Chapter 7 ~ End of an Era

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Chapter 7 ~ End of an Era

Rio's Pov

"How was that?" I ask my dad once we finish

"Amazing! Her time was faster then before! Keep it up and you'll win the maiden race," he smiled.

"Should I run the others?" I asked

"Yeah they need it. Start with Harley, he hasn't been the same since mom and needs some attention from a girl," he chuckled. Harley loved my mom. She would always groom him and feed him treats and he just learned to trust her. She could lead that horse around just by holding his halter while everyone had to put a shank on him. When she died, he changed. His attitude was completely different. He still ran the same time and everything, still won his races, but towards people, he lashed out a lot, and he was confused big time. It was like he was depressed, and he still is I think.

I nodded, and hopped off Tango. I untacked her, brushed her down, and then hosed her legs down before putting her away in her stall with water and grain. I kissed her nose, and moved on to Harley.

"Hey buddy," I smiled stepping into the stall. His head picked up, and his ears flicked forward, as if he heard the familiar voice of my mom.

"I'm sorry, it's just me. Not her," I said quietly, extending my hand to let his face. He leaned into my touch, and let out a soft nicker, something I haven't heard him do when someone pets him, since my mom passed.

"Rio, did he just?" Dad questioned

"Yeah, he did," I smiled looking up at my dad. He smiled, a big smile that reached his eyes, something I once again haven't seen since mom passed.

"Alright, let's go for a run," I smiled, and tacked him up.

When I finished getting him ready, I led him outside of the stall,where dad gave me a leg up, and then walked me to the track.

"Go Rio!" Liam cheered

"You got this!" Niall chirped

"Yeah! Go Rio!" The other three cheered

"Thanks guys," I laughed and dad pulled us into the gate.

"Ready?" He asked

"As ready as I'll ever be," I sighed and pulled my goggles over my eyes, and then the gate banged open, and Harley lurched forward.

"Harley slow down," I whispered, as I felt him pick up the pace

"Rio, slow him down!" Dad yelled from the side lines

I got him under control, finally, but his head was extending and his ears were pinning back. I slowed him to a stop, and that's when it came. The bucks, and the spins.

"Harley stop it," I growled out. He wasn't planning on stopping until I was off. Suddenly, I felt myself flying through the air, and landing on the ground with a thump. I heard his hooves thundering across the ground away from me, sets of running footsteps coming towards me, and my dads screams of "loose horse!"

"Are you okay?" Dad asked

"Yep, nothing like a mouthful of dirt to wake you up in the morning," I said spitting out dirt.

"You fell pretty hard. Are you sure you're okay?" He asked again

"I'm fine dad, it's not the first time he's thrown me," I reassured him

"What came over him?" Niall asked

"Honestly, I have no idea. He's done that to everyone who's gotten on him since my mom passed away. He's been moody," I sighed

"You've gotten him out of his funk once before, you'll do it again," dad sighed

"No dad, it's not working. Nothing's working. He's moody, he's pissed off, he won't eat, you know what's wrong, and I know what's wrong. He misses mom. Let's face it, there's no getting him out of this any time soon. He knows what day it was," I sighed, standing up and walking away to get Harley from one of the grooms that caught him. I gave him a quick thank you, and walked back to Harley's stalls.

As I passed people, I heard their whispers of "he threw her again", "she's not a jockey, she's a kid", "they should just get rid of their horses, they're all pains", "I don't know why they keep those horses", and so on. It ticked me off to be honest. They don't know our story, they only have a general idea. They don't know why we keep our horses because all they see is me getting thrown, and others bit or kicked. They need to learn to keep their noses out of where it doesn't belong. It's not fair to my dad, it's not fair to me, and it's not fair to our horses.

"Rio, there's something I feel we should talk about," dad said when we got back to the stalls.

"Alright, what is it?" I asked

"Harley. I think his racing days are over,"

I knew those words were coming. But did I want to hear them? Not one bit.

"But dad he loves to run!" I exclaimed

"I know that Rio. But I think it's not something he's enjoying anymore. He doesn't cooperate anymore. Maybe it's time to-"

"If you say sell him, I won't do it," I growled

"No, I wouldn't sell him. Maybe we could bring him home, and train him to be a jumper or something. Maybe he'll like that better, and there's more of moms stuff around there, we can use to keep him calm," he suggested

"Yeah, maybe it's time," I sighed

"Un tack him and everything, and then we'll head home. We can bring him to the farm tomorrow afternoon or something and get him settled it," dad said

"Alright. I'll meet you to the trailer?" I asked

"Sure. See you in a bit," he smiled, and led the boys to the camper trailer we had at the track.

"Tomorrow marks the end of an era. It was a good run and I hope to never forget anything you've taught me, but I know neither of our hearts are in this anymore. You'll always be my racer, I love you," I smiled and kissed his nose and left after I finished with him. Made sure Tango and Commit were okay, and then went to the trailer to go home.

~Authors Note~
Okay guys I'm really sorry it's taken me this long to update! I'm so sorry! I've been super busy with school and keep forgetting to update. High school sucks tbh lol

Quote - She loved a boy. He didn't know. But she couldn't let him go, as she screamed his name, he didn't hear. She tried again, once every year. She cried once more as he stood and bowed. Because she was just another girl in the crowd. ~ Unknown

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