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Clip Clop Magazine story contest Enter stories here - get paid if they are run in Clip Clop Magazine. Stories should be suitable for all ages and have a horse, pony, donkey or other animal in it.

Twister & Tristan - The Sea Unicorn


Tristan hit the wild water as another bolt of lightning slashed across the dark sky. One moment he had been helping his dad save some hapless fishermen whose boat had suffered damage. The next, he’d lost his footing and hurtled overboard.

“Help!” Tristan yelled moments before a savage wave smacked him in the face. He coughed as the salt water raced down his throat. “Help!”

He knew it was pointless. There was no way his dad could hear him over the din of the storm. And even though Tristan was a strong swimmer, he couldn’t possibly fight this current. Not to mention that he’d lost sight of the boat in the blinding rain!

Another monstrous wave slammed down on his head, pulling him under. He fought to the surface only to be shoved under again. His lungs sobbed for air. Dizzy darkness swirled in his head as he sank deeper, and his legs and arms flailed uselessly. This was it. He was a goner for sure.

Suddenly, he bumped up against something that halted his descent. Smooth scales brushed against his skin. Something soft and wispy like seagrass swirled about his fingers. Whether by willpower or instinct, Tristan grabbed hold of it and held on tight. Now he was moving through the water, not downward, but up, up, up towards the surface and life-giving air. Blood pounded in his head as he began to lose consciousness. Moments before he slipped into darkness, a flash of lightning illuminated the water, silhouetting his rescuer. Was that— no, it couldn’t be! His last thought before he closed his eyes was: Is that a horse?

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

“Ow, my head.” Tristan rubbed his forehead as he tried to wake himself up. At least he wasn’t dead. What had happened?

He became aware of playful little waves splashing his toes. When he opened his eyes, he was laying on a rock in a sea cave. An underwater entrance let in the light of day, which made the water and the cave shine in a brilliant blue. The cave was huge, almost like a cathedral, and a few holes in the roof allowed shafts of sunlight to stream through.

Tristan tried to remember how he’d ended up here but came up with nothing. Slowly he sat up and studied the holes. “Too small to climb out of,” he sighed. “I wonder if I could swim out through that underwater entrance. No, dad says it’s a bad idea to go swimming through holes, especially ones you’re not familiar with. Besides, I don’t have any underwater gear.”

Tristan’s dad had lived in the Florida Keys his whole life and was an expert on water safety. Tristan trusted his dad’s judgement, and he’d always regretted it when he didn’t.

“There has to be another way out,” Tristan said, his voice bouncing off the sea cave walls. Head still aching, he got up to inspect the cave walls for an exit. Suddenly, the cave darkened, announcing the arrival of a large creature. Tristan immediately thought of a shark and backed away from the water’s edge. The blue lighting changed as the creature swam in a circle, another circle, and then a figure eight. Then it rocketed towards the surface and leaped out of the water like a dolphin!

Tristan’s jaw dropped. He tried to say something, but no words came. He rubbed his eyes. “I must be seeing things.”

The creature surfaced again and swam up to the rock where Tristan was watching. Tristan stared at the strange beast before him. The front half of the animal resembled a horse; not a seahorse, but a horse horse. A wispy mane that looked much like seagrass laid neatly over its noble neck, and a powerful tail like a dolphin’s coiled beneath the water. Most interesting of all was a single horn protruding from the animal’s head that looked like it was made of pure glass. An amazingly human-like smile was fixed on its face. Tristan gasped.

It’s a hippocampus! He thought, remembering his lessons on Greek mythology. Or a unicorn. Or both. Or maybe I swallowed too much seawater.

To add to his amazement, the hippocampus laughed. “Great, you’re awake.”

“You can talk?“ This day just kept getting weirder.

“Yep! I’m fluent in human, whale, shark, turtle, and multiple dialects of seabird.” Out of the water came a webbed foot that looked a lot like an otter’s. It held a coconut, which hippocampus whacked on his horn, cracking the tough shell. He pulled the fruit open and offered it to Tristan. “I thought you might be hungry. And thirsty.”

Tristan accepted the offering and almost forgot to say “thank you.” He drank the refreshing coconut water as a million questions popped into his head. How could it talk? Where did he come from? Were there others? How come he’d never seen this guy before?

“So…” Tristan said after he’d finished his food. “You were the one who rescued me?”

The hippocampus did a backflip in midair and landed with a splash. “Right-o!” he said. “You’re lucky I was around. That was one crazy storm.”

“Yeah, it was. Thanks for saving me, mister…”

The hippocampus extended one webbed foot to Tristan. “Twister. Call me Twister.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Tristan said, shaking the scaly foot. “I’m Tristan. Is umm, this your cave?”

“Yes it is. Do you like it?”

“It’s very beautiful.” Tristan said. Then he thought of his dad. “Twister, it was very nice to meet you, and thank you for saving me. But I need to get back to my dad. He’ll be worried about me.”

Twister looked a bit disappointed. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Come on, I can take you home.”

“How do we get out of here?” Tristan asked.

“We’ll swim through that tunnel.” Twister pointed to the underwater entrance.

“I don’t know,” Tristan said hesitantly. “My dad says it’s not smart to swim through tunnels and holes underwater, especially without the proper gear. I could get stuck, run out of air, or disturb whatever’s living there.”

“Hmm.” Twister thought. “I guess that’s wise for someone who can’t breathe underwater. Tell you what: you can hold on to my mane and I’ll swim out with you. And if it makes you feel better, you can wear this.” Twister tossed a worn but perfectly usable diving mask up to Tristan.

“Hey! I recognize this mask!” Tristan exclaimed. “I lost it last month and was really upset. How did you find it?”

“You’d be surprised at all the cool stuff I find,” Twister grinned. “Now come on. We’ll be out of here before you can say ‘jellyfish.’”

Tristan fitted the mask onto his face, slid into the water, and grasped Twister’s mane. “I’m ready,” he said before sucking in a breath.

“Okay! Hang on!” Twister dove underwater, using his powerful tail to propel them through the water. Tristan watched the tunnel walls as they zoomed past, and before he knew it, Twister had surfaced again outside the cave. Tristan let go of the mane as soon as he came up. Now he could see the hippocampus’s true colors. Back in the cave, he’d looked blue, just blue. So had everything else for that matter. In full sunlight, scales as blue as the Caribbean itself covered his back and tail. His belly was the color of sand, and his mane was a pale shade of seafoam green. Tiny veins of coral pink and orange swirled along his legs, tail, and the decorative fins close to his ears. His glassy horn gleamed in the sunlight, and Tristan spotted a few little rainbows glittering within. The hippocampus was very beautiful.

“Okay, Tristan,” Twister resumed, interrupting Tristan’s thoughts of admiration. “What island do you live on?”

“I live on Key West,” Tristan replied. As he treaded water, he took a look at his surroundings. The cave entrance had deposited them into a calm lagoon, protected from the waves by a wall of rocks. To his right was a lovely beach, and he could see the tall coconut palms swaying in the wind. “What island is this? I don’t remember ever coming here.”

“It doesn’t get a lot of visitors,” Twister said. “It’s very remote, and it’s too rocky for ships to come here. The only way in is to swim, which works just fine for me.” He jerked his head in the direction of Key West. “It’s too far for you to swim to your island. I’ll have to carry you on my back.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure, I’m sure.”

Twister lowered his back so Tristan could get on. Tristan hadn’t ridden a horse since he’d went to a friend’s fifth birthday party. That was almost eight years ago, and he hardly thought it counted. Besides, that horse had worn a saddle, and Twister’s smooth back was slippery.

“Ready?” Twister asked, peeking over his shoulder at his passenger.

“I think so,” Tristan said, grasping the hippocampus’s mane. But as soon as Twister accelerated, he slipped and fell back into the water with an undignified splatter.

“Oops!” Twister laughed, circling back. “Too fast for you?”

“Maybe,” Tristan said as he swam to meet the hippocampus. “I’ve never ridden a hippocampus. Any suggestions?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never rode a hippocampus either. But I’ll go slower next time.”

On the second try, Tristan managed to stay on. Twister swam at a leisurely pace, always keeping the upper half of his body out of the water so Tristan could breathe. Together they swam out of the lagoon, under a rock arch, and into the open water. Several rocks jutted above the waves like giant knives. Now Tristan knew why he hadn’t visited this island before; his dad would never sail or swim through waters as treacherous as these. He was thankful for Twister, who was stronger than a swimmer and more agile than a boat.

The hot summer sun beat down on the two travelers, but they didn’t mind. The wind and the fine ocean spray made as Twister’s chest plowed through the waves kept them both cool. No other living souls were in sight. Tristan was just beginning to enjoy himself when he spotted a small dark shape moving quickly to intercept them.

“What’s that?” Tristan asked, pointing towards it.

Twister squinted, then ducked his head underwater for a better view. “Looks like my friend Sunny,” he said as his head resurfaced. Moments later, the black-and-white face of a seabird poked out of the waves. It squawked obnoxiously at Twister but paused when it spotted Tristan. It narrowed its eyes, pointed a flipper at him, and honked suspiciously. Twister responded with something reassuring.

Tristan was too astonished to be offended. He recognized this bird as a Galápagos penguin, which only lived off the west coast of South America. What’s a penguin doing in the Caribbean? he wondered. He wanted to ask Twister, but Twister was too focused on the noisy bird’s frantic braying.

The penguin crowed out once more before plunging underwater and zooming back in the direction it had come from. Tristan felt Twister tense.

“What’s up, Twister?”

“It’s one of my friends.” Even Twister’s voice sounded distressed. “He got beached, and the tide is going out. Sunny needs my help to save him. I have to hurry.”

“Go,” Tristan said, beginning to slide off the hippocampus’s blue back. “I’ll only slow you down.”

“Wait,” Twister protested. “It’s not safe for you to be alone out here. Plus, I might need your help. Hang on as tight as you can; this is gonna get rough.”

