his neck and didn't let go for a while.

"Glad you like your surprise," Mom laughed. "But, but, how?" is all I could get out. "Well, we had Sammy pretend to adopt Cowboy and we really just trailered him to Hunter Creek. Heather and Sammy have been riding him to keep him in shape for the show at the end of the month, well, if you're still interested in participating in it, but-" "OF COURSE I WANT TO DO IT!" I exclaimed. Mom laughed. "That's why you guys got me the tall black boots. Aww, thank you guys soo much!" I said. "But," I started. "But what honey?" Mom said, confused. "How could you do this to me? Make me suffer without my pony and having me believe that he went to some snob who wouldn't reply to my emails?" I joked. "Sorry honey, we thought it would've made the surprise even better," Dad started, looking hurt. "I'm just kidding! I love the whole thing! You guys had me fooled," I said. We all laughed, and I gave Cowboy another hug.

"I love you boy. Nothing will ever break our bond. You were right, we will be okay," I whispered in Cowboy's ear so nobody could hear me. He nuzzled me, and I knew he understood. "So, how about a victory ride?" I said to Cowboy. He bobbed his head up and down, making me laugh.

"I'm going on a ride, if anybody wants to join me," I said. "I will," Mom said. "Me too," Julie said. "Thanks, but I'll pass," Dad said. "Me too," Art added. " Okay," I said. The three of us tacked our horses up, and headed out on a victory trail ride.

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That night I slept better than I had for days. When I woke up the next morning, I didn't need any encouragment to get up and go out to the barn. I thought about how my whole attitude changed now that I had Cowboy again. I was actually looking forward to my birthday trail ride now.

~~~

"WHAT HAPPENED?!" Lauren screamed really loud at lunch. "I said, I got Cowboy back for my birthday!" I repeated to Lauren. "Wow, that is so wonderful," Nina said. "That's great!" Pam added. "Heather knew about it all along," I teased, and stuck my tongue out at her playfully. "Sorry! I had to!" she laughed. We all started laughing, and went back to joking around and eating our lunches.

~~~

When I got home, I quickly finished my homework and changed into riding gear. I had to practice everyday now with Cowboy since the show was in exactly ten days. That's not much time for me to prepare, but I think we can do it.

I ran outside and tacked Cowboy up in record time. I warmed him up, and then I practiced a course I made up that consisted of all verticals, planks, and small oxers. The class that I was doing at the show didn't have any crossrails, but I still set one up as a warm up jump. After we jumped the warm up cross rail a few times, we started on the real course. We jumped a few small verticals and planks, and only one or two oxers. When we finished the course with a clean round, I patted Cowboy and we did it one more time the opposite direction. When we finished, I cooled him out and put him in his field with Buddy and Tucker.

As I was logging what I did in Cowboy's notebook, I realized that I didn't need to. Cowboy was my horse now, not a rescue horse in training. I smiled at the thought. I bet Mom is letting Julie keep one of the horses here, if she wants. I almost think she's going to keep Geronimo, but I'm not sure since he's still kind of young and he hasn't been trained to be ridden yet. But you never know. I watch them sometimes and Geronimo and her definitely have a bond.

I took Cowboy's training log out of the tack room and into my room. I looked at it, starting from the first day he got here. Ahh, good times, good times.

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Saturday finally came, and at noon, all of my friends were here and we were eating pizza. We had a good time eating and talking, and when we finished our pizza, we had a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and it said in yellow frosting, Happy 13th Birthday Melody! After cake, I opened presents and from Lauren I got a cool Lilly and Laura bracelet, from Nina I got some nail polish, from Pam I got a royal blue Lulu Lemon headband, and from Heather I got a pic of her and I on her cross country field with Cloud and Cowboy on a canvas. "Thank you guys so much! I love all of the gifts! Now, it's time for a trail ride!" I said excitedly. We all clapped and whooped and then went out to the barn to get the horses ready.

As Mom helped Nina and Pam tack up Missy and Buddy, Lauren, Heather, and I tacked up our horses. We talked about funny horsey stories, and we all laughed when Lauren said that Candy Girl wagged her lips when she brought in a huge cookie cake for her trainer. "Well, I'm guessing somebody likes cookies," I said to Candy Girl. She tilted her head as if to say, "Who, me?" We all laughed and finished tacking up our horses.

Once all of the horses were tacked up, we started on the trails. We all talked casually as our horses ambled along the path. It was so much fun! "I wish we could all ride like this together, all of the time," Lauren said. "Yeah, me too," Heather said. "This is really fun, I'm going to have to beg my parents to sign me up for riding lessons," Nina said. "Yeah, now I can't wait for horse camp even more!" said Pam. We all laughed and we fell into a comfortable silence for a few minutes, until Lauren said, "Hey, look!" and we all looked in the direction of where she pointed. There was a fox with three of her pups, and it looked like she was teaching them how to hunt, until she spotted us, and the family ran off. "That was so cool!" I said. We all started to chat again, and before we all knew it, we finished all of the trails, and rode back to the barn.

"That was awesome, thank you so much for letting me ride Missy!" said Nina as she and Pam walked towards her car. "Yeah, thank you so much! I'm in love with Buddy now," Pam said. "No problem, thanks for coming! And thanks for the awesome gifts!" I said. Lauren's mom pulled up infront of the barn, and she loaded Candy Girl up and said,"Thanks so much for letting me bring her." "No problem! I'm glad you were able to bring her," I said. "Me too." When Lauren and Candy Girl drove off, Heather and I looked at each other, and we just knew we were thinking the same thing. "Sleep over!" we squealed at the same time, and we laughed. "I know my mom's cool with it, just text your mom and see if it's okay," I said. Heather called her mom, and 15 minutes later her mom came and dropped her stuff off. "Thanks Mom," Heather said. "No problem. Happy birthday Mel!" she added. "Thanks!" I said.

We put Heather's stuff up in my room, and then we decided to go downstairs and see what's for dinner. "We are having spaghetti and meatballs," Mom said. We served up and devoured our food in minutes. "Mom, can we be excused?" I asked. "Sure, but put your bowls in the dishwasher." "Okay!" We put our bowls in the dishwasher, and then went upstairs to our 'lounge'. Our lounge was just an extra room we had that we made into a hangout. It had a TV, Wii, and a few chairs and beanbag chairs. It also had lots of other games and stuff, but we wanted to watch a movie. "How about I get my new nail polish, and you pick a few movies that we can watch," I told Heather. "Will do."

I went to my room and quickly got my nail polish bottles. I had gotten dark brown, hot pink, red, silver, copper, and purple. I also got a super shine, sparkle, crackle, and matt top to put over the colors we chose. I took everything to the lounge, and Heather picked out a few movies. We put in Flicka first, and then did our nails. I chose red, and Heather chose dark brown. On top of mine, I put sparkles on, and Heather put super shine on her's. Once they were dry, we chatted while we finished watching Flicka. When Flicka was over, we put in Dreamer. I love this movie!

After watching tons of movies, we went back to my room and got in bed. We talked for a long time before we drifted off to sleep, and I thought about how perfect today was.

A/N: Hey guys I just realized on the last chapter it went from chapter 25 to chapter 27 so I changed/fixed it sorry I didn't realize it before. oops. I hope you liked this chapter and I know it was really cliche and obvious but I like it. Only one more chapter left of this book:D cant wait and I still havent decided on the nxt title of the book but its going to have all of the same characters in it. Thank you for reading to this point and if you have read to this point then you are my new best friend so thank you sooo much! Please comment and vote! ;)

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