Dusty Road Ranch

by Claudiahorselovr


Part One

"So... on Monday morning? I'll be there from 8 doing chores. You know Duchess loves to fuss over in the morning!" I say.

Cheryl smiles at me, clutching her books. "Sure! My Dad'll bring Ace in the trailer. See you at about 10am?" She says.

"'Course. See ya, Cheryl!" I say back. The bell lets off a ear splitting ring.

"That's my geography lesson. Bye, Nate." I just smile.

Hasn't she picked up I know her lesson timetable from heart? I wave at her and head to Maths. So there. I made a sorta date with my crush. I finally plucked up the courage to ask her on a trail. I first met her on her first day here.

Bouncy, light brown hair, chestnut eyes, clear skin, pink lips, hourglass shape, looks great in jods and a hoodie, my kind of girl.

I was late for math and I ran into her. Er... bumped into her actually, and knocked into her so hard her books and fell. As I was apologizing, I picked up her folder. "So, you like horses?" I inquire. Obviously. Everything she had had horses on them.

"Yeah, I live horses! You?" She answered.

"Heck yeah!" I laughed. That memory was clear in my mind. That was January. Now, late May, we're pretty good friends. She showed up that weekend at Dusty Road Ranch to ride. Where I work. Turns out she had her own horse, Ace, a lovely, black stallion, with one stocking and a blaze, 16hh.

We rode together in lessons and hung out at the barn but never went on a hack together. I suddenly realize everyone is staring. "Erm... um... 4?" I mumble. Everyone erupts in laughter. My best friend, Shane, slaps his forehead.

"Nathan! Haven't you been listening? The width on a square is the equality..." blah blah blah.

As maths ends, Shane walks up to me. "Nate! What's up? You were in a daze the whole lesson, you idiot!" Shane says with disdain.

"Sorry," I say half-heartedly. "But you won't guess what! I asked Cheryl out!" I whisper.

"You didn't!" Shane grins, his tone changing.

"Okay, so, not a date-date, but I asked her out on a trail!" I fess up.

Shane shrugs. "Good enough" He says. "You and horses, though, Nate. What's so special about a four-legged animal?" He says, shaking his head, and heads off to English.

That's what's different about me and my best friend. He likes Arkman Origins, Batman, I prefer leasing an abused horse. He'll play Uncharted 4, I'll go on a hack. I sigh. Doesn't he realize? At 15, jumping 4 foot is big. I've been riding for 6 years, and for my twelfth birthday, mum and dad gave me Duchess, a 7-year old Palomino mare.

I exhale, blowing my black fringe up. School stinks.

Saturday spins by, with me skidding for my jeans and t-shirt, because I slept in late. 7:45am. I'm supposed to be at the barn by 8:00am. Sunday rolls along, with me going on a quiet hack with Duchess. And then Monday. My sorta date. I look at what to wear. Cool and casual. A tight blue tee and jeans. Don't be overdressed when you plan on jumping over ditches.

I cycle to the ranch and walk to Duchess's stall. "Whats up, baby girl?" I say. I open up the stall and muck out, give her water and feed, and start grooming. "You won't believe what I got you, Duchy! A new red halter and lead rope! Aren't you gonna look snazzy!" I say in baby talk to her.

"WHAT AN IDIOT! TALKS TO HIS HORSE LIKE A MUM TALKS TO HER BABY GIRL!"

I groan. I know who that is. James. "Why don't you mind your business!" I snap. Him and his cronies, Brandon and Connor laugh. As soon as Lily walks by, they are all wolf whistles and attitude.

"What's up, babe? New jeans?"

"You look hot!"

"Chick alert!" They all say.

Lily looks at them and raises her eyebrows. She has blonde hair, big turquoise eyes, and a good figure. But she is really sweet. She walks on.

"What a fox!"

I roll my eyes. "Come on, girl. Let's go. Cheryl won't be here till 10, and you need some exercise."

"Oohh! Who's Cheryl, Romeo!"

I just ignore them, and tack up. I kick off into a canter as soon as I'm onto the plains. I go on and on, the wind blowing my fringe, whipping through my t-shirt. Everything is okay once I'm on Duchess's back.

