April Story Contest

That stays, Horses
By: shineingstar123
Age: 12

In. out. In. out. I tried to remember how to breathe. This wasn’t happening, not to me! I felt my eyes start to brim with tears. I heard myself whisper “no!” Not him, not Gobi, not the horse who I looked at and even on my worst day could make me smile. This stuff happened in books, not to me. The handsome bay gelding nickered.
I stumbled to him, my vision blurred by the tears. “Oh, Oh Gobi!” his dark brown eyes searched my face, trying to read me, trying to translate my tears and cries into the language we had been learning for three years.
As I came to my senses, I undid the tack from his back. The ambulance had taken away the sixth rider just moments ago.
“Why do they want to ride you, why cant they see that you are scarred and scared” my brain pondered the final warning Ben had given us. “That horse is dangerous, the next rider he throws, and he goes!”
That had been last week, when Gobi tossed an instructor, putting her arm in a sling and plenty of bruises and scratches on her face. Now only 9 days later, Ben’s wife had just fallen when Gobi slid to a stop before a cross-rail, changed his mind and jumped it when she was on the other side.
As I led the now calm gelding to his isolation stall I continued sobbing, when Gobi gently nudged my arm with his muzzle I wept. This was all going too fast. That left only one question, would Ben live up to his word and send Gobi to and animal shelter for “troubled” horses? He couldn’t! He just couldn’t! I would not let them take Gobi!
As I closed Gobi’s stall door, I started running. I knew the turns and aisles of the stables by heart. And I knew where I was going. Up the main aisle, right, down six stalls, I flung open the door and Buzz, an old school pony looked up.
The fuzzy pinto bent his head down and continued munching on hay. I’m not sure why, but Buzz always calmed me down. A smile almost made it to my mouth, remembering being four and climbing on to him for the first time. Then before I could shut my brain down I remembered climbing on Gobi the first time. Of course, like a real life and not the books where the girl climbs on the majestic horse and they click, he bucked me off promptly into the West Virginia mud. More tears escaped.
An hour later, I emerged from Buzz’s stall and walked to lady’s stall only a couple stalls down. “I guess I owe you an explanation,” I told the Morgan mare. “ I didn’t ride you because Gobi got in more trouble and I was, well sad” I finished lamely. Lady just yawned, she had heard this apology 5 times already, and was probably bored with it.
The next day I was cleaning Lady’s bridle when Ben walked up to me. Oh-no. I thought. This was it. He was going to tell me if Gobi was going. Sure enough he said, “Eva, when you finish, come to my office.”
I weakly replied, “Sure Ben.”
I emerged from Ben’s office just minutes later. It was much worse than I expected. Gobi was being sold at and action. For dog food. Not even Buzz was going to make me feel better. My Gobi, the horse of my dreams was going to die. In less than a week
When I returned home, I slammed my door shut, saying I had homework and not to bother me. I lay on my bed sobbing. This wasn’t a feeling from books; they never describe the loss of a horse, before he leaves. My face was red and blotchy, my eyes were swollen, my face was wet, and my insides were being torn out.
I lay curled up in a ball, crying, sobbing, no weeping so hard I was coughing. Every time I tried to say his name a cough, a deep hacking cough that shook my bed emerged. When I finally opened my eyes enough to see, a looked at a model horse that I kept on my window, of Gobi.
He was too much of my life. Ben couldn’t take him away. My sadness turned into anger, how dare he take my horse; oh I know Gobi isn’t mine. But Gobi doesn’t! It wasn’t fair! People didn’t do that. In the books people always have a happy ending! Where was mine, where was my stallion on the ridge, responding only to me?
This was pathetic, what was I going to do with myself. What am I supposed to do when the best part of life was being taken while I had to watch from the sidelines! I silently cried myself to sleep.
Eight days later, I was in a slightly better condition so was Gobi. He had been auctioned off to a farm for horses that needed help, thankfully only an hour drive away. I could still see him. I was cleaning out his stall when a gruff “Excuse me” broke my train of thought. A tall guy with an excited palomino filly was at the stall door.
“This is my horses new stall, I can finish cleaning it myself” said the same guy. He was tall and fit with brown hair and green eyes, he looked like a rider. “Oh, sure, no problem” I said.
I looked more closely at his horse. She was about Gobi’s height, 15 hands. A Palomino filly that looked like she had more energy than brains. “Nice horse”, I commented.
“Thanks” he replied, “her name is Mimi.”
I left after hearing her name.
A few hours later I walked in to the indoor ring, leading Lady for my lesson with Ben. After I had mounted up and walked a couple laps to warm up Lady the new guy led Mimi into the ring. “Weird” I thought. “I wonder what they are riding in my lesson for?”