Me and my girl

I’m a 12-year-old Arab mare; chestnut with two white feet and a white blaze on my face. I lived on a farm and hated it. Everything about the place scared me. The farmer would herd me with the tractor. Once he ran into my back legs and I still have the scar. No one loved me and I was very nervous of humans. One day I was locked in a shed and the vet came to look at me. The farmer said “I want this bloody thing put to sleep it won’t do what I want it to do”. The vet checked me over and said “There’s nothing wrong with her! I will not put a healthy horse down just because you can’t be bothered to look after her.”
Two days later a lady from Bolton law houses came to my shed. She had a young girl with her who was about my age and who gave me an apple. It was delicious.The lady said to the young girl “Do you think you can look after her?”
The young girl nodded really fast.
“And train her?”
The girl nodded again.
“Okay then, let’s get her loaded up.”
Loading was a terrifying prospect but the young girl spoke to me softly and stroked my nose as she slowly led me into a box on wheels. I thought; what’s in this box thing? And tried to turn away, but the lady in the young girl kept saying that it was all right and not to be frightened. Even when I pulled away and read up, they just kept it talking gently and showing me the inside of the box.Maybe it wouldn’t hurt me, passed through my mind, so I ran really fast into the box on wheels, nearly knocking the lady over. It puzzled me she didn’t hit me or even shout.
They closed the door of the box and I felt us start to move off. My fear gradually subsided, knowing that at last I was being taken away from the horrible farmer.
The journey wasn’t very long and even though there was a hay net in the box for me to eat, I was still too nervous to eat anything.
Eventually we stopped moving and the door flew open to reveal that we were parked in a big field with stables to one side and other horses grazing in the rich green grass. They were Arabs like me and soon came over, whinnying as I was led out of the box. Once I was back on solid earth we nuzzled each other’s necks. The young girl took off my head collar and urged me to go off with the other horses. This place already felt a happier place to live and soon my new friends and I were running around the field with our tails blowing in the wind.
The lady and the young girl had packed the box beside the stables and as it started to get dark, the called and rattled the dish with something in it. The other horses seem to know the significance of this action and quickly trotted over to the two people and started to eat whatever it was in the dish. This was new to me as I’d only ever been fed grass or hay. I walked over to them. The young girl offered me some of this stuff. Initially I backed away a few steps, but she continued to rattle the dish, my curiosity got the better of me and, moving forward again I tried some of it. It was crunchy and tasted good so I ate some more. She put the dish on the ground and as I ate she gently put a halter on me. When I finished the food she tried to walk me into the stable. I didn’t like this as I remembered that the farmer always hit me to make me go in. This time though it was different, as the girl just spoke softly. Frightened I ran into the stable, nearly knocking her over like I did to the lady when I got into the box on wheels. But, like the other lady, the girl didn’t shout or hit me. She just let go of the halter and walked in after me.The next inside the stable there was a bundle of haylage to eat, plenty of water and clean bedding. It smelled lovely and felt really nice. The young girl stroked me and said good night.
The next few weeks were spent getting to know the other horses, the lady and the young girl. My name was changed to Amber and the girl kept saying that a new name was a new start for me. Already I thought of her as my friend. She’d walk me round in circles on a long rope and brush me every day. I was taught how to lift my hooves so the mud could be cleaned from around my shoes. After a while my girl came into my stable with a fur numnah and a shiny saddle. She let me smell them and then left them with me to get used to. After she’d finished cleaning my stable she took me outside and saddled me up taking all the time in the world. I felt calm knowing she wasn’t going to hurt me. Carefully she got my back and settled into the saddle. As she was quite light, it didn’t feel any different to just having the saddle on my back. Soon we were walking slowly round the field and for my good behaviour I was rewarded with a carrot and lots of kisses. It felt good to be liked and loved. I went to bed feeling very happy. Over time the young girl taught me to jump and sometimes as a treat we would travel down to the beach and galloped on the sand. It was fun and we both love to go fast with the wind blowing in our faces. I trusted my girl totally and an new anything she asked me to do would be okay. She trusted me too.
One day I was dressed up in my best livery and we entered into the local carnival parade. It was a new experience with lots of people shouting, waving flags and milling around me. Pipe bands played at full volume, drum bands pounded away and there was music everywhere. It didn’t scare me because I knew that if I was with my girl I would be safe.

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