I have just learnt to gallop. I take a deep breath in, and raise in my stirrups. I hope that I don't fall. And suddenly, I'm galloping.

Part Two

"Oh My Gosh! I'm doing it!" I yell to Duchess. It's a dream. She gallops faster, and suddenly, my feet slipped from the stirrups.

"Dang it!" I fall off Duchess, and the wind is literally knocked out of me. I swear, and feel my elbow. I'm then thinking quick.

"Duchess! Girl! Where are you!" I shout. " Oh man..." I mutter. Not a good start, Nate. I hold my head in my hands, and start panicking.

1. Because my elbow, my butt, and my leg are killing, and I think this is what hell is like,

2. My "so-called date" is in an hour, and I'm far away on a trail, without a horse, and a throbbing leg.

3. My horse has run off, and I have no idea where the heck she is.

"This is bad." I look around the place. It's a field of long grass, and I have no idea how to get to the ranch. I take my phone out of my pocket, and it's not there. Of course. I never ride with my phone. I put my head in my hands, and mutter, "Just shoot me now, seriously," to a butterfly on a flower.

I then hear hooves, and a neigh, and turn around, carefully, because my butt is still trying it's best to make my life a living hell.

"Duchess! Yes! How did you find me!" She trots up to me, and nuzzles me, accidentally touching my elbow.

"Ow... sorry girl, not your fault, stupid Nate just hurt himself..."

She whinnies. I look at the saddle. Here it goes...

One, eternity later... (in Nate's head)...

I'm up in the saddle, whimpering, cause my butt is on a western saddle, which, by the way, isn't like my recliner in my living. Technically, not mine, it's my dad's, but... I use it a lot since he is rarely home, because he works in the military.

I start cantering, heroically trying not to cry. It's already 15 minutes past the time I'm supposed to meet Cheryl when I get to the ranch again.

As I walk into the barn, leading Duchess, I see Cheryl sitting on a bale of hay, rubbing Rex the dog, Mr. and Mrs. Hudson's dog, who own the Ranch.

"Cheryl!" I say. "She looks up, and I see pure delight in her face.

"Nate! I thought you wouldn't show up! Are you ok? You're walking funny. And aren't you left-handed? Why are you leading Duchess with your right hand?"

I sigh, and motion for her to follow me to Duchess's stall. I tell her the whole story. She looks distraught when she thinks I won't ride.

"No way!" I say, when she asks if I want to sit this one out.

"Are you sure? It might hurt. I think you should check your leg and elbow." She says.

I know she's concerned, and that's a good sign, cause it means she likes me enough to be concerned.

"Cheryl, thanks, but no thanks. Let's just go for a gentle hack. Have you got Ace?" I say.

"Course, he's in a stall. I'll tack him up." She answers.

"I'll come, I think Duchess needs a break." I say, trying to show her how caring I am. Plus, Duchess looked exhausted.

Cheryl smiles at me. Another good sign. She's got nice teeth, actually. Nice, white and straight.

We chat while she grooms Ace and tacks him up, me sitting on the barn door. It was uncomfortable but I wanted to look cool.

Finally, we were ready to ride.

Part Three

This has not gone off to a great start. In fact, it really stinks. I did everything wrong. I made awkward conversation, said bad things about James and his cronies, (which makes me look like a gossip) and mentioned my ex. Well done, Nate. Well done. Smooth.

"So, do you have any siblings?" Cheryl asks, after ages of awkward silence.

"Er, no." I say. "You?"

Cheryl laughs. "No, definitely not. I think having siblings are a pain. My boyfriend has siblings, and they are so annoying." She says casually.

There's a deafening roar in my head.

"Boyfriend?" I squeak.

Cheryl smiles dreamily. "His name's Casey. I miss him so much already. I miss Colorado a lot too. " She says sadly.

"Oh, I just thought..." I trail off. Cheryl looks at me closely, and I know this is gonna be embarrassing.

"Nate? You didn't think this was, like, a date, did you?" She questions.

