A Shot At Victory - Chapter 1
Shotzee ~A Shot At Victory~
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A paper shifts to my left; a pencil drops to my right. Straight in front of me is the teacher, who appears almost as bored as I am as he stared down at some papers on his desk. I slowly turn my gaze to the traditional wall clock, awaiting the final click of the hands. Today was the last day of school, and I couldn't stand the wait!
Right as I look away, the hands change, and the bell blares out in the normal, buzz-like, "brinnng", making some students jump in alarm. Almost immediately the class leaps to their feet, their chairs crashing behind them. I stand up rather slowly, but my pace quickens as I set my completed test down on the teacher?s desk.
"Everyone have a good summer!" He called as we rushed out the door. Excitement pulsed through me as I realized I would be able to ride Shotzee today. Shotzee was my faintly dappled gray, retired racehorse who we bought from my neighbors almost 8 years ago.
I turned a corner as I stepped out of class, and I nearly flew down the stairs. I landed on my feet, and burst out the door and into the warm, summer, heat. Quickly I walked rather briskly, to the front gate, avoiding a few shoves and bumps as I weaved my way through the crowd of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders who were just as determined to leave as I was.
As I waited on the side of the parking lot, the other student's began to leave. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes passed; where was my mom? Oh well. I guess I'm walking. I thought with a sigh. Heaving my heavy blue backpack up over my shoulder once more, I staggered into the parking lot, and began to walk home. Within about 10 minutes of the walk, I saw a small black car with a large dent in the door. Yup, this was mom?s car. Having waved my mom over, and got inside, I now had a ride home once more.
"How was school?" My mom, Rachael, asked the usual question as I slid in beside her and clicked on my seat belt.
"Agonizingly slow." I answered with a chuckle as I gazed out the window. We lived about 20 minutes away from the school, the reason being, we lived more on the country side. Wide green pastures, rows upon rows of corn or grain, and an endless expanse of green. I took this endless expanse of green to my advantage; this was where I galloped on Shotzee most of the time.
"Shotzee!" I exclaimed as I literally flung myself out of the car. We had just pulled into the driveway, and the pasture fence was in view.
"Don't forget your- oh never mind." My mom started, as she grabbed my backpack and turned off the car.
The beautiful dapple gray thoroughbred stallion galloped over to the pasture fence with his head and tail raised quite high. I climbed up onto the fence and reached my hands over, stroking his cheek and scratching right behind his chin. This was Shotzee's absolute favorite spot to be scratched.
The stallion nickered, and gave his mane a shake, pawing the ground with his heavy hoof.
?We?re going to go ride today.? I informed him, even though I knew he couldn't understand my words. Horses work that way, they don't understand words; instead they understand tones, or emotions, or even energy waves.
Shotzee bobbed his head, and I giggled in response, leaning over and kissing his velvety muzzle. I gently tapped his shoulder, and he turned so his left side was facing the fence. I smiled; glad this trick still worked as I swung my leg over his hind quarters, and seated myself upon his bare back. He was like a big comfy couch!
"Click click," I made the familiar sound in the back of my throat, and Shotzee began to walk immediately. I clutched his feathery white and gray mane, and pulled it slightly to the left. Shotzee responded, and began to walk towards the small wooden stables. They may have been small and constructed entirely by my dad, but they were safe, and the perfect size for one horse, that one horse being Shotzee.
I trusted this horse entirely and there was not a hint of doubt or fear in me when I was with him. On one occasion, he actually saved my life.
The neighbor?s enormous German shepherd had gotten out, and he found his way over to our property. I was in the pasture, feeding Shotzee a carrot, when a deep growling disturbed my calmness, and I turned around to find the scare of my life. The German shepherd had lunged right then, barreling into my legs and knocking me to the ground. I closed my eyes and began blindly hitting him and kicking at him, but he wouldn't step aside.
Right as he sank his teeth into my wrist, there was a high pitched yelp, and a thud. I had opened my eyes to see the shepherd racing away with his tail between his legs, and Shotzee standing to my right. Shotzee had scared him away just in time.
"I love you Shotzee." I whispered leaning in close to his ear.
We arrived at the stables, and I slid down from his back, and took his black halter in my hands as I led him to the hitching post. It was just 3 small bars that were welded together that stood in front of the stables. The tack shed stood to its right. Fortunately for me, we always kept a lead rope tied to the hitching post, so all I had to do was clip it to his halter.
I patted Shotzee's shoulder to let him know I?d be back, and jogged over to the tack shed, and opened it up. The hot stuffy air inside was just floating with dust particles, but this was normal. I reached inside and pulled out the grooming bin, before stepping back over to Shotzee.
A smile was painted on my face, and I leaned over, pulling out the body brush. Shotzee greatly enjoyed the gentle, circular strokes of the bristles as I moved across his side with it, freeing all the dust and dirt from his now glossy coat.
"Emma!" my mother called from the house. Shotzee and I simultaneously turned our heads to the house which stood to our right, to see my mother standing on the porch watching us. I patted Shotzee's shoulder, set down the brush, and jogged to the fence.
"Yeah, mom?" I called back, folding my arms across the aluminum bar. I was secretly afraid she would call me inside. That would be very disappointing, considering I had been really looking forward to spending time with my boy as I call him. Instead of calling me inside, however, my mom jogged over, and handed me a small bag of peppermints.
"I thought he would like this." She smiled, giving him a warm smile, before turning away. I smiled myself, knowing he would love these.
"Oh Shotzee!" I called in a sing song manner as I jogged back over. He could already smell the mint that I was unwrapping. He tossed his head, yanking at the rope, and nickered, eager to get that mint. Holding my hand out to him, I beckoned him to grab the mint, which he did. The prickly feet of his whiskery muzzle tickled my hand, which I ran down his neck.
He was such a tall, handsome stallion, who had attained his height and stature from his thoroughbred genetics. I looked him over, admiring his grace and beauty.
His neck was almost a chalky white in color, with very faint dappled markings, and his head was of the same white, besides his muzzle that was black. Shotzee's back and sides were of the same very light color, concealing the same faint dapple gray markings as his neck and head but his hind quarters were a bit darker in color, and the markings, more prominent. His legs grew darker below the knee, and his hooves were a charcoal gray in color. Shotzee's mane was gray with streaks of white, and his tail was gray just at the dock, but then fades out to white at the tips. Erect ears sit tall on his head, and a white streaked forelock lay just between them. He enjoyed having his ears rubbed, and I enjoyed rubbing them.
Shotzee had long, strong legs that helped him excel at running. Hence the fact he was a race horse. Shotzee is currently 12 years old, but he attains a fiery spirit and acts like a 3 year old.
He was a champion race horse, but his age caused him to retire, where he now grazes happily in our pastures, and accompanies me on rides. Shotzee?s show name use to be, "A Shot at Victory" which I believe suits him perfectly.
"I love you Shotzee." I smiled again, patting his shoulder. I pulled out the body brush, and continued to brush the dust and dirt from his coat, before I moved onto his right side, and continued.