Now Twister stretched until his body was straight like a spear. He shot through the sea, splashing up even more salty mist. Tristan immediately slid backward until he was dragged along like a water skier. Only his vice like grip on the green mane kept him from being left behind.

I can’t fall off, Tristan thought fiercely. Someone’s in trouble, and I can’t slow Twister down any more than I already have!

Using his arm strength, Tristan pulled himself against the current made by Twister’s speed until he found the hippocampus’s back. Planting his seat firmly, he gripped Twister’s sides with his legs. When he was finally stable, Tristan realized how fast he was going. The wind roared around his ears, and rainbows glittered whenever the sunlight filtered through a net of sea spray. It was almost like flying through the waves; Tristan tried to whoop, but the joyful shout was drowned out by the wind and a mouthful of ocean. He leaned on Twister’s neck and willed himself to hold on.

A few minutes later, the exciting ride was over. With the penguin still in front, they approached an island with a long strip of beach. Tristan had been here before; this island was notorious for its sandbars, strips of sand or soil that were taller than the surrounding sea floor. Because their tops were usually hidden below the surface, ships could run aground on them. They could also trap sea creatures when the tide went out.

Tristan scanned the beach for someone in distress. “There,” he said, pointing to a dark spot on the beach. “By that fallen palm tree. Looks like a dolphin.”

“I see him. I hope we’re not too late.” Twister sounded worried.

Tristan patted his blue neck. “We’ll help him, Twister. Don’t you worry.”

The penguin, Sunny, zoomed ahead into the shallows and waded out onto the beach. The dolphin was about three feet away from the water’s edge, so she had to waddle to get to it. She looked back at Twister and honked.

Twister jerked to a halt, and Tristan pitched forward into the waves. The hippocamp ground his teeth. “Sunny says that Flash was still in the water when she left him. The tide’s going out, and fast.”

“Then we’ll have to be faster.” Tristan’s feet hit the compact sandy bottom. The water only came up to his bellybutton.

“I don’t know what to do,” Twister groaned, his tail thrashing.

“I do,” Tristan said. “I’ve helped my dad rescue beached dolphins many times.” Carefully, he made his way to the shore where the dolphin was stranded. Tristan gave the animal a wide berth, knowing that startled animals were prone to flop. A tail as powerful as a dolphin’s could cause serious injury. As he sized up the animal, his confidence dissolved.

The problem is going to be dragging him back into the water where he can swim, Tristan mused. I could move a seven-hundred-pound animal when Dad was with me, but not on my own.

The rough breeze roaring past his ears reminded him of the most present danger the dolphin faced. “We need to keep him wet,” he said aloud. He removed his mask and held it out to Sunny. “Can you use this to pour water on him?”

The penguin only stared suspiciously at him, giving no indication that she’d understood. Fortunately, Twister was there to translate. She took the mask and gave Tristan one more wary glance before racing to fill it with water. Tristan also peeled off his soaked shirt and laid it on the dolphin’s back, being careful to avoid the blowhole that the creature used to breathe. The stranded porpoise remained motionless.

That ought to buy us some time, he thought as he waved to Twister. The hippocampus paced about in the water some ten yards away. “Can you get over here?” Tristan called over the noisy wind.

Twister shook his head grimly. “I can’t come any closer without risking getting beached myself. I wouldn’t last half as long as Flash out of the water, and I can’t help him if I’m stuck too.”

“Right,” Tristan said, his heart sinking. He needed Twister’s strength to move this dolphin, but Twister couldn’t reach them. Sunny tottered past and splashed the dolphin with a maskload of water. Tristan glanced at the tide, which was rapidly going down.

We’re running out of time. Think, Tristan, think! What would Dad do?

An idea sprung into his head. “Rope!” He bounced on his heels and waved to get Twister’s attention. “Can you find something to use as rope?”

Twister splashed. “Of course! There’s some kelp not too far from here we can use. It’s long, tough, and flexible.” He whirled around and swam off, his tail making a huge wave as he departed.

While Sunny continued to ferry water to the dolphin, Tristan looked around for something they could use as a sled. He didn’t like the idea of tying anything to the dolphin, because he could get tangled up in it later. After several minutes of searching, he discovered a sandy but perfectly useable tarp that had been snagged in a cluster of bushes.

“For once, I’m glad to find trash on the beach.” He gathered it up and raced back to where the bottlenose dolphin continued to battle for his life.

The tide had receded another six inches by the time Tristan had laid the tarp next to the dolphin. “Don’t worry, boy. We can beat this. Just hang on.” The dolphin clicked weakly, and Tristan realized his words were more for himself than for the mammal. With a great deal of digging and some heaving, he managed to get the tarp under the dolphin. At that moment, Twister arrived.

“Here!” he called through a jaw full of kelp stalk. Sunny dropped Tristan’s mask in the sand and swam out to meet the hippocampus. She took the kelp from him and hauled it back to shore. Tristan grabbed the kelp and knotted it up in one end of the tarp.

“Done!” he shouted, springing to his feet. “Let’s see if this works.”

Twister grabbed the other end of the huge kelp and pulled. From the beach, Tristan assisted him in hauling the porpoise back to his ocean home. Even Sunny helped. The tarp and the dolphin slid towards the water.

“It’s working!” Tristan grunted, putting all his effort into pulling.

Once they got the tarp moving, it was easier to keep it moving. A few more agonizing moments and the dolphin slid into the rolling waves. The cool touch of the sea rejuvenated him almost instantly. He clicked happily as he splashed through the surf.

“It worked!” Tristan exclaimed.

“We’re not done yet, Tristan,” Twister said. He pointed to a strip of ocean not too far from them that looked out of place. It was the top of one of the sandbars sticking out of the water. And the tide was still going out!

Oh no! Tristan thought. Did we rescue the dolphin only for him and Twister to get trapped by that sandbar?

The dolphin hit the water with his tail, sending a shower of droplets into the air. He clicked, and Twister’s features hardened into a look of determination.

“We’ll have to jump,” he stated.

Tristan stared at the waves. A sea creature needed enough depth to pick up speed for a jump. “Is the water deep enough for that?”

“Guess we’ll find out,” Twister said with a wink at his dolphin buddy. Together, the two swam out towards the open ocean. Halfway to the protruding sandbank, they performed a slight hop over a sandbar that was underwater, but not deep enough to allow them to pass over it. They picked up speed and made a second hop, higher this time. Tristan held his breath as they approached the last obstacle.

Twister and the dolphin went under. The moment stretched. Then suddenly they shot out of the water, glittering in the sunlight as they sailed between sea and sky. A mighty splash announced that they had escaped the dangers of the shallows. They were home free!

Tristan threw up his hands and whooped, dancing a jig in the water nearest the shore. Beside him, Sunny uttered a noisy but equally jubilant sound. The jump had not been tremendously high or spectacular, but the sight of two magnificent creatures leaping to safety thrilled them. Tristan scooped up his mask and ran through the waves.

“You did it!” Tristan said as he swam out to meet Twister in the deeper water.

“WE did it,” Twister corrected. “You, me, and Sunny. Teamwork makes the dream work!”

“High five!” Tristan exclaimed, holding his hand up.

Twister cocked his head. “High five?”

“Oh, it’s…” Tristan wondered how to explain what a high five was. “It’s like clapping, except you use the other person’s hand instead of your own.”

Twister’s face wrinkled, then straightened as he figured it out. “Alright! High five it is!” He slapped his webbed foot against Tristan’s hand. It sounded more like a pile of wet clothes falling on the floor than the usual crisp snap, but the enthusiasm behind the high five was what counted.

The dolphin looked sideways at Tristan and clicked.

“Let me guess,” Tristan smiled. “That’s dolphin for ‘thank you.’”

“Right-o,” Twister said. “Flash is quite happy to be back where he belongs. And speaking of where you belong, we ought to get you back to your dad, Tristan.”

“Oh, that’s right. I’d almost forgotten. Dad will be so worried.”

“Hop on,” Twister said, bringing his back to the surface.

Tristan started to mount his friend, then stopped. “I should go get that tarp we used. I can take it back to port and make sure it’s properly disposed of.”

“Maybe you should keep it for a future emergency,” Twister laughed. He gave Tristan a friendly shove. “But hurry back. The tide is still going out, and if we wait too long, we might end up stuck again!”

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Twister and Tristan swam towards Key West at a slower pace than before. Tristan practiced holding on to Twister’s sides with his legs and keeping his balance. It would take time, but he imagined he could soon become quite an accomplished hippocampus rider.

As they traveled, they talked about all sorts of things. Tristan shared his story, about how his dad was in the Coast Guard and all the unique adventures that came with it. Mostly, Tristan wanted to know about Twister.

“How are you able to talk?” Tristan asked. “I still can’t get over that.”

“Everything has its own language,” Twister said. “The trick is to learn it. Lots of animals understand human, but don’t ever attempt to speak it. I wanted to learn how to speak it.”


“To learn more about them. To reason with them, perhaps.”

“But how did you learn?”

Twister paused as he considered the question. “Same way you learn any language, I suppose,” he said. “I hung out around your harbors and listened. I read the words scribbled on some of your trash. Never really got to test my proficiency, though. Until I met you.”

Just that the hippocampus knew the word “proficiency” made Tristan think that Twister had a good grasp on the human language. He smiled at the amazing intelligence of his new friend. Then he frowned.

“If you’ve been hanging out in the harbor all this time, how come I’ve never seen you?”

Twister chuckled halfheartedly. “You’d be amazed at what you humans can miss.” He fell into a heavy silence. Tristan waited, knowing there was more. His patience was soon rewarded.

“Actually, Tristan, I try to keep to myself. I do want to reason with humans, but they’re capable of things that bother me.” Tristan felt him shudder.

