methow grist 2011-2014 archive


Own a Horse to Ride on my Ranch

I go to the meadow and pat Moonshadow, my black mare. She is a hot-tempered horse who will only let me and her personal groomer touch her.

I feed her a treat and hop on her back. I start her off with an easy walk and proceed in to a trot. The sun on my face feels warm and welcoming. The slight breeze is refreshing. It is a perfect day to ride.

Moonshadow is impatient. She wants to run. I let her gallop for a while, then let her run free. I love the wind rushing through my hair. We pass into our orchard and walk between the evenly spaced trees. I pick an apple and take a bite. Delicious! I tell Moonshadow to stop and pick an apple for her. She seems to like it a lot.

She whinnies and I understand that she wants to run again. I let her lead me through the orchard. I’d never noticed until now that there is a nice path going through the woods. We go on it and race through the woods, every once in a while leaping over a fallen log.

I hear something behind me. Moonshadow runs faster. Camas, Josh, and my other two horses, Pearl and Starfish, pull up on either side of me, panting. Starfish whinnies and Moonshadow replies with a snort. We all laugh. Moonshadow is notorious around here for responding rudely to other horses.

We take a right and reenter the meadow. Starfish veers to the left, and Pearl to the right, breaking away from Moonshadow. Camas tries to turn Pearl around, but pearl has other ideas. She has found the perfect apple and is nibbling on it.

“Pearl, stop it!” Camas says.

“It’s okay,” I tell her, “Pearl, come here.”

Pearl finds her apple boring and rejoins us. We ride over to the stable and dismount. I have the stable hands take care of Pearl and Starfish, but Moonshadow’s special groomer does her.

I watch as Starfish’s black-brown coat is wiped with a soft towel to bring out the shine. He looks dazzling. I look over at Pearl and she glimmers. Finally, I see Moonshadow, and she is shimmering, sparkling in the moonlight.

Wow, I think, she is beautiful.

She whinnies, and the boy who is holding her gives me a scared look. She doesn’t like him, or any kids for that matter. Well, except for her groomer and me, of course. She rears and the boy runs into the stable. She runs over to me as soon as she sees me.

“Moonshadow,” I say soothingly as I stroke her muzzle, “You’re a unique horse.”

Pearl and Starfish walk calmly with their leading boys. They are easy- tempered and amiable, good for visitors to ride. As I put them in their stalls for the night, I think I hear a soft neigh from Pearl’s stall and think of how happy I am.










Erin Frey is an eighth grade student in Mrs. Orme's English class at Liberty Bell High School.

Students were asked to list 30 things they would like to do before age 30 and write a narrative about one on the list as if they had already done it.

Erin Frey chose ‘Own a Horse to Ride on my Ranch’ as one of her thirty before thirty listings.