Blue Moon Ranch - Chapter 1
Mari sighed, as she pulled herself from a slump of blankets and pillows she called her bed. She looked at the clock making sure she was on time, 5 AM, as usual. She got up, and pulled on her t-shirt, checkered shirt and jeans. "Time to feed the horses," She reminded herself. She lived at a recovery ranch for horses, with her adopted brother, and her friends, mum, dad and her granddad.
She tiptoed downstairs, being the fourth to wake up in the household. She slipped on her riding boots and walked outside, ready to feed and exercise the horses, the first one being her own horse, Banjo.
"Good morning, boy," She smiled, using her baby tone voice, stroking the brown horses nose. He was brown, with black socks up to his knees, then to his ankles it was black. He had a white face and black nose.
"I see you're awake, too," Someone asked from the tack room. "I thought it was me, your parents and your granddad." Mari swung around and saw her friend, Matthew, otherwise known as Matt, stood there, holding a bucket of fresh grain.
"You...You scared me there!" Mari laughed, walking up to him. "Are we going for a ride later, you promised we'd go up the mountain side, just me and you," She reminded him.
"Oh my Gosh! Was that today?" He replied, rubbing his head, "I said I'd take a bunch of kids on a trail ride,"
"Matt..You promised," Mari complained, walking past him, and grabbing a bucket.
"I know, I'm so, so sorry, I'll take you later, we can camp out, yeah?" He offered, turning around.
"Fine, but can I come with you and the kids?" She asked. Matt nodded, as he walked out the room and to his horse, Dexta, he got his name because he looked like one, black and white, but had no black on his face, apart from a circle around his left eye. He smiled, rubbing the horses forehead, and entering the stall.
"Good morning, Dexta,got a busy day today, haven't we?" Matt smiled at his horse, as it munched on its food.
"Which horses are you taking later?" Mari asked, peering around the door.
"Marble, Dex, Pippa, Sky, Ice, Storm, Trigger, Max, Apache, Acer, Acorn, Sam, Saphire, Chili, Sizzler, Skyla and CJ." Matt explained, walking out of Dexta's stall with a empty bucket. He placed it on the floor, and wrote down the names of the horses he was taking out for the kids. The horses colours goes as following"
Marble- Brown appaloosa
Pippa-Chestnut with white face
Sky- Pure white
Ice- Pure white with black marks
Apache-Black and white
Acer-Brown and white
Acorn- Brown with White legs
CJ- Brown and white.
Matt smiled as he finished, he walked back into the tack and feed room, putting the bucket in a pile, then seeing Ian, Anthony, Josh and David walk in, getting food for their horses.
Ian had Luna, Anthony has Tiger, Josh has Joker and David had Tingle.
"Gosh, they move!" He laughed, as he grabbed a grooming kit off the side. He walked back to Dexta's stall, who had now finished eating, and started to brush his horses coat.
Meanwhile, Mari had just finished grooming Banjo, and put his rope halter on, leading him out the stall and out of the barn. She tied him to the post, and went back inside to fetch the western saddle and bridle that rested on the racks. She put the bridle over her shoulder, and placed the saddle so it was resting over her arms. "Come on, hurry up," She told the boys, who were all busy with their horses. She put the tack over the side of Banjo's stall, the bridal resting on the horn of the saddle. She went into Dextas stall with Matt, who had just finished picking his feet, and she grabbed his halter and fastened it around his face. She opened the door, and let Matt take his horse out.
"Come on, boy," He encouraged, clicking his tongue. He put him next to Banjo, who stood there quietly, while Mari got the tack. She hurried out with it, and Matt got his. She carefully placed the saddle and saddle pad on his back, and fastened the girth that stretched around his stomach. When Matt came out and followed the same procedure, the other boys got their horses sorted inside. Mari grabbed her cowboy hat and placed it on her head, after putting his bridal on. Once everyone was ready, they came out with their horses and mounted up.
"Where to first?" Ian asked, settling himself in the saddle that sat beneath him.
"We could go across the creak, then pass the canyon and fields," Josh added, kicking his horse, Joker, on. They all started to walk along the cobble path until they got to the dirt track, where they started to canter.
"Is that as fast as you can go?" Mari teased the boys, cantering forward, "I bet Banjo could beat you all in a flat out gallop race,"
"Stop!" Anthony called, everyone slowed down their horses, and came to a stop. "We have to do this fair, to the creak, then we stop, who ever looses has to clean the stalls out for today." He insisted, which everyone all agreed.
"3...2...1...Go!" David shouted, using the reins to tap his horse faster, "Come on, Ting, faster, faster!"
"We'll win, Luna," Ian told his horses, clinging on to not only the reins, but the mane of the horse, too.
They quickly stopped when they reached the creek.
"I won!" David proudly announced, getting off of Tingle and loosening the girth, followed by everyone.
"Who lost?" Anthony asked, hiding the fact he knew full well who it was.