Soon they approached Tank Island, which was not too far away from Tristan’s home on Key West. Tristan decided not to pry further into what “things” humans could do that scared Twister so badly. But he didn’t understand one thing.

“Twister, I have one more question.”

Twister’s ear turned to him, but the hippocampus said nothing.

“If you’re trying to stay away from humans, why did you help me?”

Twister grunted. “You were in trouble, Tristan,” he said matter-of-factly. “And I was able to help you. It would be selfish of me if I’d let you drown just so I could keep my existence a secret.”

“Sure, but you didn’t have to take me to your island.”

Twister stiffened, as though Tristan had backed him into a corner. Then he sighed and relaxed.

“All right, Tristan, you got me. There WAS another reason.” He stopped swimming and turned so he could look the boy straight in the eye. “We animals have a sort of sixth sense that tells us what a person is like even before we meet them. I think you humans call it a ‘gut feeling.’ When you fell off your boat, well…” A huge smile lit up his entire horsey face. “I had a good feeling about you. Today proved I was right. You might be the human I’ve been waiting for.”

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Twister did not take his passenger to Key West Harbor. He dropped Tristan off on Tank Island and left with the boy’s solemn promise to keep his secret safe. For his part, Twister agreed to meet his new friend again, and soon.

“We can meet out here where fewer people are around to watch,” Twister said.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Twister? We don’t want you to get discovered.”

“Sure, I’m sure!” Twister performed a dazzling backflip. “You didn’t think I was just going to throw away my only chance to practice my human, did you?”

Tristan laughed and tucked the tarp he’d retrieved under his arm. He waved goodbye as the hippocamp’s mighty tail disappeared beneath the waves with a multicolored flash. He was already looking forward to meeting Twister again.

I don’t know what he meant by saying that I’m the human he was waiting for, Tristan said to himself. I guess I’ll ask him next time.

But that would have to wait. He needed to get home. He was sore, tired, hungry, thirsty… that coconut Twister had brought was a distant memory.

He hitched a ride back with Mr. Porter, a local fisherman that was a good friend of his father’s. The short, burly man was thrilled to see Tristan.

“Land’s sakes, m’boy!” he exclaimed, clapping Tristan on the back. “Your da’s got half the island lookin’ for ye! We thought ye’d been drowned!”

“Lucky for me, I wasn’t,” Tristan smiled.

Fortunately, Mr. Porter was too relieved to see Tristan alive to be interested in how he’d survived his watery ordeal. He did ask about the tarp, though, and offered to take care of it for Tristan.

“I’m always in need of a good tarp,” Mr. Porter said in his husky voice. “This one’s still in acceptable condition. I’d be happy to take it off yer hands, if yer willin’.”

Once at the Key West Harbor, Tristan thanked Mr. Porter and ran all the way home. His dad was out - probably still searching for him - so he called him on the radio that they kept in the house in case they needed to reach each other. Radio worked more reliably at sea than cell phones.

“Tristan!” His Dad’s garbled voice was still full of emotion. “I thought… I thought you were…”

“It’s okay, Dad. I’m fine. I’m home. Mr. Porter found me and brought me back.”

Relief flooded over his Dad. “You ‘re not hurt, then?”

“No, sir. Just a little sore is all.”

“Oh, I’m so relieved. You just take it easy, son. Get some food, water, and rest. You can even skip your chores tomorrow. I’ll be back in about thirty minutes.”

Tristan grinned gratefully. Who didn’t love skipping their chores for a day? “Thanks, Dad. You’re the best. I’ll see you soon.”

He switched off the radio and went to the kitchen. He poured himself a glass of water to drink slowly, and grabbed an orange to help replenish his electrolytes. This would help rehydrate his body and prevent him from getting sick. He went out on the porch and sat down, watching the ocean as he ate and drank. The whitecaps waved at him from the sea before tumbling into the deep blue. Boats rocked about in the surf, coming and going as they went about their business. The dark form of a dolphin shot out of the water, did a flip, and landed with a mighty splash. Tristan chewed thoughtfully on his orange and grinned. A dolphin, or Twister, the incredible unicorn of the sea?

Horse Gentler & West Australian
2023-02-01 18:08:54
the February issue is out now.


Look for an email from PayPal with your payment. If you do not see one in the next day, please email customercare@clubponypals.com and let us know

msjane & AE
2023-02-01 23:19:54
Show day
Dusty got up at 2:30 A.M. and drove to the barn. When she got there she said hi to her big 16.2 hh horse tucker. The big black appendix gelding looked down at her with his half-white face. He was only 8 years old but dusty thought he wanted to be 3 again. She reluctantly left her horses stall and got Welshy out of his. Of course he had rolled and got shavings under his blanket! She brushed him off and put on his travel gear, her best friend would be there any minute to pull the trailer. She walked out of the barn and just as she did sage arrived wearing a big wide brim cowboy hat and a huge buckle. She laughed at him for dressing like that to go to an English schooling show. He just laughed right back. She loaded Welshy into her almost new trailer with a few difficulties. Then they started the 3 hour drive to the horse show. They listened to country music and sang along to it. She laughed at how sage sounded just like the singer. He just tipped his big hat and winked which made her laugh even more.

When they arrived at the horse show grounds it was a mad rush registering and tacking up. They finished and sage tried to give dusty a leg up, but when he did dusty flew over Welshy back and in a heap on the ground. Sage asked if she was fine then they both burst out laughing. She would have used a mounting block but Welshy would never tolerate that. They retried the leg up and got her in the saddle. The warm up was horrible. Welshy bucked 3 times and tried to bolt about 4 times. She already knew how this show was going to go…

Dusty entered the ring she should have been riding a horse she owned in, but instead shows riding a lesson pony. Walking was pony-like and trotting was bouncy, and when she asked for canter Welshy bucked her off and tried to trample the judges! When she walked out of the arena after chasing a pony in front of a ton of people, sage met her at the gate looking terrified. She told him she was fine and he said she should go get a drink and he would cool Welshy out. She thanked him and grabbed a Gatorade from the concession stand. When she finished cooling off sage walked up with Welshy. She untacked him and put on his travel gear. With a ton of difficulties they loaded him in the trailer. They drove back to the barn and put Welshy in his stall. Dusty thanked sage for the ride and went home and tried to sleep but kept having nightmares about the previous events earlier in the day.

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-02-28 16:50:32
Dynamite Explosions

“Papa, papa! Come quick!” yelled 11 year old Sasha Rhodes.
“What is it? Is the barn on fire?” teased her father.
“No something is wrong with the mare that foaled last night.” Said Sasha in a worried tone
“Let me go get my boots.” said her father, who was already on his way to his room

As they neared the barn Sasha was stricken by fear, what if the mare died and the foal starved, what if she didn’t except the foal, what if……. No her father needed her help. But they soon found the big warm blood mare lying peacefully in her stall.
“Whew that’s a relief” sighed Sasha
“Sasha, she’s gone” said her father gently as he pulled her to him.
Sasha was heartbroken she had liked the mare. But she was more upset about the foal. He was going to be her father’s horse. He was going to train him as a show jumper and show everyone that there little private stable had top quality horses. But know…..
“I guess you’ll have to bottle feed him” her father said breaking her train of thought
“I guess so” she replied.
She hadn’t even thought about that. She had been sure that the foal wouldn’t make it. She numbly went to the tack room grabbed a bottle, walked to the house, and got some fresh goats milk. When she returned, the big mare was gone. A little sob caught her throat, but she forced herself to be strong for the foal, and her father. Immediately she set to work feeding the foal.
“He sure is a hungry little thing” she commented
“He sure is. Oh and sash would you like me to hire someone to care for him, sell him, or I could have your teacher send you paces?” he said referring to the foal
“I suppose since I asked for him since I was nine I should care for him.”
“Ok ill tell your grandma.”
It was settled. Sasha Rhodes was going to do her schoolwork at home for a few months while her little foal grew up. She could hardly wait!

Sasha was feeding her little currently black colt that she had grown to love. He was obviously going to be taller than his dam or sire. Her papa had told her, and ANYTHING he said, Sasha believed. Suddenly her train of thought was broken by the sound of sirens. Her thoughts immediately went to her grandmother! She rushed out of the stall but stopped to carefully latch it. Then she ran to the house as fast as she could. What if she lost her grandmother? Then her papa would be all she had left. But when she arrived at the door her petite grandma stood on the porch with tears running down her face. Sasha turned white. She saw the paramedics loading a big form onto a white board and putting it in their big truck. She saw her father lying on that board.
“No!” she suddenly screamed and ran to the small cozy horse barn
She hid with dynamo in his stall, crying into his fuzzy coat. He chewed on her hair. She smiled slightly; her father had said… a fresh burst of tears came. Soon she heard her grandma coming. She knew it was her because of the soft quite steps and the swishing of skirts.
“Sasha?” she heard a gentle voice say
“Yes grandma.” Sasha said slowly rising to her feet and sub consciously brushing herself off
“Sasha, your father didn’t make it to the hospital.” Her sweet grandmother said, trying to hold back her tears.
“No!” Sasha said in a whisper
Moving On
“Grandma, promise you won’t get rid of anything horsey of papas ever?”
“I promise.” And Sasha had known she wouldn’t because when her grandma said something she meant it.
It had been six months since her father past away. Sasha was back in her private school. And Dynamo was nearly a year and a half old. Sasha was planning on entering him in some halter classes in the summer when school was out.
Sasha was still thinking about her colt when the teacher asked her to solve 6x3.
She quickly responded “18”
“very good, I do believe we are out of time now so I suppose you can all go in an orderly fashion to gather your things and prepare to leave.”
Sasha did as the teacher said. Then while waiting for her late grandma, she noticed a girl who was wearing a horse shirt.
“Hi. Do you like horses?” the new girl said, walking up to Sasha.
“Yes, I love them. I have two warm bloods. I’m Sasha Rhodes by the way.”
“I’m Courtney. I have a thoroughbred.” The girl responded, smiling. Then added” you should come over and we could ride. I only have show jumping stuff so I hope that’s what you do!”
“It is!” said Sasha excitedly “my mare is 18 years old and my other horse is almost a year and a half. So I don’t jump to big. Yet…”
“I see.” Said Courtney thoughtfully. “Well my papas her so I got to go!”
“By” said Sasha knowing that this would be a friendship that lasted for a long time.
More Loss
Dynamo was now three years old and Sasha was fourteen. Dynamo already had wall full of ribbons and he had never even been backed! Sasha and Courtney turned out to be good friends. They rode together twice a week alternating between arenas. Sasha loved riding her friend chestnut mare; she loved the feel of the big horse clearing a 3 foot fence beneath her. Dynamo was already sixteen hands high and still growing. The vet said he would probably turn out to be about eighteen hands high. Sasha wondered how she would ever mount him. But she would manage. If her papa couldn’t ride him then she would have to. The big colt was still black and his big white blaze. He was absolutely gorgeous. More than once she had been offered to sell him. But she declined, not explaining that he was the only thing she had left that linked her to her father.
One day at school Sasha found out that her close friend Courtney was moving to L.A. both girls were devastated. Over the following weeks, Sasha told herself that she would try not to make friends, because, as she reasoned, the less she had, the less there was to lose.

