Best Friends (Our True Story) - Chapter 9: My First Horse
by Leah F.
**First of all, I want to thank all of you for reading my story! To those of you who are wondering, it IS a true story! :)**
P.S. QUESTION TIME: Do you guys want a hint about whether the end of the story is happy or sad? Tell me in the comments below! :) Thanks for reading, I now present Chapter 9 - My First Horse!
Chapter 9 - My First Horse
On January 15th, 2006, my life-long dream had come true. I had been taking riding lessons from Joyce Fox in Brunswick, Missouri, and my parents told me we would be buying a horse from her - for me. I was excited, but something inside my heart started to crumble, like the first few stones falling before a rockslide.
I had my heart set on Raphael, not a horse I would meet for the first time today when I bought it, not a horse who I had no idea what it's personality was like. I felt guilty for not being as excited as I should have been - or would have been if we were driving to purchase Raphael... but no.
I don't even know this horse. I know Raphael... I'd rather have him.
My thoughts were interrupted as we pulled into Joyce's driveway, her dogs barking at our tires. Walking through the barn to the pasture with the yearlings, I felt my enthusiasm rise. I started paying more attention to what was going on around me, instead of thinking about the negative facts... for instance, that it wasn't Raphael I was buying.
There was a small group of yearlings gathered around a hay ring, munching with content, all of them either chestnut or bay in color. Some looked at us with brown, curious eyes, others left their heads buried in the hay.
I took time looking each one over, looking for one with unique facial markings. I found a bay colt with a blaze that started out wide on his forehead, thinner on the bridge of his nose, and widened back out close to his nostrils. I smiled at him, extending my arm to scratch his nose, in which he reacted with distantly sniffing my hand, then abruptly turned to finish his meal.
I looked around, and seeing a chestnut yearling close by, I reached my hand out to it's nose. This little yearling apparently didn't want any company, and took off at a brisk walk around the other side of the hay ring.
Man, if I get any one of these yearlings, I want it to be one that wants to spend time with me, not run away and hide.
I followed the chestnut yearling that had taken the turn around the bale, and found a bay filly happily munching hay while looking at me intently with her ears tilted towards me. She had a soft, kind expression on her face, along with a white shape on her forehead that resembled a thick sliver of a moon, and a white snip on the end of her nose.
As I slowly walked closer to her, she stood still, continuing to look at me with her sweet face, ears perked up, as if to say, "Hi there, what's your name?"
I brought my hand to her face, and as she seemed to enjoy the attention, I couldn't help but smile. I kept petting her for a few moments, then we moved onto the next pasture with the mares and geldings. There were a few buckskin mares that I inquired about, but by the tone of voice that Joyce was using, they were not for sale, or if they were, the mares were extremely out of our price range. I also met a sorrel gelding named Jack, who had 4 white stockings and a wide blaze running down his broad nose.
We retraced our steps back to the yearling pasture, and I made my way to the little bay filly. I kept smiling as I spent more time with her, thinking about her sweet personality that was so evident in her pretty face, and the way she treated me.
I heard a voice coming from behind, it seemed to be directed at me. I turned to see my mom, dad, Joyce and her husband Larry, all looking at me.
"Have you picked one out?"
I turned back to the yearlings, scanning the group for the one that would become my very first horse.
The bay colt with the unique blaze, the chestnut who didn't want company, then the bay filly standing next to me. Those were my three choices I had already made a mental note of, but now I had to pick which one.
I looked to my right at the bay filly and patted her on the neck as a smile spread across my face.
"I'll take this one."
We walked through the barn and back to the house, and Joyce went to search for the papers for us to sign. She came back into the kitchen, setting a thick binder on the counter, and flipped to the filly's paper. Tapping her finger on the plastic sleeve that protected the records, she stated, "This is her's."
I looked down at the paper, my eyes automatically searching for the filly's name.
Bonita's Oak? I don't think I like that.
"That's her name?" I looked at Joyce, who must have seen my expression of displeasure, because she smiled.
"That's her registered name, but you can call her anything you want."
And that's what I did. I named my little bay filly "Starlight".
***Starlight is an American Quarter Horse mare, she will turn 8 on April 14th! And she's still my babygirl! ;) ***