I curse under my breath. "No. Of course not. You're not my type anyway. We get should get back." I say, sharp and coldly. Cheryl looks sad, but I'm just annoyed. That didn't go well.
We say an awkward goodbye at the stables, and she leaves. Leaving me to deal with Brandon poking and teasing me about my date. As if.

Part Four

"I love this one!" My Mum squealed. "It's so pretty! Oh, Nate, everyone will be so jealous of you! Take this one!" Mum said.

I sigh, and wonder did God forget to put a brain in her head, because seriously? I'll look like the 4th of July. Doesn't Mum know? That's a dressing up saddle pad! For parades!

"No. I'm taking the plain beige one." I say firmly. Mum opens her mouth, and I know she's gonna say "think about it" but I beat her to it.

"For sure," I say. I don't need to look a bigger idiot in front of Cheryl. Duchess is really, my only friend right now.

Shane called me earlier this morning to ask if I wanted to go to the beach in 2 hours' time because there was a fun fair and arcade on the boardwalk, and when I said I was gonna go shopping for tack today, Shane just huffed and said, "fine".

I sigh and pull out my saved 3,000 bucks I had been working for at the stable for since I was 12. I choose a saddle, headgear, and some other stuff, and have just enough for some treats for Duchess. I know she's gonna look great at the jumping competition.

James, here comes hurricane Nate. Watch out.

Continued in Comments Section below.

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Mar 02, 2017
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<3
by: AHorseLovingGirl

Great chapter!! :D

Feb 28, 2017
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Part Eight
by: claudiahorselovr

I am so confused at what to do.

I've changed, brushed my teeth, and still haven't sent the message. But then I think about her boyfriend, and how I would feel if I was cheated on. And Cheryl wasn't worth it if she was a cheater.

"C'mon, mate, lets go." Shane calls from downstairs.

"I'm coming!" I yell back.

I take out my phone, take a deep breath, and press send. Feeling a weight lifting off my shoulders, I walk downstairs, and jump into Shane's car.

"You sure took your time!" Shane jokes. But then he gets serious. "I'm dropping you off at your house after this, you know that. And I'm doing it cause I'm your friend." Shane says seriously.

I don't look at him.

"Let's just go, I'm starving." I say coldly.

I hear Shane sigh, but he starts up the engine.

Jan 17, 2017
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hitting send
by: hoofbeats

I agree with AHorseLovinggirl!

Jan 12, 2017
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:D
by: AHorseLovingGirl

He should.. I don't know... not sending it would be a little more exciting but if he did... I really don't know, but I'm leaning more towards him not sending it... o_o XD

Jan 11, 2017
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Part Seven
by: claudiahorselovr

"Nathan, it would probably be better if you went home tomorrow. I wouldn't mind you staying the weekend, but I think your mother might have calmed down by now." Shane's mum says, laying down more food.

I've gobbled my way through a bowl of soup, a chicken and rice casserole, and now, some potatoes. I politely refuse the potatoes, or else I think I'll burst, but Shane's mum insists on at least some cake.

"I don't think so, Mrs. Quinn. My mum was super upset." I say, after stuffing my face with chocolate cake. Shane and his mum exchange look.

"Dude, stay the night, but promise me tomorrow afternoon you WILL go home." Shane asks firmly.

I sigh, and chuck my head back, closing my eyes and putting my hands at the back of my head. I think to myself, what was I going to say to mum?

"Sorry for buying a horse behind your back, getting mad at you when you were being perfectly reasonable, and swearing at you. Now, can I come home?" I don't think so.

"Ok, ok, I will." I say, feeling slightly guilty for lying to the people giving me food and a place to stay. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do tomorrow, but I'm not going home. Plus, I'm not exactly sorry. Chance was hurt and needed love. Was I, a horse crazy teenage boy, going to leave him? Course not.

It's hitting 11 o'clock now, and playing Assassin's Creed and Hit Man for the last 3 hours has made me tired. Plus, Barrel racing hasn't helped, and the stress of the day. Me and Shane decide to turn the TV off and go to bed.

I sleep on the floor with some blankets and pillows on a blow up bed, and me and Shane fall asleep in 10 minutes.