Goodbye for Now
The time had finally come; dynamo turned four and was sent to the trainer for 60 days. Sasha was going to miss the companionship of talking to him, but she was exited that when he came back she could talk to him while riding on trails and stuff. She also could barely wait to try jumping him. She messaged Courtney about it, and all she said was “cool”. So Sasha knew that she really had lost her friend. She got her driving permit and was super exited that hopefully by the time she could drive, dynamo would be ready to go to shows.
While at the trainers dynamo was a complete angel, he caught onto riding within six rides and then they began basic jumping, lead changes, and other fine tuning things. They said his only quirks were that he over jumped and did some occasional bucks and popcorn hopped into his canter transition. Sasha didn’t worry because she knew that he would probably grow out of it.
Dynamos return
Today was the day; her beloved horse was returning home after all this time of two whole months. Everyone teased her about missing her horse so much. But only her grandmother understood that dynamo was the last thing that tied her to her father.
While Sasha carefully shoveled away all of the shavings that had been left in dynamos stall; she thought about what it would be like in the future. Would she still ride horses? Yes. Would she fulfill her dream and ride on the Olympic team someday? Yes; and she would do it on dynamite. On her way to dump the wheel barrel, she stopped and said hi to her other horse. She was twenty one years old. Wow! Sasha thought. She had recently been semi retired, but Sasha still took her on walks down the riding trails, she seemed to enjoy it. While dumping the wheel barrel, she found a horse shoe laying on top o the pile. “This must be pixies.” She murmured. At least now she didn’t have to the Ferrier to make a new shoe when he came in a few days. She stopped her work and put the shoe on a shelf in the tack room. Then continued to the big mountain of fresh, clean, fluffy shavings. Once there, Sasha grabbed the big shovel and began her work. Once she had the wheel barrel heaping, she skillfully guided it back to dynamos stall. She always thought it was fun putting new shavings in a horses stall. Grabbing her pitchfork off of the wall, she began to spread out the shavings. She coughed slightly from the dust but kept on working. Once she had all the shavings evenly spread, she turned on the water to dynamos automatic waterer. Then she went into the feed room and crunched some numbers to figure out a new feed plan. By the time she finished, she heard the big van pull up. She jumped out of chair at the desk and ran to the driveway. When she got there a man had already unloaded dynamo and was taking his cooler off. Wow! Thought Sasha “he looks gorgeous.” When the man had the cooler off of the big black horse he handed his rope to Sasha and left very unceremoniously. She quickly pulled the huge horse into a hug. She then led him to his stall and took off his leather halter that had his name on it. She sat in his stall and talked with him while he munched on hay net Sasha had brought him. She was so excited, her horse is finally back. She could barely wait for what the future held for them.

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-02-28 17:02:54

“Ouch; Sash are you ok?”
“Yah it was just my head, nothing to worry about.” answered Sasha Rhodes jokingly
“Okay sounds good to me, maybe it knocked some since into yah!” Olive Gadsden joked back
“Come on buddy.” She told her big black warm blood as they walked to the mounting block.
“Sasha, I really need you to push and follow through over that jump, no hesitation. You got it?” yelled there instructor, Miss Dee from across the ring.
“Sounds good to me. I’m tired of getting dirty stopped.”
Sasha gently let loose a little bit of slack in her reins and fiery five year old busted into a canter.
“Easy boy.” Sasha soothed
“Use his back legs Sasha!” “Very nice.”
Sasha headed straight for the cross rail combination. She felt dynamo start to drift and gave him a smack with her jumping crop to wake him up. He raised his head and pushed forward.
“1,2,3” Sasha counted and rose way up out of her saddle to prepare for her horses big over jump “good boy” she told him. Then prepared for the next jump “1, 2, 3, 4” and over they went.
“Good. Now fix your lead and come around and try the three footer again.” Called Miss Dee
“K” called back Sasha as she cued the big black for a lead change.
Sasha straitened as she felt her horse start to push with his hind legs and turn his power switch on.
“1, 2, 3” *SMACK* went Sasha crop as she urged dynamo forward and leaned over his neck.
“Beautifully done Sasha!” praised Miss Dee
“Thanks!” beamed Sasha, while congratulating her big horse and slowing him to a walk.
“Ok girls I think that’s good for today. You can go ahead and cool out and untack your horses.”
While cooling dynamo out Sasha was checking a few messages on her phone. Then she paused, she couldn’t believe it! They accepted her application to the five foot silver series show jumping circuit. She finished cooling out dynamo the carefully untacked and cared for him. Then she ran to her instructor. She was so excited that Miss Dee asked her if everything was ok.
Sasha just squealed “look!”
“well I’ll be, congratulations Sasha!” miss Dee exclaimed. Then added “you know olives going too.”
“But she barely jumps three feet.” Sasha said in complete confusion
“She’s going on the two and a half foot classes, but she’s on the same route.” Explained Miss Dee
“Ohhhhhhhh, I get it!” exclaimed Sasha
“Well the younger class is here so I better go give them there lesson.”
“Ok, by Miss Dee”
Sasha set to work gathering all her tack that she had left sitting on the saddle tree that was mounted on the side of dynamos stall. She liked the stable. She enjoyed her visits to the lesson barn. But she much preferred her big white fully equipped barn at home.
“Come on buddy, it time to go home now.” She told her horse
*SNORT* Dynamo didn’t care he just wanted to chew her hair.
“You big goober!” laughed Sasha
Sasha loaded all her tack into her trailer and loaded the five year old stallion with no problem. She had decided not to geld him unless he got aggressive. Her father said that if he turned out to be a legend that they would want to get at least a few crops of foals off of him. And Sasha intended to keep his wish. As she got into her truck she thought about the box of pictures of her papa riding. She should put them into an album. She waved at her friend olive who was also pulling out of the parking lot.
As soon as Sasha got home she unloaded her horse and put all his things away. She ran to the house and told her grandma the good news.

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-02-28 17:04:12
Dynamite's Rising

Making arrangements
Sasha decided that since she would be on the show circuit and wouldn’t be able to care for her other horses, she should hire a groom. She made a post on face book and Instagram asking around. About twenty minutes later she got a response. Someone asked if they could look at how things were set up before they hired themselves out. She agreed and set up a meeting for the next day at 2:00 p.m.

The next morning Sasha got up at 6:00 just like she always did, got ready and made breakfast for herself and her grandma then went out to the barn at 6:30. When she got there, she carefully measured out three buckets with grain and walked down the aisle feeding the horses then stopping and going into dynamites stall. She was so proud of the five-year-old. He had already jumped six feet. Not many horses can do that with a rider on their back more less a five-year-old! She gave him his grain and watched him eat for a while then walked to the arena and set up a warm-up jump and a 5-foot jump course. Then she called one of her grandma’s friends to see if her granddaughter wanted to come ride Sasha semi-retired warm blood mare. The old lady said that it sounded great and that she would be there in about 30 minutes. Sasha looked around the arena then headed to the barn to get the old mares saddle out of the tack room.

Sasha patiently taught the girl how to lead groom and tack up Lisa. The young girl whose name turned out to be Amy said that she had always wanted a horse. Sasha smiled and said that if she worked hard and got a good job when she was older, she was sure she could pull it off. The young girl beamed then declared that she was finished tacking up. Sasha checked the tack over then led the girl to the mounting block outside of the arena.
“Okay, you made it this far. Now it’s time to discuss how to get Lisa to do what you want.” Sasha told the girl.
“Okay. Will I hurt her?” Amy asked the older girl.
“Why would you ask that?”
“Because you said she was semi-retired.”
“That’s only because she wasn’t enjoying her job. She only about 19.”
“Oh, okay that makes me feel better.”

As Amy walked Lisa around the arena on a loose reign while Sasha explained the correct commands to use, she noticed that the older mare seemed really happy to have a young girl on her back and she didn’t seem to mind being in the arena. Sasha had been thinking of re homing her, and she might have just found a good home for her. She would have to talk to the girl’s grandmother about it.
“Good job, if you want to you can try trotting her.”
The girl gave the horse a squeeze with her legs and the mare happily went into a smooth flowing trot. This really made Sasha realize that the best place for this horse was with a young girl that could give her the proper amount of attention.

When the girl’s grandma came to pick her up, Sasha asked if they would be interested in a free horse.
“I don’t k now where we would keep it.” Was the grandmother's response?
“You could keep her here. I have plenty of room and she is a good example to dynamite.”
“Well then I suppose we could take her if could stay here.”

