Timmy’s Best Friend

TimmyinfrontoftheRedBarn

 

            “Of course, I’ll help your little sister, Lucas,” said Antonia.

            “Thank you, Antonia. I knew I could count on you. Kobi will be so happy! She’s already in love with this horse.  I know you’re not running a boarding facility, but I’ll pay any monthly fees you require.”

            “Lucas, you’ve helped me on so many occasions, I owe you,” said a smiling Antonia face raised, looking into his hazel eyes. “I’ll expect some work out of her though,” Antonia continued, still smiling. 

            “Of course,” said Lucas looking down at her and smiling too. 

            Antonia reached out and took Lucas’s right hand in hers.  There was a strong bond between the athletic, bronze-skinned deputy and the lovely dark-haired lady from Brazil. Antonia broke the moment by stepping back and asked, “So when can I expect my new border?”

            Lucas cleared his throat and said, “I’ll call Strider and let him know you agreed, and they can go pick up the horse. They purchased him at the auction last night to save him from the “killer buyers.”

            “What breed is the horse?” asked Antonia.

            “He’s a thoroughbred. He apparently has a minor injury and was therefore deemed no longer useful by your neighbor, Kirk Robertson,” answered Lucas.

            Antonia frowned and said, “Horses are a lifelong responsibility. Just because they can’t be ridden anymore is no excuse to betray and abandon them.” Antonia’s fists tightened as she said it.

            “I knew you felt that way Antonia. You keep old Ambush around and even Timmy, who’s never been ridden. It’s one of the many things I admire about you,” he said smiling.

           

            It was late evening when the truck and trailer pulled into Kuhaylah Arabians. School was out for the day, so Gina was at the ranch and standing next to Antonia as they watched the truck pull the trailer up the long drive.

            “Let’s meet them at the small barn,” said Antonia as she started walking toward the small red barn on the corner of the property.  There were no horses in it at the moment. They had just been using it to store hay. 

            Antonia and Gina arrived at the front of the barn just as the truck was reaching the bend in the driveway right in front of it.  Antonia signaled to Strider to stop the truck. Strider had been driving the rig at a snail’s pace, but it was very dry and there was a slight breeze on this cool, crisp, autumn evening, so a little cloud of white dust wafted over them. Strider stepped out of the truck and was immediately joined by a slim, brown-skinned girl with black hair in braids as she slid out right behind him on the driver’s side, shutting the door behind her.

            “Hey Antonia,” said Strider as the new girl looked on. “This is Kobi Remington, Lucas Remington’s younger sister.”

            “Nice to meet you, Kobi,” said Antonia smiling.

            Timmy, the ever-curious golden pony, came trotting up from the big pasture to check out the new arrival.

            “Nice to meet you too,” answered Kobi. “And thank you so much for doing this. I really love this horse!”

            “I’m always willing to help a fellow horse lover! We are kindred spirits.”

            “Hi Kobi, nice to see you. How’s your friend, Bethany?” asked Gina.

            “She’s fine, I guess, I’m not really speaking to her right now, but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Kobi looking toward Gina, but she then turned toward Timmy, “What a cute pony.”

            “That’s Timmy, he’s the head of the welcoming committee at Kuhaylah Arabians,” laughed Antonia.

            As if on cue, Timmy walked straight up to Kobi and nuzzled her neck as she giggled.

            “He likes you,” said Antonia, “and he seems to like your charge too. Let’s get him out of the trailer.”

            The trailer was a small, white, two-horse affair. The horse was on the left, so Kobi opened the right rear door after lowering the ramp and stepped inside.  “It’s okay Charlie Brown, you’re safe now,” she said to the horse. He softly nickered to her as if he understood.

            Strider opened the left rear door after she reached the head of the horse.

            It was obvious Kobi had a bond with the horse because she just tugged back on the lead rope a little while lightly tapping on his chest and he began to slowly back out as she talked softly to him.

            He was a sight to see as he stepped out of the trailer into the evening sunlight. He was a well built, bay thoroughbred with a blaze running down his entire face. Kobi turned him around to face the group and said, “His name is Charlie Brown.”

            “Charlie Brown? What a weird name for a horse,” said Gina.

            “His sire is Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner,” said Kobi.