Chance is galloping with Cheryl's boyfriend on his back, with an evil grin on his face, laughing and whipping him, turning into him and Cheryl laughing at me and Duchess, into Shane laughing at me, and suddenly everyone I know is laughing and jeering at me.

I wake up with Shane jumping on top of me. "Dang, you snore like crazy!" Shane laughs.

I'm still dazed from the dream. I look at him strangely. Shane cocks his head.

"What's up? You look-"

I cut him off. "Like crap, I know." I say crabbily. Shane, once again, ignores my bad mood.

"Come on, let's go get breakfast at McDonalds." Shane says, always the one to think up good things.

"Ok," I agree. "Lend me some jeans and a tee, will you?" I ask.

"Sure mate." Shane says, already looking through some clothes.

I sigh, and open my phone that's sitting on the bedside table. There is one message. From Cheryl.

"Jett would never know..." says the message. My head is going nuts.

Jett? Jett must be her boyfriend. She wants to cheat on him? What? "No way. I'm not going to date a two-timer." I type.

I think about sending it. Should I? My finger hovers over send.

Comment if Nate should press send or leave it. Thanks for the support!

Dec 31, 2016
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Great Story!
by: BlueRoan

I'd love to see a new part, Claudia! You're a really talented writer!

Dec 18, 2016
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More!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

What happens next? PLZ post part 7 - now! (just kidding, just kidding... but you really do have to post part 7) XD

Dec 16, 2016
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Part Six
by: claudiahorselovr

My life officially stinks. Although I'm not proud of what I did, my Mum had it coming. I am lying on my bed, flicking through a box of my things that are most precious to me, and relieving the moment I swore at mum and she burst into tears.

I brought Chance home with me that night. By the time Mum rang my phone asking where I was, I was sitting in our Land Rover, both horses in the back. When mum came, I smiled at her and waited for her telepathic vision to see Chance. But she didn't which means the saying "Mums have eyes at the back of their head", is nonsense.

Anyway, I'm straying off the point. Mum didn't know at all we had TWO horses in the back and not one.

When we got home, Mum said I should unload Duchess straight away, because it looks like a storm. I guess my guilt was pretty visible, cause she gave me a look, opened the trailer, and just stood there. Stunned. Chance looked at her and neighed happily. I swore under my breath.

"Mum, look I can explain-" I try, she cut me off.

"No, Nathaniel, you can't. You can't give me a good reason why a horse that I have to pay for is in the back of MY trailer!" My mum said calmly.

I was getting angry now. "Of course I have a good reason! And of course I will pay for Chance!" I shouted.

"No you can't! Don't be so stupid, Nathan! You have a weekend job at a stables, that will not pay for another flipping horse! And what's all this "Chance" nonsense! You didn't NAME it, did you?! Oh, Nathan!" My mum said, her voice rising.

"I'll find the money! And IT'S HIM! IT'S ALIVE AND LIVING! NOT AN IT! Now, HIS name is Chance because I bought from an auction and he was lucky I found him! So I named him Chance!" I shouted back at her. Unwisely.

"Nathan! I have paid for riding lessons. Your riding gear. Your tack. Duchess's board. And multiple other necessities! You know your Father isn't here! Do you now how hard it is to raise a stubborn 15-year old boy, and be a single mom too? Do you!?" My mom screamed hysterically.

"Well obviously I don't know, I'm not a mom! He was hurt and needed care! Don't you have a heart!" I retaliated.

"I take offense to that! I do have a heart. To put up with you and not slap you is patience! And a heart!" My mom said angrily.

"Well then, slap me if you want!" I shouted. Then I swore. Directly at her. Called her filthy names. Really, really bad. Time seemed to slow down. My mum stood there, stunned. So did I. The heavens burst opened that minute, and rain pelted down. The sky went dark, and I heard thunder.

Then, if the worst had not just happened, she burst into tears. I stood there, opened mouthed. She ran into the house. And then turned around. "I don't want to see you again tonight, Nate. Go to your friend's house. And stay the night. I don't want to see your face. I am sick of you." She said softly. Then she burst into tears again. Leaving me in a soaking hoodie, 2 horses, and wondering if Shane will have soup.