After they had left Sasha tacked up dynamite and headed into the arena and warmed him up. She noticed that he wasn’t being as spooky as he normally was. After she had given him a good long warm-up, she went over the warm-up fence a few times. She noticed her grandma on the front porch watching her and waved. Her grandmother waved back. She cued dynamite into a canter and jumped the course she had set up. He knocked down one rail but that was only because sash lost her balance and jerked him in the mouth. She was really happy with his performance. She decided to go around the course one more time but then realized it was 2:00 and that someone was getting out of a truck and walking towards her. It was a girl from her school. She waved hello, and asked if she could wait for a second while she jumped the course again and cooled dynamite out. She told her it was fine and asked if she could watch. Sasha said that was fine with her. Sasha quietly asked dynamite for a canter and he readily complied. She slowed the big gelding slightly and turned him towards the first jump. She counted her strides and leaned over dynamites neck as he cleared the jump with ease. The next three jumps went smoothly until they got to an oxer that had flowers underneath it. She had to give dynamite a tap with her crop to get him to go over it. She could always tell the difference of when her horse felt confident over a jump and when he didn’t. Once they cleared the fence, she gave big pats and finished the rest of the course. While walking dynamite out she leaned over his neck and slipped his bridle off and slid back onto his rump and started taking his saddle off. Once she had it unattached, she grabbed it and guided dynamite to the fence with her legs. She carefully placed the jumping tack on the fence then finished cooling out her beloved horse. When she dismounted, she walked over to the pasture gate and opened it as dynamite bolted through and galloped around. Then she turned to the girl who had been patiently waiting.
“Sorry about that, I had forgotten about our appointment.” Sasha apologized.
“That’s fine; it was really neat watching the way you ride. Most of the people I see ride are always snatching and kicking.”
“I try to ride gently. Especially since my horse is only five.”
“He’s only five! I figured he would be at least thirteen!”
“I guess he’s just special. But he isn’t always that good. He just knew that he had an audience!” Sasha joked.

Sasha talked with the girl about the work position and schedule. The girl said that it sounded ideal. Sasha agreed and gave her the job. Then they started talking about horses. Cindy [the girl] told Sasha that she had a thoroughbred mare that she was interested in showing next year.
“We should totally ride together sometime!" Said Sasha enthusiastically.
“Yah that would be awesome! We should schedule a day.”
“You could come over on Saturday if you want to.” Invited Sasha
“Sounds great, I’ll see you then!” And with that the girl got in her truck and left.

On Saturday, Sasha was shocked to see that Cindy was riding Courtney’s horse. When Cindy saw how surprised Sasha looked, she asked her what the problem was.
“That’s my friend Courtney’s horse!” was Sasha’s hesitant reply.
“You know Courtney? Well, she’s my cousin and she gave me this horse a couple months ago and said that she didn’t want anything to do with a nag like this. I don’t know what she was thinking, this horse is awesome!”
“Yah, that horse definitely is far from being a nag. I used to ride her all the time.” Said Sasha. Then added “we should set up a course. How high do you jump?”
“Four feet max.”
“Great, then we should be able to just go lower the jumps in the arena.”
After lowering the jumps in Sasha’s arena, the girls tacked up and Sasha dared to ask how Courtney was doing.
“What has Courtney been up to lately?”
“Not sure. Last I heard of her was when she shipped me her horse and sent me a text telling me she gave me her horse.”
“Wow! She sure has changed a lot.” Replied Sasha
“Yah, we used to be good friends, but she won’t even talk to me now.” Said Cindy with a hint of sadness in her voice.
“Well! I’m all tacked up so I’m going to head out to the arena and warm-up my pony.”
“That horse is far from being a pony!”
“I didn’t notice!” joked Sasha.

While warming up, Sasha noticed that Cindy rode a lot like Courtney used to. She didn’t mention it, but she soon realized that she had just encountered a pretty good rider. She asked where she had learned to ride at and the answer, she got shocked her. Olive Gadsden had taught this really good rider how to ride. Olive was good but not as good as Cindy.

Once they were warmed up, Cindy was just about to jump the course when Sasha grandmother came outside and started walking towards them. She explained that she wanted to time them and see who was better. Sasha tried to convince her otherwise but couldn’t.

Cindy kicked hard and urged her horse into a fast canter, a little too fast for Sasha’s liking. She rounded the corner and smacked her horse with her crop, then sloppily two pointed over the jump and kicked some more. By the time she finished the course; her horse was foaming with sweat and looked exhausted. Sasha was about to say something, but her grandma gave her “the look”. Then Sasha’s grandma told Cindy her time. “For the way she was riding, it wasn’t even that good. If Courtney was riding that horse, she could have been faster than that without her tack!” thought Sasha.

Sasha squeezed gently with her legs and dynamite bursted into a powerful canter. She slowed him and made a wide turn to give him room to comfortably clear the jump ahead. She counted her strides and leaned over dynamites neck making sure to give him his head. Dynamite cleared the rest of the course with ease. She slowed him to a walk and headed over to her grandma and Cindy. It turned out that she beat Cindy by 10 seconds. Cindy looked confused then asked.
“Do you think that you could teach me to ride like that?”
“I would love too.” Answered Sasha happily.

So, she didn’t know how to ride gently. That made more sense to Sasha. She glanced over at her grandma and saw her giving her a knowing smile.

Starting the Circuit
As Sasha groomed dynamite at 3:00 a.m., she thought about what all the jumps would look like. She knew that there would be flowers, there were always flowers. She hated them. So did dynamite. Last time they jumped flowers at a show Sasha had three refusals before she got him over them. But Sasha had done a lot of desensitizing work since then and hoped it would pay off. As she gave the big black horses coat one last stoke with the brush she sighed. She was really lucky to have a horse like this. She walked to the tack room and grabbed dynamites travel sheet and put it on him. She also put on some travel, boots and a fuzzy halter. She didn’t have to load her tack because her grandma had helped her do it last night. While having a lead rope clipped to his halter dynamite decided to chew on Sasha’s hair.
“You big goober!” Sasha giggled.
Sasha slid the stall door open and walked dynamite down the aisle and loaded him into the trailer that was waiting for him. He walked right on in and started munching on the hay net in the corner. He didn’t even mind when Sasha accidentally dropped the gate to trailer. After carefully latching all the doors on the trailer, Sasha started her drive to Ocala fl.

At 6:30 a.m. Sasha pulled through the driveway of a McDonald’s restaurant and ordered hotcakes. Then she finished the last bit of her journey to the horse show. Sasha always liked looking at the scenery. There was plenty to look at. There were Horse barns, palm trees, pools, and more. When Sasha pulled into the horse show at 6:45 a.m. she parked her truck outside of the office and ran inside to register her horse. But she had to run back outside to grab dynamites Coggins papers. Once she got her and her horse registered, she parked her truck away from the arena and other trailers. She unloaded all of dynamites tack, then opened the gate to the trailer and clipped a lead rope to his halter and untied him. As Sasha was unloading him, dynamite was taking a nap. She stifled a giggle. He always looked so funny when he was sleeping. She tapped him on the rump to wake him up. His head jerked up and almost hit the ceiling. As she was walking him towards the end of the trailer, she talked to him.

After Sasha had tied dynamite to the side of her trailer, she pulled off his travel blanket and boots. She threw them in the tack locker inside of her trailer. But paused when she heard something fall off of a shelf. She stepped inside and saw something shiny on the floor and immediately recognized it. It was her father’s pin that he always pinned on his saddle pad at shows. Sasha couldn’t help but burst into tears. It had been seven years since her father had passed away. Sasha walked outside to dynamo and gave him a hug. At least she had him. Dynamite had always been sort of a connection to her father. Sasha knew he was gone, but… she wasn’t quite sure what she thought. Sasha finally let go of her horse’s neck and started tacking him up. She knew she wouldn’t be allowed to pin her trinket to her saddle pad so she put it inside of her show jacket. She also decided to swap her usual bit for a loose ring snaffle. She slipped the bridle over dynamites head and walked him to the warm-up ring. She gave him a big pat after he stood perfectly still at the mounting block. Not many horses would do that, especially not a five year old. She thought about how mature dynamite was for his age, of course he had his funny moments, but most of the time he behaved perfectly. She giggled at the thought that she was the youngest rider here and she was also on the biggest horse. She walked and trotted him around the warm-up ring, then asked for canter. In his usual fashion, dynamite did a little popcorn buck into a big extended canter. Sasha decided to let him go at his own pace in the warm-up so he would be relaxed in the show ring.

Once they had warmed up, Sasha took dynamite over a few of the fences in the ring. She thought he felt pretty good. Not long after this, Sasha’s class was called into the ring. She gave dynamite a pat and trotted towards the ring. When they got inside, they started with the flat class. Sasha walked, trotted, and cantered her horse around the ring. She was kind of annoyed that a rider behind her kept riding to close to close to them. She knew that dynamite wouldn’t kick them, but thought that people that were in shows should know better.

Once the flat class was over, the jumping rounds began. Three riders jumped the course before Sasha did. They all had knocked at least two poles. If dynamite could clear the course with a good time, they might have a shot at first place. Sasha’s thoughts were interrupted by the judge calling her number. Dynamite walked into the ring looking like he had been doing this for years. But only Sasha could feel how much energy he was containing. She stopped him square, and saluted to the judge, then cued for canter. Dynamite readily complied and bursted forward. Sasha headed him towards the first jump and they cleared it with ease. She saw that the next jump had a water tray underneath it. She knew dynamite would refuse it if she let him, so she gave him a small tap with her riding crop. Dynamite reluctantly cleared the jump, but not by much. Sasha asked for a bit more speed, but made sure to make wide turns to give dynamite room. Once they finished the course and exited the ring Sasha realized that they had ridden a clear round. She leaned over and gave her horse a big hug. Sasha took dynamite back to her trailer and untacked him. She also sponged him off and put a cooler on him. After this, she put him in her trailer and opened the windows. When she walked off, he didn’t even glance up from his hay.