            “But unfortunately for him, he didn’t take after his sire. Too slow,” said Strider.

            Timmy walked up to Charlie Brown and they touched noses. They immediately bonded, no squealing or pawing at each other.

            “Looks like Timmy found himself a best friend. Let’s take him into the small barn and check him over,” said Antonia.

            Kobi began to lead Charlie Brown toward the barn and he limped a little on his front right leg.

            “Stop a moment, Kobi, so I can check out his leg,” said Antonia.

            “He has a suspensory ligament injury,” said Strider.

            Antonia walked up to the horse, bent down and placed her hand on his leg. “His leg does feel warm and there is a little swelling. It’s a common injury in horse racing, but it seems minor. Just a little stall rest, anti-inflammatories, and support bandages and he should be fine. Why was he sentenced to certain death?” asked Antonia.

            “Like I said, too slow. Orion Racing Stables has no room for a slow racehorse,” said Strider.

            Antonia’s body tensed with anger as she straightened back up. “Ridiculous! This horse would make an excellent dressage prospect. He’s young and healthy. Besides, animal ownership is a lifelong commitment!”

            “We knew you would feel that way,” said Strider with a smile.

            “What’s dressage?” asked Kobi.

            “It’s an elegant style of riding that this beauty would be well suited for. I used to compete on horses like this when I lived in Paris,” said Antonia.

            “Paris, Texas?” asked Kobi.

            Antonia laughed, “Paris, France.”

            “Paris, France?! Wow! Could you teach me dressage?” asked Kobi.

            “I can,” said Antonia, smiling and continued, “Let’s take Charlie Brown into the barn and get him settled for the evening.”

            Gina opened the white, metal gate to let Charlie and his entourage through to the small paddock area in front of the little, red barn. Timmy tried to bring up the rear, but Gina gently pushed him back and closed the gate. “Sorry buddy. You can see your new friend later,” she said as she rubbed his nose.

            Timmy stood guard at the gate as they all went inside the barn to help their new resident settle into his forever home.

           

Timmy and Charlie Playing Video

Pictures of Timmy and Charlie Brown:

 

 

 

Timmy and the Red Stallion

Timmyinthepasture (2)

 

            Gina and Flame galloped around the inside edge of the arena as if they were one.  It had taken several months for Gina to gain the confidence to even ride the magnificent red stallion, but Antonia had insisted.  At first Gina would only ride Flame if Antonia were present.  Antonia would stay on the ground in the arena and instruct Gina.  Eventually Gina gained the confidence to take Flame out on the trails and Antonia would ride her trusty gelding Blaze, so Flame would stay calm.  Flame and Blaze had a close bond because they were born within a month of each other at their original home in Dubai.  The half-brothers were a gift given to Antonia by a sheikh she had met during her time in Paris working for Louis Vuitton.

            Gina slowed Flame to a canter and reached down to pet his neck.  The summer sun reached through the open sides of the arena and caressed the crimson stallion’s coat, making his neck almost sparkle in its brilliance.  Gina had been so enchanted by Flame that she hadn’t noticed Antonia escort a man and teenaged boy into the barn.  She looked over to see the gate open on the barn side of the arena as she slowed Flame to a trot on the opposite side.  She tensed up when she saw the teenager was her classmate, Chet.  He followed along behind Antonia as she led Patriot, the gray son of Spirit, their resident black stallion, into the arena, while the man leaned on the outside of the red pipe fencing and watched.  Chet saw her at the same time and smiled.  Not a friendly smile, but more like a sneer.  He held is phone up and the sun reflected off it.  Flame was already tense because he reacted to the tense signals coming from Gina’ body.  Gina wasn’t prepared when Flame bolted, so when Flame ended up on the other end of the arena, she was left in the dust in their last location together.

            Chet started laughing.  Laughing at her, the way they always did at Dale City High… 

           

            A week had gone by and during that time the video had gone viral, well, viral among Dale City High students anyway.  Gina found herself where she often did after being subjected to the almost daily humiliation that was Dale City High.  She was crying into Timmy, the golden pony’s, neck while he silently consoled her.  She felt something press into her back and turned to find Flame offering his muzzle for a kiss.  His best friend, Blaze, watched the trio from a short distance away.

