Chapter One - Part One
I always overheard Olivia Cummings talking with her friends about how keeping a horse in your backyard is super weird. She also said only people who couldn't afford to board, keep horses in their backyards.
"You can't show a horse that lives in your backyard." I remember her saying.
Funny thing is, I've been keeping Ginger and Teddy in my backyard for a few years now and I'm Olivia's top competition on the circuit. If only she knew, her freckled face probably would drain out all its coloring and her mouth would probably curl into a sneer. Just like she did when I won the Winter Regionals - Junior Division.
I beat her by a full ten seconds. And it's not like I couldn't afford to keep Ginger and Teddy in a stables, I just don't want to. I like being closer to them and being able to walk out into my backyard and touch Ginger's soft chestnut coat and Teddy's blue roan one.
I like going for bareback trail rides on Teddy through the streets and across people's property. I've been on all the trails on Dad's 10-acre property, but Teddy and I have explored every nook and cranny, we know all the secret spots that no one would even know was there.
We need more adventures. Teddy and I are like explorers in a fishpond. We secretly sneak out to explore the world beyond us.
I like practicing for Hunter and Jumping shows with Ginger, my prize winning mare in our arena that Dad built for me out of wooden railing. I'd have to drive 15 to 30 minutes just to see my horses if I boarded them.
Amber will find out when the time is right. After I beat her at the next show, the Spring Court Regional, would probably be the best time I imagine.
"Huh?" I replied, rapidly blinking my eyes. I can't believe it. I totally zoned out. Again.
"We were just talking about after school today. You wanna come riding with us?" Maria asked, twirling her fork around the pasta she had for lunch. "Georgie and I were gonna go up near the creek on Ridge Stone."
"And probably go galloping through this meadow that I found nearby. Tess, it's so cool. And I finally got Maddy to gallop. It was SO COOLLL!!!" Georgie exclaimed. She was so enthusiastic when she spoke.
Maddy was Georgie's 15.3 light grey Arabian mare that Georgie had got as a project horse a while back. Georgie had been planning to sell her, but totally feel in love with the mare.
"Sounds cool!" I said, trying to match Georgie's level of excitement.
"Yeah! We'll meet at your house Mia? At 3:30 PM?" Georgie and I often called Maria, Mia. It was just easier and Maria didn't care what we called her anyways.
Mia nodded in response. "Sounds good. Churro and I will be outside waiting." She pushed a strand of black hair out of her face and sighed exasperatedly at her food. (Churro was Mia's dun Arabian/QH cross.) "I'm full and the bell is gonna ring soon. You guys wanna go?"
Georgie and I nodded and left with Maria. We all dumped our cafeteria food into the trash can and made our way to the exit. Olivia's table was two car lengths from the exit. I stopped at Olivia's table. My friends stopped behind me. The conversation at the table stopped and heads were turned in my direction.
"Hey Olivia," I started, my tone mockingly sweet. "I looked at the sign-up list for the Spring Court Regionals for Jumping and I didn't see your name. You're afraid of a little competition?" I gave a small smile. Things between Olivia and I were always mature and civilized. We never cussed at each other or wished each other bad luck at competitions. We probably would've been friends if things were different. But we were both happy at the way things were.
"Afraid? Of you? You beat me a few times and call that competition?" Olivia replied, with an equally mocking tone. "I just haven't gotten around to signing up yet. And you better expect a challenge. I've been leasing a new horse: Reign. He's an OTTB and can jump higher than your little mare ever will. He's awesome."
"Good for you." I said in response. "I'm so happy for you. But just because your Daddy bought you a new horse doesn't mean he's better than Ginger. She can jump higher than a meter and you know it. That's good though. I started to think I'd have no competition this season." I walked off, with Georgie and Mia at my side.
"You guys are so weird...." Georgie murmured. Mia hummed in agreement.
"Good boy Teddy.." I murmured. After school, I had raced home to give Teddy a quick ride before setting off to Mia's, to meet her and Georgie there.
I gently grasped Teddy's large head and slipped the bit into his mouth. I pulled the crown over his ears and freed his black forelock from the headstall's grasp. I quickly did up the rest of the bridle and walked Teddy over to the mounting block.
"Ginger!!" I cried out. "You be a good girl. Don't start eating that tree again, you could get a splinter." She looked up at me, with alfalfa sticking from the sides of her mouth and let out a low whinny.