Sasha’s entire class was over, so she walked to the registration office to see where or if, she had placed. To her surprise, dynamite had won first place by a second and a half. She gathered her ribbons and thanked the lady at the desk, then headed to her trailer to show dynamite. he seemed to look pleased with his accomplishment. Sasha kissed him on the nose and closed up the trailer. then headed home to show her grandmother.

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-03-18 21:42:27
Twister & Tristan - Dragnet

The loud bray of a seabird in distress shattered the peaceful, fresh ocean air near Key West.

“And that,” Twister said, “is the Penguin Warning Call. It’s how penguins say, ‘Danger! Warning!’”

Tristan rubbed his ears, which were still ringing from his friend’s noisy demonstration. “That’s… interesting.”

Twister laughed and did a backflip. His sand-colored belly glittered like a Floridian beach in the sunlight. Rainbows danced in his clear horn, which looked like a unicorn’s. Twister was a hippocampus - a horse with a tail like a dolphin’s - who had saved Tristan from drowning a few days ago. Since then, they had met several times near Tank Island, a private island right next to Key West. A friendship between the duo had blossomed as Twister began teaching Tristan all about life underwater.

“Come on, Tristan,” Twister said as his handsome head re-emerged from the water. “Let’s hear you give it a try.”

“Okay.” Tristan inhaled deeply and tried to imitate the Penguin Warning Call, which sounded much like a donkey’s bray. Making the noise scratched his throat, and his call ended in a cough. He glanced at Twister, who snorted down a laugh.

“What?” Tristan said to his friend. “Wasn’t that the Penguin Warning Call?”

“Not exactly,” Twister guffawed.

Tristan frowned and narrowed his eyes. “Well? What did I say?”

Twister erupted into another fit of laughter. Amid more giggles, he managed to answer. “You actually said, ‘My sister is a sea monkey who can’t cook to save her life, but she puts jellyfish on toast, and she uses shark teeth to clean my clothes.’”

Tristan’s jaw hung open, and he promptly shut it. “I said all that?”

“More or less.” Twister punched Tristan’s shoulder playfully with his webbed foot. “That’s enough language lessons for now. How ‘bout a nice long swim?”

“I’d love to,” Tristan said. “But my dad and I are going to help some friends. Maybe you know the Surf N Scuba shop?”

“Possibly. The one with all the colorful surfboards outside?”

“That’s the one. Its roof suffered some damage after that last storm. My dad and I are going to do the repairs.”

“Alright, then.” Twister helped his human friend into the dinghy Tristan had brought.

“I’ll come back as soon as I can,” Tristan promised as he started the motor. “Bye, Twister. Say hi to Flash and Sunny for me.”

Twister waved goodbye and then, with a flick of his brightly colored tail, he dove beneath the waves. He swam deep to avoid being seen by any boats on the surface; while the blue scales on his back and neck would camouflage him, he preferred not to take unnecessary risks. He swam until he reached the place that the sea creatures called Paradise Reef. Jewel-colored parrotfish nosed about along the rocks, while smaller fish played hide-and-seek in the corals. Twister swam along the edge of the reef until he found who he was looking for. It was Mrs. Ginglymostoma, better known as Mrs. G, the nurse shark who had raised him. He thought her calm temperament was adorable, but Twister knew she was not to be trifled with. Her jaws were still full of teeth, and she WOULD bite anyone who harassed her.

“Good day, Mrs. G!” Twister called as he swam over to where she was resting.

“Why, Twister!” The elderly shark wiggled off the sand to greet him. “What adventures has my dear boy gotten into lately? You haven’t visited in over a week.”

“I know, Mrs. G,” Twister said. “I am sorry.”

“Oh, that’s okay, darling,” Mrs. G said. “You’re young and adventurous, and it’s not fair for me to expect you to stay in one place forever. But,” she gave him a toothy shark grin. “I do so enjoy it when you visit me. Tell me, what has happened?”

“Mrs. G,” Twister said, “I met a human.”

“Mercy!” Mrs. G exclaimed.

“Don’t worry. He’s a good one. He helped me and Sunny rescue Flash. But I wanted to ask you if I can bring him to meet you next time he—“

Twister was interrupted by a small fish zooming past them at breakneck speed. Flash the dolphin was chasing it along the edge of the reef. Then suddenly Sunny, the Galápagos penguin who’d moved to Key West for “climate reasons”, shot out perpendicular to Flash after the same fish. But the fish twisted around and dashed into a hole, while Sunny and Flash slammed into each other.

“Hey!” Sunny honked, shaking her head after the impact. “What’s the big idea?“

“The big idea?!” Flash exclaimed. “That fish was going to be my lunch until you got in the way.”

“YOUR lunch?!” Sunny yelled. “No way! I saw that fish first!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Hey!” Twister broke into the argument. “What’s all this about?”

“He started it!” Sunny blurted, pointing an accusing flipper at Flash. Flash gave her an ugly look.

“I don’t care who started it,” Twister said firmly. “I’m stopping it. There are too many fish in the sea for you to be fighting over the same one. I think you two owe each other an apology.”

“Sorry,” both mammals muttered, but Twister knew that they didn’t mean it. He fought to keep from getting angry himself and took a deep breath.

“Look,” he said, “there are lots of fish along Paradise Reef. Sunny, why don’t you go fishing this way,” he pointed to the left, “and Flash can go that way,” he pointed to the right.

Flash transferred his frown from Sunny to Twister. “Why does she get to go that way?”

Twister rolled his eyes. “Fine. You can go this way and Sunny can go that way. But no more fighting.”

Flash and Sunny swam off sulkily, and Twister felt terrible. Mrs. G swam up to his side.

“My, my. What was all that about?”

“They’re fighting again,” Twister sighed. “It started a few days ago. Sunny was after a fish that Flash ended up catching. He didn’t mean to steal it, but he wouldn’t have gotten it if Sunny wasn’t there. Sunny thought he’d taken it on purpose. Then they got mad, and they’ve been arguing ever since.” He swatted a stray piece of seaweed. “I just wish I could do something to get them on friendly terms again.”

Mrs. G brushed her fin against his foot. “You’ve done all you can, dear. You be firm and polite and point out the problem. Nudge them in the right direction, but you must realize that you can’t make their decisions for them. They have to decide to change.”

“I know.” Twister smiled slightly and squeezed her fin. “I just hope they make the right choice.”

“So do I, dear,” Mrs. G said. “Now, tell me about this human you met.”

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Rap-tap-tap-tap! went the hammer as it drove in the nails.

“Get me another nail please, Tristan,” Tristan’s dad said.

“Sure thing, Dad.” Tristan dug another nail out of a box and held it in place using a pair of pliers. Now his father could drive the nail in straight without accidentally smashing Tristan’s fingers.


Once the next piece of roof had been hammered in place, Tristan took a water break. He climbed down the ladder, and into the shade of the Surf N Scuba shop’s patio. He pulled off his gloves, wiped the sweat from his brow, and drank deeply from his canteen.

“Everything alright up there?” A freckled face with messy, sun-bleached hair and blue eyes peered at Tristan from behind a rack of sun shirts. It was Sandy Fisher, a girl Tristan’s age, who ran Surf N Scuba with her mom.

“Yes, thanks Sandy,” Tristan said politely. “We’re done with the biggest hole. I just needed to stop for a drink.”

Sandy pretended to sort through the shirt racks. “Mom and I really appreciate you and your dad helping with the hard stuff,” she said finally. “Especially since my Dad… well, you know.”

“Yeah,” Tristan nodded sympathetically. “I miss my mom too.”

There was silence for a few moments.

“Tristan!” His dad’s voice called from above. “Don’t take forever down there. We still have two more holes to fix!”

“Coming, Dad!” Tristan took one last drink before putting on his work gloves. Halfway up the ladder, he looked out over the water. The Surf N Scuba shop was almost right next to the ocean, so he could see ships coming and going from the harbor. One in particular caught his attention: a small dirty trawler - a boat that catches fish by dragging a net behind it - that he didn’t recognize.

I wonder whose boat that is, Tristan thought. It doesn’t look like anything that belongs to people down here.

The mere sight of the boat gave Tristan all sorts of negative feelings. He started worrying about Twister. What if he was nearby when the ship began trawling and was caught in the net? What about Flash and Sunny?

As soon as I’m finished, Tristan told himself, I’m going to go check on them.

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Twister heard it first. His sensitive ears picked up the vibrations in the water from a long way off.

“Something’s coming,” he announced, scanning his surroundings.

Mrs. G looked up from her lunch. “What is it, dear?”

“Sounds like a ship.”

“It’s probably another tourist boat,” Mrs. G mused. “Best get yourself hidden, Twister.”

“No, it sounds more like a fishing boat. I’m gonna go check it out.”

“Be careful,” Mrs. G said.

Twister shot through the water like a spear, propelling himself forward with his mighty tail. The wispy green strands that made up his mane flew out as if carried by wind. He followed the sound until he spotted a large column of disturbed sediment, like an underwater dust storm.

“Oh, no.” Twister knew about trawl fishing. Trawler nets were held open with “doors”, which made rattling noises to attract fish. The cloud of dust hid the net from view, and the fish would be trapped before they realized what was happening. Unfortunately, other animals often became trapped in the net, and the trawl could damage the coral reefs if humans weren’t careful. And he could tell that these humans weren’t being careful.

“It’s heading straight for Paradise Reef!” Twister gasped. “I have to warn everyone!” He twisted away from the dangerous cloud and made a beeline for Paradise Reef. He couldn’t help but imagine the hundreds of rays, turtles, sharks, and tropical fish - none of which the humans would want - being injured or killed by the huge net. Not to mention all the habitat the trawl would destroy!

