THE STALLION STRATEGY
Andi sighed. She clearly hadn’t won this battle. She stepped out of the barn and glanced at Chad’s new stallion. He was so beautiful, monstrous though in size, standing well over 16 hands tall, solid black with one white star. I would do anything to just touch him, she thought. Then she turned and sprinted for the house when Chad’s next words froze her in her steps.
“Oh and one more thing little sister. I would be more than happy to let you keep and train a stallion of your own, but this one is not yours, so,” his voice softened “please don’t touch mine.” He gave her a half smile.
She nodded and took off. Chad said he would be more than happy to let me keep and train a stallion of my own, Andi thought excitedly. But where would I get a stallion of my own? Andi pondered the question until the next day, when she got the answer.
While at school Andi scribbled on a piece of paper, “Dear Cory, Chad said that I can keep and train a stallion of my own, but where would I get one? Would you help, please? -Andi.”
She carefully folded the note as so not to be heard and handed it to Cory.
Intrigued, Cory said that he would be glad to help out and that they could discuss details at recess.
Andi agreed but did not write back for fear of getting seen. She impatiently watched the clock and thought of what it would be like to have her own stallion. We could lunge, ride and even run in the Kentucky Derby!
She was so caught up in her day dreaming that she didn’t even realize the class had been dismissed for recess. “Andrea, you may go now. It’s recess.”
With that Andi jolted back into reality. “What--” the words came out before she could stop them.
Andi blushed and hurried out to get away from Mr. Foster’s laughing eyes. When she saw Cory she let out a sigh of relief. “I’m so glad you agreed to help me. Thanks!” she said wearily.
“What took you so long?” Cory asked.
Andi quickly explained. “. . . and that’s why I’m so glad you’re helping me.”
“Where do we start though?’’ was Cory’s blunt reply.
“I-I-I don’t know,”Andi stuttered. “All I know is that Chad is going out of town for the cattle drive.”
Cory got a twinkle in his eye, “What if his stallion just kind of ran away and came back tame?”
“Why Cory you’re a genius!!!”
“Haven’t I always been?” Cory smiled.
Andi pushed Cory and they walked back to class laughing. The rest of the day flew by and before Andi knew it she was wishing her brothers good-bye!
That night Andi heard a loud scream. It was the kind of scream you hear from a wild horse. Chad had not taken the stallion with him, Andi mused.
She closed her eyes to fall asleep when it came again. She sat up wide awake now for the sound came again and another sound with it. Two horses … fighting!
Since the boys aren’t here it’s my turn to investigate, she thought. With that she pulled on her shirt, overalls, and boots and ran out of her bedroom, slid down the stairs and tumbled out the back door. Had another horse gotten in the stallion’s paddock? How? It was so tall. Could he jump? Her heart skipped a beat.
What she saw froze her in her tracks. He hadn’t jumped. There was no one in there. He had broken the corral fence and was gone.
Oh no! Andi panicked. I have to find him, but how?
She couldn’t do it tonight because people would think that she’d let him out. She would go to town tomorrow, get Cory, and they’d find and catch him for sure. Then they would train him. The thought brought a smile to Andi’s face but for now she would have to get to bed before somebody else came out.
The next morning Andi got up bright and early, ate a delicious breakfast, saddled up, and rode into town. Cory willingly offered to help and soon they were back at the ranch. After much searching they spotted a black horse.
Mustering up their best aim and all their strength, they lassoed him and pulled him into an old corral and hobbled him.
“We can’t do much now,” Andi said with disappointment in her voice. “It’s nearly supper time and our folks are probably wondering where we are.”
“We can meet tonight at midnight,” Cory suggested.
“Okay,” Andi agreed eagerly.
That night at midnight the two met at the old corral. The stallion was unable to hurt them since he was still hobbled. As he grew more anxious, the stallion lost his footing and fell over.
“Get on him Andi, get on him!” Cory exclaimed.
“What?” Andi looked puzzled.
“Just do it!” Cory instructed.
Andi laid across the magnificent horse and began speaking softly to him. She could sense his fear and agitation as he struggled to get away. It felt like hours had passed but eventually his breathing slowed down and his muscles softened as he finally began to calm down.
Andi instinctively knew that the two had bonded and that trust was now being earned.
Everything was downhill from then on. Andi and Cory continued to meet every night to work with the stallion. Andi had gained the stallion’s trust and he began to follow her everywhere. Together they worked on getting his saddle on and off and one night Andi even got on him and rode.
He was a dream to ride.
Eventually they began to ride through the hills every night. The cool breeze swept through the stallion’s hair making him look like a picture. Andi loved him with all her heart and vise-versa.
All too soon the big day was here. The boys were coming home. Cory and Andi met early that morning to go for one last ride. As they groomed the mighty horse, Cory looked down with sadness and said, “I sure am gonna miss him.”
“So am I,” Andi agreed, holding back tears. “Here they are.” Andi got on the stallion and reluctantly rode up to Chad.
Confused, Andi looked up to see Chad sitting on a beautiful black stallion with one white star on his head. She looked on her stallion’s face to discover that there was no white star. All black.
What? Andi thought. Has Chad has taken his stallion with him after all? Is this one mine?
“Who is that, Andi?” Chad asked.
“Your stallion, right?” she hesitated.
“Nope, this one is mine.”
“Then do I get to keep him?”“Sure little sister, he’s all yours. You may keep him. Now we both have one!”