I sigh, and ring the doorbell. Standing under Shane's porch and waiting for his Mum to open the door is humiliating. But I am tired, wet, angry, emotional, and starving. While I was putting the horses in the barn, lighting struck, and Chance freaked. It took forever to put him and Duchess away, and cycle to Shane's house. I actually can't wait to see his Mum. She has mocha chocolate skin, big brown eyes, a loving heart, and boy, can she cook!

10 seconds later I hear scuffling, and Shane's little brother opens the door, reminding me of my lame attempt of conversation with Cheryl asking her if she had siblings. And if I didn't think my mood could get worse, it did.

I can hear a TV in the background and smell cooking. In fact I hear 2 TVs, which must mean Shane's in the lounge playing on the x-box, and his mom is in the kitchen watching a cooking show.

It sounds, feels and smells like a family home. Safe and cozy, away from the rain, thunder, and shame.

"Hi." I mutter shortly to the kid 3-feet shorter than me.

"Hi, Nate." Josh says brightly. "Shane! Nate's here!" he shouts. I here the the clatter of a remote. Shane's dark, good looking face appears above his little brother's. He shoos Josh away. I am desperately hoping he will give me his huge, genuine grin of all his white teeth and not his sarcastic, "I told you so" one. I needn't have bothered. Shane's coldness this past week must have been my imagination because of MY OWN bad mood, because I know I can always count on him to make me feel comfy and at home.

"Nate! Buddy, I thought you were mad at me these past couple of days! Hi! And you're soaking, bro! And you look hungry. AND you look like you're in need of a friendly punch on the arm and a pep talk from your best friend! Well, you came to the right place!" He jokes.

Normally, I laugh if he says stuff like that, but today was so rotten, I can't seem to pull it off.

"Nate? What happened? OMG! Did you here something bad from your dad? Is he injured?" Shane asks anxiously.

"No, nothing from the army." I shake my head. Shane suddenly hugs me. A warm, firm, manly but loving hug. I haven't gotten one from him in about 6 years, when I was 9 and my dog died. So he definitely knows something is seriously wrong.

"Nate, come in, and have dinner with us. And tonight, you stay over, and we talk." He says firmly.

"That was the idea.." I say crabbily.

Shane ignores my attitude. I am definitely in need of a hot meal and pep talk, and Shane and his family are more than happy to give it. Might as well feel like I belong in a family while I can. Cause home is now, I predict, a living hell.

Comment for next chapter!

Dec 08, 2016
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:)
by: AHorseLovingGirl

Ok! I can't wait until the next part! :D

Dec 05, 2016
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Ahorselovinggirl
by: claudiahorselovr

Sorry, her name was supposed to be ahorselovinggirl!

Dec 01, 2016
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Fun!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

It's amazing Claudia! I love the name Chance! It's a great story so far, and a horsecrazygirl, I'd love it if she appeared again - for sure! :D

Dec 01, 2016
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Dusty Road Ranch
by: Claudiahorselovr

I'm not officially making this a part, I just wanted everyone to know what the name of the foal was.

"Dang it," I think to myself. "I don't know what to call you..."

A girl walks up to me. She's older, at least 25. "He's a cute little thing," she says to me, smiling.

"Yeah, I just don't know what to call him. I got him from the auction, like, 30 minutes ago. He was lucky I did."

The girl thinks. "Well, Lucky for a horse's name is kinda cliche, so what about... Chance?"

"Chance..." I muse. "Yeah, I like that."

I look closer at the girl, and clearly she is in disguise.

"What's your name?" I ask.

She laughs. "Can't tell you, cause you'll probably call the news! For now, call me ahorselovinggirl!"

With that, she walks away.

I hope you don't mind me adding u in the story, a horsecrazygirl! I just thought it would be cool to put your name in, cause you gave me the name idea! Everyone, tell me if u want a horsecrazygirl to appear again!