“I have to get there, and quickly!” Twister pushed himself as fast as he could go. Suddenly, he swam straight into a school of Bermuda chub. The round silver fish wiggled out of his way and kept going. The sheer number of chub distracted him, so he didn’t see the gray thing headed straight for him. Something big slammed into Twister, followed moments later by a smaller but equally swift marine missile.

“Twister!” Two pouty voices said at the same time.

Oh, fishsticks, Twister thought. Just what I need right now. Before he could say anything about the looming danger, Sunny and Flash blurted out a stream of complaints.

“Flash is trying to take my fish again!”

“No way! I saw those chub first. Sunny just wants me to do all the work so she can have a free meal.”

“That’s not true!”

“Yes, it is!”

Twister closed his eyes and grabbed his ears with his webbed feet. “ENOUGH!” he bellowed. “Stop it, both of you!”

His outburst was so loud that both Sunny and Flash stopped and stared at him.

Twister was now mad. “Can’t you two sea monkeys see we’re in danger?! There’s a boat with a huge net coming this way! If I hadn’t bumped into you, you would’ve both swum straight into it!”

This piece of new stunned the two dissenters. Their eyes widened, and they blinked.

“A net?” Flash echoed.

“Yes!” Twister exclaimed. “We have to warn everyone to stay clear. And we need to stop that boat!”

“But how?” Sunny asked.

Twister groaned. “We need Tristan.”

A suspicious look passed over Sunny’s face. Of the three of them, she trusted the human boy the least. “Why him?”

“He’s a human. That’s a human boat. He’ll know what to do.” Twister’s ears registered the noise of the trawler and its equipment approaching. “We need to hurry. I’ll go to the harbor to get Tristan, and—“

“Hold on,” Flash interrupted. “Tide’s out. The harbor won’t be deep enough for you to stay hidden this time of day.”

Twister glared at the dolphin. They were wasting precious time. “I’ll have to take that risk.”

“But you’ll be needed to help protect the reef,” Flash said. “You should stay. I can go.”

“Flash, don’t be ridiculous! Tristan can’t understand you yet. I’m the only one that can talk to him.”

“He can’t understand me, but he might understand Sunny.” For the first time that day, Flash looked at the penguin without glaring. “Didn’t you teach him the Penguin Warning Call?”

“I did!” Twister exclaimed. He turned to Sunny. “Can you get Tristan? He’s at the Surf N Scuba shop, the one with all the colorful boards outside. If you use the Penguin Warning Call, he’ll come help us. I know he will.”

“I suppose so,” Sunny said reluctantly. “If any human would help, I guess it’d be him.”

“Thanks, Sunny,” Twister said. “Flash, you come with me. We need to get to Paradise Reef before that boat does.”

They swam off on their missions as the ominous cloud of sediment crept closer and closer.

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

When the last hole in the roof had been patched, Sandy’s mom invited Tristan and his dad for lunch.

“Thank you, Jennifer,” Tristan’s dad said. “I’ve never turned down a free meal in my life. How about it, son?”

“Sure,” Tristan said, but he really wanted to make sure Twister was alright. That strange trawler hadn’t looked very safe. “Dad, can I go back to the house and check on something? I can put the tools away while I’m there.”

“That’s fine, Tristan,” his dad said. “But hurry back, or there won’t be any food left for you.”

Tristan leaped into the dinghy and almost forgot to take the tools. When he went back to get them, he heard an obnoxious noise sounding quite nearby.

“Aaah-hee! Aaah-hee!”

Who brought a donkey to Key West Harbor? Tristan thought. Then he stopped. That was no donkey. It was the Penguin Warning Call! Tool bag in hand, he hurried back into the dinghy and looked around. That was when he spotted Sunny, bouncing in and out of the water and calling.

“Sunny!” Tristan turned on the motor and steered towards her. “What’s wrong? Is it Twister?”

Sunny stopped shouting and glared at him. She beckoned impatiently with her flipper.

“Right,” Tristan slapped his head. “You can’t understand me. Let’s go.”

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

With Flash’s help, Paradise Reef was evacuated in record time. Mrs. G had led the locals to another reef where they could be safe. As she had done that, Twister and Flash had investigated the trawl. It didn’t look good. Twister was trying to decide what to do when he heard a small motor approaching.

“That’s Tristan,” he said to Flash. They swam to the surface and watched as Tristan anchored his boat, strapped on his underwater gear, and leaped into the water.

“Twister!” The boy exclaimed. He wrapped his arms around the hippocamp’s neck. “Thank goodness you’re okay!”

“I’m okay, but the reef may not be for much longer,” Twister said. “There’s a trawler headed this way.”

“What?” Tristan gasped. “They can’t trawl here. This is a protected area!”

“I don’t think they care about that,” Twister snorted. “Flash and I swam around back to see the net. It already has two turtles and several stingrays in it.”

“If it’s catching turtles, that trawler is definitely illegal,” Tristan said angrily.

“We need to stop it. Do you have any ideas?”

Tristan thought. “I could get my dad. He could stop them.”

“But by then, it’ll be too late. Look!” Sure enough, the dirty-looking trawler had come into view. It was approaching too quickly; there wouldn’t be time for Tristan to get his dad.

“What if we could slow it down?” Tristan tried. “Trawls sometimes snag. That would stop them, at least for a little bit.

“Maybe,” Twister said. “But we’d still need to free those critters.”

“What if we used these?” Tristan held up two identical tools he’d taken from the tool bag.

“Wire cutters!” Twister exclaimed. “You’re a genius, Tristan. We can use those to cut the net.”

“Hey!” Flash exclaimed. “What are we supposed to do?”

But Twister was already gone, with Tristan holding on to his mane. Flash and Sunny followed, and the three sea creatures swam to meet the trawler. When they got close, Twister dove deep.

“Stay out of trouble,” he warned Sunny and Flash before swimming down to the back of the net where the sea creatures were trapped.

Flash frowned after them. “What are we supposed to do?” He wondered aloud. “We can’t just float here. We have to DO something!”

“Oh no!” Sunny tugged on his fin. “Flash, look!”

She pointed at a herd of three turtles swimming calmly along. They had not noticed that they were in danger and were in no hurry.

“They’re going to get caught in the net!” Sunny squealed. “We have to stop them!”

“How? I don’t speak turtle.”

“Neither do I, but…” A grin spread over Sunny’s beak. “If I swam directly at them really, really fast, I could turn them!”

Flash shook his head. “Judging by their speed and the speed of that boat, they’re on a collision course even if they do turn. They need to speed up to get clear of the net. If I swam up behind them, I could herd them along like a bunch of sea cows.”

“But what if they go the wrong way? What if you only chase them towards the net?”

They stared at each other.

“Flash,” Sunny said, “are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“We have to work together,” the dolphin said. “You turn them. I’ll get them to hurry up. Come on!”

Flash swung wide to get behind the turtles. Sunny dashed straight at them from the side. When they saw her, they flapped their flippers lazily and turned right. Then suddenly there was Flash, who had crept up behind them unannounced. The turtles spooked and accelerated.

“Turn them harder, Sunny!” Flash exclaimed. “We’ve got to get them clear of the net.”

“On it!” Sunny pressed the turtles into an even tighter turn. They tried to dive to go under her, but Sunny dipped down and pushed them up again.

“Almost there!” Flash shouted. They had now steered the turtles back in the direction they’d come from. He drove them onward, faster and faster through the blue, while the smaller, more agile Sunny kept the creatures in a tight formation. Well behind them, the trawler and its dust-disturbing net passed by.

“We did it!” Flash exclaimed as the turtles swam off to safety.

“Let’s go back and make sure no other critters are in the net’s path,” Sunny said.

As they swam beside each other, a look of understanding passed between them.

“I’m sorry,” they said in unison. This time, they meant it.

Meanwhile, Tristan was busy helping Twister cut the trapped animals out of the net. When he was not pulling sea turtles and parrotfish from the trawl, he marveled at Twister’s dexterity. The hippocampus handled the wire cutters as well as Tristan himself did.

“Go!” Twister shouted to a pair of bewildered stingrays he’d just freed. “That way! Get out of here!”

When all the trapped animals - most of which were not useable by humans - were free, Tristan swam to the surface.

“That’s all of them,” he told Twister once they were above water.

“You got it,” Twister said. “Now, let’s make sure these guys never come trawling here again!” He pitched downward until he reached the sea bottom, where the damaged net still dragged along. He seized the part that he and Tristan had cut through and fastened it to a nearby rock. The trawling ship jerked to a halt, and its motor began to race. Tristan could hear the angry shouts of the men on board, followed by a deafening bang as the ship’s engine cut out.

“Looks like they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon,” Tristan said. Twister swam by, and Tristan grabbed his mane. Together, they swam away before anyone could see them.

“Great job, everyone!” Twister said as they met up with Flash and Sunny. “We saved a lot of lives today!”

“And the reef is safe and sound!” Sunny chirped happily.

“I’ll let my dad know about the trawler,” Tristan said. “These guys won’t be bothering you again. That kind of net should never be used without equipment to keep turtles and other animals out.”

“Speaking of which,” Twister said. “I’d better check on the animals we rescued and make sure they’re okay.”

“And we’ll tell Mrs. G that it’s safe to come back,” Flash added.

“Great work today, guys,” Tristan said. “I’d better go. Bye!” He gave Twister a high-five before climbing into his dinghy and motoring away.

“Hey, Flash!” Sunny said. “How about we go fishing together after we tell everyone the good news? I’m starving!”

“Together?” Twister cocked his head curiously at his friends. “I thought you two were still mad at each other.”

Sunny and Flash squinted as they tried to remember. “Oh yeah, I guess we were,” Flash said. “Sunny, do you remember what we were fighting about?”

“Uh, not really,” Sunny said with a shake of her head. “It’s funny though. Turns out we’re a lot better when we work together than when we’re fighting.”