"You," Ian laughed.
He sighed, "Fine, but I have to train this horse later,"
"We know," They all added, sitting on the near by log, as their horses took a drink and grazed in the grass. They all sat there, admiring the view through the woods. 10 or so minutes passed of them talking about a new horse, "Wind walker," Who was coming tomorrow.
"Shall we get going?" Mari asked, rising herself from the log. She walked over to Banjo, and tightened the girth and mounted the horse, followed by everyone getting on theirs after tightening their girths. They walked through the woods for a while, before coming out to the 'Drylands' or the 'canyon' as they called it. The dust from the ground that the horses left, floated around as the cantering horses kicked it up from the ground. The stopped at the edge of the canyon, "Wow," Mari sighed, "I didn't know it would be so hot," Mari wiped her eye-brown with her forearm after taking off her hat.
"I know, I'm boiling!" Matt added,"Should we go back? I have to get back for the kids,"
"I think I'll stay," Josh, David, Ian and Anthony explained. They said good bye, and Mari and Matt took the fields home, galloping all the way.
A ranch hand passed by, "The kids are almost here! Can you just rinse Dex off? And Banjo? Please!" Matt asked him, he nodded and took the horses. "We need to get the others ready."
One by one, they got all the horses tacked up and waiting in the ring, while they waited for the kids, and their horses to be done. They got the horses back just as the kids arrived.
They took the kids there and back, and then put the horses in the fields for a while, apart from 2 of them, not Dexta and Banjo, but Dilly and Ty. They took them up the mountain, just as Matt promised. They reached a little stone bit, well, it was actually quite large. Matt got off Ty and walked to the side, "Mari," Matt started, Mari got off of Dilly and walked over to him, "I've been friends with you since...For years! And I have liked you since I met you, so, Mari, will you be my girlfriend?"
"Oh my! Matt! Of course I will!"
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Blue moon ranch - Chapter 2: A new arrival
Ian, Anthony, Matt, Mari, Josh and David ran from the barn, to the car with the horse trailer attached to the back. "Who's this?" Mari asked, looking up at her boyfriend, Matt.
"I don't know," He simply replied, a woman came out, with her son who looked around 8 or 9.
"Is this Blue Moon Ranch?" She asked, "I've got a horse that is in desperate need of training."
"Yeah, it is, can we look at him or her, please?" Anthony asked, walking closer to the woman, she nodded and he walked around the back.
"Be careful! He might bolt!" She warned.
"I'll get Jet out, to chase him if he does," Josh explained, running back into the barn, fetching the black horses bridle and slipping it on his head, and leading him out. He climbed, bareback, on the horse, while Anthony slowly opened the door. A grey dappled Thoroughbred ran from the trailer, and into the green.
"Josh!" Anthony shouted, he grabbed a rope from the side and slipped on behind Josh. They galloped after the horse,not catching up, due to the horses speed. "Josh, just get to the side of it, and I'll jump on,"
"Are you sure? I don't want to get hurt," Josh asked, kicking Jet faster.
"Yeah, just hurry!" Anthony tied the rope into a lasso, with a hole for the horses head to slip in.
Josh caught up, just behind the rump of the grey horse, Anthony swung the rope around, and threw it over his head. Josh just caught up to it the horse, for the right amount of time, so Anthony jumped onto the horse, as Josh slowed down. He pulled on the mane, but the horse ignored. He sighed, pulling it left, turning it. The horse made a turn, and Anthony struggled to stay on.
The horse galloped back to the ranch, and Jumped over a fence, luckily for Anthony, the fence was the one into the pen. The horse kicked as it jumped, causing Anthony to fly into the air and land on the floor. He quick;y stppd i[ and climbed over the fence.
"She's...Pregnant...Too..." She whispered, before leaving.
"Wait!! What?!" Asked Ian, running after the car. Josh followed after on Jet.
He pulled the horse a couple of meters away from he car, giving it chance to slow down. It did, and he got off the horse and walked to the window.
"What do you mean she's pregnant?" He asked, "You could of told us that! And we have to fill out paper work. You gonna come back?"
"Okay, I was just afraid you wouldn't take her," She sighed, he climbed back on Jet and rode back with the car."Wait," She said, "Put the horse in the back and climb in." She told him, stopping the car. He got off, again, and lead him around the back, loading him into the trailer. He got in the passenger seat, her son in the back.
They drove back to the ranch, and Mari's father took care of the paper work. Josh got Jet and took him to his stall. "He's hot, do you think he'll be okay?" He asked, feeling the horse, "He's really sweaty,"
"Just put on his cooling blanket and give him some water," Mari explained, following him, then fetching some water. Josh put the blanket over the horses back, as Mari came in with the water, placing it in the trough. She felt his back.
"We should get the vet, he's not well," She explained, as the horse coughed. She went and told her mum, who called the vet.