I stepped up onto the mounting block and mounted Teddy's back. I love riding Teddy bareback, it's the only way I ride him. Except for when we practice for the Western or Hunt shows. He has a big broad back and with a non-pointy withers.
"Good boy Teddy." I told him, patting his flank.
I bumped his sides with my heels and and walked him to the back gate. From his back, I undid the lock and softly closed the gait behind me. I took a glance at my watch: 3:15 PM. I still had a good chunk of time to get to Mia's house.
"Come on Teddy." I gave him a good squeeze with my inner thighs and clicked. My gelding broke out into a lively trot. Teddy's shoed hooves clanked against the street as we made our way to my friends house.
Maria and Georgie were already there when I arrived. Both of them were riding bareback without a helmet, just like myself. It was 3:31 PM.
"You're late." Maria said to me. I rolled my eyes and let out a short laugh, "Sorry. Teddy's a little slow today. I woke him from a nap."
"Whatever." Georgie said with a smile.
"So...we just gonna stand around all day and talk or what?" Maria playfully asked. Georgie and I both rolled her eyes.
"No." I replied. "Lead the way."
Maria and Churro led the way to Ridge Stone, followed by Georgie and Maddy in the middle, and Teddy and I in the back. Our horses hooves clipped and clopped against the cement ground. All of us went at a steady trotting pace. The neighborhood surrounding was so familiar to all of us.
We hadn't been up to Ridge Stone in a while, but we'd all been on the other trails recently. Like Teddy and I, Georgie, Maddy, Maria and Churro were also explorers of the world. We always read about male explorers, like Christopher Columbus and such, but not many female ones.
Maybe the three of us would become famous world explorers and find new land. Maybe new land with a rare new breed of horses even? A rare breed of horse that could jump higher than 2 meters. That would be awesome.
We followed Mia and Churro up a small hill and through a small street with no sidewalk up to Ridge Stone. All three of us were quiet. We usually were when we were riding to our destination, but when we got there, now that's a different story.
We got there in a few minutes and somehow our peaceful riding in single file line and turned into a race once we hit the grass fields. Teddy and I were in the lead, of course, but Mia and Georgie weren't far behind us.
We zigzagged through the trees that past us. The trees became more and more thicker and there were more of them. I made the conscious to slow back down to a more controllable trot. My friends slowly did the same. The creek came into view. I dismounted and led Teddy to the water. I bet he was thirsty from all the running.
"Good boy." I told him. "Good boy. I love you." I threw my arms across his back and leaned on him while he stoke his face into the stream. After a while, I mounted Teddy by grabbing a handful of his black mane and swinging my legs onto his back.
The three of us walked for a while before the clearing opened up and in front of us was the most gorgeous meadow I'd ever seen.
Picture yourself like this: You're riding your horse or your most favorite horse in the world, and you are galloping through this never ending meadow that just keeps on going and going and going. And you wonder if it'll ever end. It's got tall over grown, green grass that goes past your knees.
I sat there on Teddy's back, my jaw hanging on it's hinges. I was so amazed. Wow. It was so beautiful here. I cued Teddy for a canter and he took off. I stoke to his back like glue and sat deep in my seat.
For being more of a Western horse, Teddy was fast. I was too caught up in my own business to notice what my friends were doing. I was so happy, I pushed Teddy into a gallop. We soared across the grass.
The wind soared through my hair, tangling my light brown locks. The rough breeze bit at my face, as I leaned forward, in a two point position. Teddy's mane drifted in the wind. I wanted to stay forever. My friends were having equally as much fun as I.
"Georgie!! You picked an awesome spot!!!" I yelled out.
"I know!!! Isn't it amazing?" she replied.
"YES!!!" Maria shouted out, startling Churro a little bit. Her gelding looked about ready to bolt, but he didn't. "Aww good boy Churro. I'm sorry boy. I didn't mean to scare you." Churro was still a little but green, but everyone knew that Mia trained that horse as well as a million dollar trainer could have.
All of us eventually dismounted and let our horses graze. We sat in the grass and played with each others hair, told stories and enjoyed each others company. I never wanted this day to end.Hey guys! I hope you guys liked my story. I know it was a lil' bit boring at first, but I promise some stuff is gonna go down and its gonna be awesome! Stay groovy! XDNext parts (Spring Court Regionals) are continued in Comments section