"Hey Julia!" Taylor Ashton grinned and walked into the barn office a skip in her stride. She hadn't been to the barn in a whole month. She was on vacation for 3 weeks then she had the flu for a few days.
"Oh hey, Taylor!" Julia, Taylor's riding instructor and barn manager looked up from the whiteboard with riding lessons written down.
"Do you think you could work me in for a lesson today on Prince?" Taylor asked thinking of her favorite horse in the entire world, Prince Caspian, a black hanoverian gelding with no markings and deep brown eyes.
"Actually, I'm booked all day but you can take him out for a trail ride. He isn't being used today so he could use the exercise."
Taylor grinned. "Thanks so much!"
She hurried out of the office with a parting wave and hurried down the aisle to Prince's stall.
"Hey, sweet boy!" Taylor exclaimed as the 16 hand gelding stuck his head over the stall door. "I've missed you so much!"
She kissed his muzzle and entered the stall.
"Ready for a ride?" Taylor asked Prince as she fastened his cavesson. She pushed the stall door open and led him down the barn aisle.
Once she was outside, she tightened her girth, adjusted her stirrups and mounted up.
"Lets go!" She exclaimed and nudged him into a working walk. "I feel like I haven't ridden in months!" She thought to herself as she asked him for a trot and began rising with every other beat.
Taylor loved riding at Silver Creek Stables. It was a beautiful facility with two large barns, rows of paddocks and pastures, a large dressage arena and a jumping ring. There were lots of trails and even a cross country course. She smiled and guided Prince down a trail shaded with tall oak and a few scattered apple trees.
Her favorite place in the whole estate was Silver creek. It was a wide bubbly creek of fresh, clear water shaded by oak trees with two apple trees and a couple blueberry bushes. There was a rope swing for diving into the large creek with a grassy bank perfect for picnics.
Taylor grinned and leaned forward. "You ready to have some fun boy?" She whispered before straightening herself and pushing him into a beautiful canter. "I wish you were mine Prince," she said.
Arriving at the creek, she halted and slid off of Prince's back.
"Lets take a break," she said pulling two apples from the nearby tree. She held one out for Prince and ate the other herself.
Suddenly, her cellphone rang. It was Julia her riding instructor. She answered it.
"Taylor? Bring Prince back to the barn as soon as you can please."
"What? Why? I thought you said I could take him for a trail ride!"
"I know I did. There is someone important who has just arrived."
"Okay. I'm on the way."
"That was weird," she thought as she mounted back up. "I wonder who could be so important that Prince needs to be there."
As Taylor dismounted and ran up her stirrups, she noticed a woman talking to Julia. Two girls, one older and one younger, stood behind their mother.
Taylor led Prince over to the group. The second the girls saw Prince they grinned and patted his neck.
"Hey, Prince Caspian"! The younger girl cried out and instantly threw her arms around his neck.
Taylor turned a puzzled look at Julia.
"Why don't we go inside and talk about this?" She suggested looking at Taylor. She smiled but the look on her face read, please understand.
"I have to untack Prince," Taylor said as soon as they entered the barn.
"No need for that"! The older spoke this time. She sneered at Taylor and jerked the reins from her hand. "I will be taking a lesson on him."
"What? I thought he wasn't being used today!" Taylor exclaimed.
Julia looked at her strangely. "Taylor, this is the family who I bought Prince from. They are interested in buying him back."
Taylor felt as if her heart was going to stop. Not now, not here and most importantly not Prince.