Chapter 1: Leaving Home

I looked out over the green that was Montana and realized that by tomorrow morning, the green would no longer be apart of my landscape. My mom was sending me off to a father I had never known. My whole life, my mom had been from one rich man to another. She always tried to give me all I could ever want, including toys, clothes, and horses. The men she “loved” would always try to be a father to me, but the older I got, the less interested they became. As they took interest in my mom, I took interest in my studies and my riding. My mom had bought me an ungodly expensive eventer when I turned fifteen and since then, I trained with him every day and studied my schoolwork every night. I made honor roll every year at school and competed in national horse shows every year. I was the best at everything I did. It didn’t make me arrogant or egotistical, but instead, it made me lonely. I didn’t have many friends. My horse was my best friend and I was happy that I was taking him with me to California.

I turned him for home and we trotted down the mountain. He loved his trail rides, as it was the only time I let him off his tight rein and let him stretch his legs. As we came to the clearing at the foot of the mountain, I pulled him up. I looked out and wished I could take this with me to California. It was too pretty to think I had to give this up. I looked down at my horse and he danced in place. He was itching to open up and that is exactly what I let him do. I clicked my tongue and urged him forward with a kick in the side. He lunged forward, I took ahold of his mane and leaned over his shoulder, sitting perfectly still in the saddle as his enormous stride took us over large amounts of ground. He and I made our way through the clearing and into the woods, where I collected him into a canter, trot, and finally, a walk. Our farm was just on the other side of the trees. I was going to miss everything about this place.

The small moving van was just about loaded with all of my things that didn’t include furniture. My clothes, my pictures, some of my ribbons and trophies, and all of my horse tack and tools were in the van, ready to take me away from everything I had ever known. The van had hitched up the trailer and was ready for me to load my horse up. I led him from the barn in his blanket, leg wraps, and bell boots to make his ride comfortable and easy. He has his water and hay, so he was happy to walk right into his spot. I closed up the trailer and turned to see my mom and her new husband standing there, with my backpack in her hands.

“Have a safe trip honey. I love you.” Mom smiled at me and tucked my bands behind my ear.

“I love you too mom.” I took my bag from her hands, threw it over my shoulder, and let her hug me.

“I will miss you, but I’ll come visit and you can come home in the summer if you want.” She let me go and looked at me again.
“Yeah, sounds good.”

“You are going to love California. It is sunny every day and has more places to ride than you might think. More people to interact with too! You will have friends in no time.” Mick exclaimed with a perfectly white smile.

“Sounds good. Bye guys.” I gave my mom one last hug and then hopped in the van. They trusted me to drive to Arcadia, California with a van full of boxes and a trailer with an eventer worth more than the trailer he was being hauled in. At age seventeen, I was more grown up than my mother, which made me feel even worse about being alone in life. I waved as I pulled away from the house and the only life I had ever known.

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