Nov 28, 2016
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Names!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

Here are some names I have:

Warrior
Prince
Duke
Dakota
Dusty
Ranger
Chance
Storm/Stormy
Champ/Champion
Dallas
Harley
Lucky
Rocky
Buddy

I've got some more but those are the best ones! :D

Nov 28, 2016
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names
by: hoofbeats

What about thunder or comet? Oh, I LOVE your story!

Nov 24, 2016
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Part Five
by: claudiahorselovr

"Dang it." I mutter as I knock down a barrel.

Mum and I decided to go to a rodeo fair and I entered the barrel race. I was doing good but then a piece of my fringe got caught in my eye and I lost concentration.

We skid around another barrel, this time, perfect.

The announcer booms. "Nathan Reilly has done a fabulous round! For such a young man, he has done brilliant. Well done, Nate!"

I smile and wave, and tip my cowboy hat for fun. The audience laughs and a bunch of squeals come from the girls. I used to think that was cool, but know, all the stupid fan girling gets annoying.

Me and Duchess trot out the arena, the place clapping and yelling. I decide to walk around a bit with Duchess, get some food, do something fun to get my mind off things. And as I was going to get some candyfloss, I hear someone on a speaker phone.

"Loco foal, 2 years old, does anyone want him?"

I try get a glimpse of the poor thing, and I do. This horse is clearly abused. All thoughts about winning Cheryl back are gone. Cheryl is gone out of my mind. If there is one thing I need to get, is this foal. Its ribs are showing, it looks so sad and it has whip marks everywhere including his face. It made me sick.

Yells and shouts, and someone says 100. "Come on! I said reasonable price because of it being unbroken but don't take advantage!" He shouts.

"400!" Someone shouts.

"600!"

"700!" Another person screams. There is talking, but no one bids more.

"Anyone else?!" He shouts. "Alright it goes to-" he is cut off. By me.

"1000!" I shout at the top of my voice.

What? Did I just say that? I have 1000 in my savings, but really? Nate, you just shout out loud at a rodeo? Shy, quiet Nate? People are looking at me.

"He's just a boy," someone whispers.

"He has a horse and it looks well taken care of." Another person says.

"Probably some rich, snobby kid who has $700 in his back pocket," someone says spitefully.

"I'll take him!" I say loudly again, as I push through the crowd.

I reach the man and hand him a cheque. The place has gone so quiet now as everyone watches what's going on. I take the foal's lead rope, reach in my pocket and bring out some horse treats and walk away smartly, people still whispering.

I have no idea what mum's gonna say when we meet up at 5pm today but I hope to load him into the trailer with Duchess, since we have a double trailer, before she comes.

We reached the trailer and I load Duchess into it. As I was about to load the foal in, I look at him, and say, "You need a name." I chose...

What should Nate name the foal? Comment here for suggestions! I need at least 6! I'll post the next part as soon as I choose a name out of your comments! Love y'all!

Nov 22, 2016
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Nice!!!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

Can't wait for more! I'm ready for part 5! :D

Nov 09, 2016
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Awesome!!!
by: Christie

LOL Your story is awesome!! It was so funny when Nate was like, You have a BOYFRIEND!? Omg WHAT'S NEXT??? xD :)

Nov 05, 2016
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Nice
by: BlueRoan

It's got a funny/fun start, and I love it. Cannot wait to read more from you! :D

Nov 02, 2016
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Short but...
by: AHorseLovingGirl

It was short, but funny. I can just imagine his face the moment she said she had a boyfriend. :D

Oct 16, 2016
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Really good!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

I really like it, Claudia! Can't wait for more!

Sep 10, 2016
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I like it!
by: Beckiehorselover

I like it! It is pretty good so far! By how you are leading it, is it a romance-ish? That's not a word! LOL!

Keep up the good work! And be sure to read the next part to Midnight the Black Stallion soon!

Sep 08, 2016
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Great!
by: AHorseLovingGirl

Great story! It's cool that the main character is a boy, and not a girl. Because you know, a lot of stories have a girl as the main character. This is horsecrazyGIRLS.com! So that's why I think it's neat. It's off to a great start! Part 2 please! :)

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