“I’ll second that!” Twister whinnied joyfully. What a wonderful day! The reef was safe, the illegal trawlers were out of action, and his two best buddies were friends again. “I’m glad you two figured things out. Now let’s go bring everyone home.”

Horse Gentler & West Australian
2023-03-23 16:20:33

Dynamites Trail Ride
It was early in the evening when Sasha decided to take dynamite on a sunset ride in the fields. She knew that there was haying being done in their local fields, so she trailered dynamite and took him to a new location. Once they arrived, Sasha unloaded her big stallion and mounted into her western saddle. It felt kind of strange riding in a western saddle. It was comfortable, but Sasha felt like she was slouching. Dynamite definitely didn’t mind, he was just anxious to get going. Sasha let him out on a loose rein and they headed down the dirt path that led to the fields. When they reached the first gate, Sasha heard a noise. It sounded like a phone. But there was no one around, and her phone was on vibrate. She dismounted dynamite and tied him to the fence. Then she began searching in the tall grass. Finally she spotted the culprit of the noise. It was a fairly new phone lying in the grass next to the fence. Sasha picked it up and looked for a number to call if someone found it. When she couldn’t find one, she started looking around to see if she could find a number anywhere. Then she saw a message pop up and couldn’t help but read it. Sasha gasped, the message had read:
“Are you still meeting us at the dock tonight to put that horse you ‘collected’ on a boat to Germany?”
Sasha didn’t know what to do! She thought fast and read some other messages. They all had something to do with stealing horses. She immediately called the police department to report it to them. They said she should bring it in to them so they could determine who owned it, and possibly catch the horse thieves that had been hanging around. Sasha thanked them and hung up. She placed the phone securely in her coat pocket and mounted dynamite. She rode up close to the gate and opened it, and then side passed through it. She turned dynamite around and securely latched the gate behind them. Once Sasha was sure the gate was closed. Her and dynamite trotted down the bridle path in the big field. She couldn’t help but think about the phone she found. But her thoughts were soon broken by the sound of a rattlesnake. Before she could react, dynamite reared and bolted, leaving Sasha behind in the dirt. She didn’t know what to do. The snake was big. It was probably big enough to kill someone if they were bitten by it. The snake continued to move closer to her, Sasha winced, but suddenly she heard and strange noise. Then felt herself being pushed out of the path of the snake. She looked over and saw a girl that looked to be her age grabbing the snake and stuffing it in a bag and walking away. Sasha just sat there in a daze until the girl came back, nodded, then left again.

Sasha didn’t realize until then that she had to go find dynamite. “It shouldn’t be too hard” thought Sasha “he’s big and black, he’s sure to stick out like a sore thumb.” She started off at a run, and then slowed to a walk. She searched for about five minutes until she finally found dynamite. She straightened his saddle out, and then mounted the big black horse. Sasha guided her horse back onto the bridle path, and continued their ride. It seemed strange that dynamite dumped her on the ground the way he did. Normally he would never do that. “But I guess that if I saw a snake, I would jump and run too!” reasoned Sasha. While riding, Sasha noticed that dynamite kept spooking at things he wouldn’t usually spook at. He even spooked at a leaf! Sasha was getting worried about her horse. He wasn’t acting like his usual laid back self. When they got to the long stretch of trail, Sasha let her horse gallop full speed down the path. But to her surprise, he started bucking. And it wasn’t his usual playful little crow hops. Why did dynamite want Sasha off of his back so badly!? Sasha slowed dynamite to a walk and dismounted. She took off his saddle and gasped. There was a jack under his saddle pad! How could that have possibly gotten there? Sasha would never put something like that under her tack! This ride just kept getting weirder. Sasha decided that she needed backup, so she called her friend Cindy.
“Hi Cindy its Sasha, I’m on a trail ride and some weird stuff is going on…”
As Sasha told Cindy about everything that was going on, dynamite had calmed down and was acting like his usual self again. He was just standing tied, and munching on some grass.
“Do you want me to ride over there? It’s not far from where I live.” Offered Cindy
“That would be great!”
“Ok, meet me at the first gate.”
“I’m gonna head that way now.” Replied Sasha

When Cindy arrived, the two girls rode over to a clump of trees on the edge of the field where they dismounted and tied their horses. Once they were sure no one was around, Sasha showed Cindy the phone and told her all about what happened.
“That’s creepy!” exclaimed Cindy
“I know that’s why I was so glad when you offered to come!”
“Anyways, continue with the details.”

As Sasha finished telling Cindy about everything that was going on, dynamite broke loose and galloped off. Sasha immediately jumped to her feet! “Oh no!” thought Sasha “he never lets me catch him when he gets loose” but, Sasha walked up to him anyway. Dynamite looked at her then resumed eating. Sasha slowly moved towards her horse then grabbed his bridle. It surprised Sasha that dynamite let her catch him. Some strange things really were happening today! Sasha tried not to think about what had been going on as she walked back to Cindy.
“Good thing you caught him!” said Cindy with relief
“I know right!” replied Sasha

The two girls mounted their horses and continued down the trail. They were about a 1/8 of a mile down the path when they spotted two other horses and riders. Sasha tensed, but then relaxed so dynamite didn’t get nervous. Both girls prepared to gallop there horses down the straightaway to get away from danger. But then they both paused when they saw that it was a mounted policeman. “That’s curious” thought Sasha “why would they be out here?”
“Hello ladies.” Greeted the policemen cheerfully
“Hi” said both girls in unison
“Are you the one who called about a missing phone and horse theft?” asked the elderly officer
“I am” Said Sasha
“Ok, well if you don’t mind were going to be tagging along with yall for the day to make a few observations and keep you guys safe.” Said the younger officer
‘I don’t mind. What about you Cindy?” replied Sasha
“I guess not.” Said Cindy
“Well, since were gonna be tagging along, we should probably know each others names.” Said the older officer
“I’m Sasha Rhodes, and this is Cindy King.”
“Well I’m Shane and this is Jake.” Said the young officer

After everyone got acquainted, they all set off down the trail. They rode for about five minutes then stopped in a patch of trees on the edge of the field. Once they were sure no one was around, Sasha showed them the phone and told them about what had been happening.
“We should probably take this to the station and try to bust the thieves tonight if we can.” Said Shane
“Agreed; will you girls be fine on your own?” asked Jake
“I think we can manage.” Said Sasha
With that, the officers left; and the girls were alone again. They decide that they would take the short path to the gate that led to the parking lot. They set off at a brisk trot at first, then cantered a bit, and finally went back to a walk. All the while the girls talked about school, horse shows, jobs, and what they wanted to do once they graduated.

Soon they reached the big rusty gate that led into the parking lot. They did rock paper scissors to see who had to open it; it turned out that Sasha lost and had to maneuver her big horse around and through the sagging gate. Once they were through, they closed the gate back and walked their horses to the trailer to heads home. It had been an interesting day…

The next day, Sasha got a text from the police department saying they had caught the horse thieves and that all the horses were returned to their rightful owners Sasha immediately called Cindy and told her the good news. Cindy was just as excited as Sasha. “Sure is a good thing they were cutting hay in the local fields!” thought Sasha. There really never was a dull moment for Sasha and dynamite!

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-03-24 02:31:57
The Journal of Sasha Rhodes

Dear diary,
Some very funny things happened today… first I tripped over my dog and landed sitting in a flowerpot and my grandmother saw me! But worst of all she took a picture! I thought she was going to die of laughing. My rear end didn’t exactly think of it as funny at the moment! After I partly overcame my humiliation, I walked down to the barn to feed dynamite. I was just scooping out his feed and adding some supplements; but then I saw a snake and jumped so high that I hit my head on the roof! Turns out that it was a rubber snake that had been placed there by a few teenage boys across the street, and they caught it all on video! I was sure I was going to be the laughingstock of the whole entire school after this! But it turned out that their camera had run out of batteries and didn’t capture my near heart-attack experience. I “disposed” of their toy snake then went back to feeding my horse. He was so hungry that when he finished eating, he threw his bucket over the stall door and nearly hit me with it! It seemed like everyone was out to humiliate me today. I shrugged off the thought and headed back to the house for breakfast. It turned out that my lovely grandmother had made me a bowl of cereal. I washed my hands ads she poured the milk. Once I was washed up, I eagerly took a bite. (Because I mean, who can resist captain crunch?) But I soon found out that there was HOT SAUCE in my cereal. I cannot stand spicy food I can’t even put black pepper on my food without nearly tearing up! I quickly jumped out of my chair and ran to the sink and began chugging down a ton of water. During all of this I managed to dump out my cereal, pull off the table cloth, and trip 0ver my dog! But boy did my grandmother think it was hilarious! She was over there laughing so hard she nearly fell over! Lots of similar things happened today. But then after supper, I called my friend Cindy and told her about it. She just kept laughing. I finally asked “what is so funny!” And her barely audible response was “April fools!” I could barely believe it! How could I, Sasha Rhodes, have forgotten something so important?! Anyways, I hung up with Cindy and here I am. GOODNIGHT!

Gabbythehorsegirl & Squares
2023-03-25 00:37:30
Bold Wonder
Beep! Beep! Beep! Ugh, thought Harper.She hated waking up early. Harper stayed in bed until she remembered that she had a horse-show today and had to get Wonders Of Life ready (Wonder for short). She Jumped out of bed, put on her jods and t-shirt and grabbed her show jacket. Oh no I’m gonna be late! Harper said as she raced from the table French Toast in her hand as she ran out the door to grab Wonder from her stall and put her in the wash stall. She groomed for 30 minutes and put her in the waiting trailer. Than started of for the show grounds

It was Harper’s turn in the ring and the jumps were 10 metre high. When she went in the ring the jumps looked so high she felt she couldn't jump them. Was it really worth it?, Harper thought. But by the end of the round she had won and thought anything was possible.
Look for book 2 tomorrow.

linusthegreat & featherheart
2023-03-30 23:42:11
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