            Timmy was in the paddock with the two chestnut Arabians recuperating from an eye infection.  The brothers loved the pony because he had been their caretaker when they first arrived at the ranch to help them get adjusted.  Timmy had a knack for calming other horses and was often utilized for his “nursemaid” capabilities.

            “Gina!”

            Gina looked toward the paddock gate to see her friend, Strider Castillo. She wiped her tears with the back of her hand and waved as she headed for the gate.

            Strider hugged her when she turned toward him after closing the gate.  Then he stepped back and looked at her face.

            “You’ve been crying.  Are you okay?” he asked.

            “I’m fine,” Gina lied.

            Strider wasn’t fooled.   He had known Gina all through high school.

            “It’s those bullies isn’t it?  That video going around Facebook?” he asked.

            Gina started crying again.  He held her again and said, “You have to stop this Gina.  When you let them get to you, they win.”

            Gina took a deep breath, stepped back and looked Strider in the eye and said, “That’s easy for you to say.  You’re starting college this year, so you don’t have to deal with them anymore.”

            “Exactly my point.  They’re nobody to us.  You just have one more year to deal with those losers,” said Strider.

            “I thought at least I’d get a break from them in the summer, but it seems like they’ll always be in my life.”

            “They won’t,” said Strider. “Trust me.”

            Strider and Gina walked into the barn to find Jalissa and Antonia feeding the horses. 

            Gina’s entire demeanor changed, and she called out, “Jalissa!” as she ran to her and swept her up in a big hug.

            The expression of pure joy on Gina’s face at seeing Jalissa was not lost on Strider.

            “Gina, why don’t you and Jalissa take the wheelbarrow and get some hay.  I’ll finish graining the horses,” said Antonia.

            Gina practically skipped off with Jalissa.

           

            The next morning Gina and Strider took Flame and Blaze out on the trails at the ranch.  They had been enjoying the clear, crisp morning trotting and loping the two brothers along the flat parts of the trails.  Now they rode side by side, talking as they headed back to the barn.

            “Gina, I’ve noticed the way you look at Jalissa,” said Strider.

            “What do you mean?” asked Gina.

            “I mean, it’s obvious you’re attracted to her.”

            “She’s beautiful.  Anyone would be attracted to her,” said Gina.

            “You know what I mean,” said Strider.

            “Look Strider, I’m happy for you. You know…that you’re out of the closet and all, but believe it or not some, no, most of the world is straight,” said Gina.

            Flame took a couple of high steps because he sensed Gina’s tenseness.  She relaxed a little, “Sorry boy,” she said to Flame as she reached down and rubbed the stallion’s neck.

            “Yeah, most of the world is straight, I guess.  But not you,”

            “Strider, just because I notice someone is pretty…well, it doesn’t mean anything.  And besides, I don’t want to go to Hell.”

            “So you think I’m going to Hell?” Strider laughed.

            “No, of course not.  You’re too nice, but I would…”

            “Now you listen Gina. I know you’ve been raised in this holy roller religious bullshit, but this is what I think.  God made me this way, and God doesn’t make mistakes.”

            Gina sighed and said quietly, “That’s beautiful.”

They rode the rest of the way to the barn in silence.  When they reached the outer, arena gate, they stopped and watched as Chet cantered Patriot around the arena.  Patriot rounded the far end and was then heading toward them.  When the graceful, gray gelding drew near their position and saw them, he slammed on the brakes.  Chet wasn’t ready for that, so he was launched in the air over the front of Patriot’s lowered head and landed on the floor of the arena hard.  He started crying.  Then he shouted, “Shut off that camera, faggot!”

            Gina looked over at Strider and saw his hand raised with phone in hand, obviously videoing the incident with a broad smile spread across the width of his chiseled brown face.

            For a moment Gina smiled too.  But then she reached over and pulled Strider’s arm down.

            “I don’t want to be like them, Strider,” said Gina.

            “But…,”

            Strider saw the sincerity in Gina’s eyes.  He put the phone in his pocket.

            “I love you, Gina,” said Strider.

            “I love you too,” said Gina.

           

           

         

BlazeandFlamePaddock
Blaze and Flame
Patriot Headshot
Patriot