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Blue Moon Ranch - Chapter 3: Training
Anthony slipped on his steel- toe boots, grabbed a rope, and walked over to the pen, where the horse was. He sighed, opening the gate. "Stop!" Ian called, running to him. "It's too dangerous! You could die!"
"Ian, I have to do this for the horse, and foal." He shut it behind him, leaving Ian climbing and sitting on it.
"Ian, shush," He carefully walked up to the horse, shushing and telling her it was okay, before he knew it, he was on the floor, two horse shoe prints on his stomach.
"You okay?" Ian asked him, walking up to him and helping him up.
"Yeah, thanks," he thanked him, then dusted himself off. Ian sat back on the fence again.
"Come on then, horse whisperer," Ian laughed, Anthony gave him a weird look then turned his attention back to the horse. He turned back to Ian, throwing him the rope.
"I'm going to chase her around the pen a few times, then you get the rope and put it around her neck," Anthony explained, "It won't hurt her,"
"I know," Ian caught the rope, and then sat back carefully on the fence.
"Come on!" Anthony shouted, clapping his hands, running to the horse, who ran around the left side of the ring. He clapped her around and around.
"No, not yet, I'm trying to get her tired so she'll get tired,"
He chased her around some more, around the ring around 5 or 6 times.
"NOW!" Anthony called, as she came to Ian's seat. He put the rope around her neck, and she turned around, pulling on the rope.
"Anthony! It's going to snap!" Ian called.
"Let go!" He shouted, insuring his friends safety. Ian tied the rope to the fence, while the horse tried to escape.
After a few minutes, the horse finally gave up. Anthony walked closer to her, calming her down. He gently placed her hand on her back, and moved it across up to her neck, then around to her face. She stood there, calmly, while she stood there calmly. "Good girl," He soothed, "You gonna let me lead you?" He told Ian to untie the rope and pass it him, and he did so. He grabbed the rope and loosened it from around her neck. "Come on," He told her, walking her on. Ian opened the gate to let them out, while the beautiful white beast walked with Anthony. The owner came out and looked in awe.
"I..I-" she started saying, before Mari's dad stopped her. He led her into the barn and into the foaling pen. He took off the rope and gave her some water and oats, before putting a blanket over her.
"How many month's pregnant is she?" Mari's dad asked.
"I don't know, like 10 months,3 weeks?" The owner added. "But listen, I can't take care of her, I just can't handle her, could you possibly take her?"
"I suppose we can, but that means more paperwork,"
"I'm fine with that," She smiled, they walked off to sort out the paper work, while the vet checked out Jet.
"She's going to foal next week!" Ian sighed, "Next week!"
"I know," Matt added, walking pass with a saddle, English this time.
"Where are you going with that saddle?" Anthony asked turning around.
"Thumper needs jumping," He explained, Thumper was a ginger horse with a white face and white socks. He walked down and put the saddle and bridle on the side of the door. He opened it and said hello to him, as he lifted his head from the haynet. He gave him a quick bush down and put his bridal on, leading him out of the stall and tying him to the metal ring they had hung outside of the door. He tied him up and grabbed his saddle, placing it on his back.
"Where are you going?" Mari asked, walking up to him.
"Jumping Thumper across the jumping course," Matt explained, Mari handed him his helmet, and he put it on his head. She gave him a quick kiss.
"I'll come watch you," She smiled untying the horse, while Matt did up the girth. He ran his finger through the girth, making sure it was tight enough, but not too tight.
Mari lead him out the barn, and to the arena. She helped Matt onto the horse, he was huge. He walked him on, through the open gate and put him at the start of the jump course.
He got him off into a canter, as Mari sat on the fence. He cleared the first jump, flying over it. "Try to sit back more!" Mari told him. He slowed down the horse.
"I told you, I'm not a jumper, I'm a racer," Matt told her.
"Let me try," She told him, he took off his helmet and handed it to her. She put it on and climbed up on. She jumped over every jump, clearing them perfectly.
"Woah! You're awsome!" Matt exclaimed. He checked his watch. "Hey, do you think you could jump him? I need to get Jack in,"
Mari nodded, taking him around again. Matt got Jack in from the paddock at put racing tack on him. He fetched a helmet and a special coat, and walked to Josh and David. "Can you guys time me please? I'm seeing how fast Jack can go, we're in a race next monday," He explained, holding a stop watch out.
"Sure," David smiled, taking it. Josh and David waited, while Matt got Jack, they waited at the little course they had, and Matt got on, with help from Josh.
"Ready?" Josh asked, Matt gave him thumbs up, "3...2...1...Go!!" He shouted, David pressed the start button and Matt and Jack took off across the track, almost defying the laws of speed.
"Oh my Gosh!" David laughed, gob-smacked at the speed of him, even Matt and Josh were impressed.
Matt stopped him at the post, the horse catching his breathe. "I had no idea he could run like that!" He laughed, dismounting him.
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