Authors: Angela Dorsey
Tags: #pony, #horse, #angel, #dream, #thomas, #silver, #guardian, #dorsey, #joanna, #angela, #angelica
He was closer to the barn all right.
The half-light of dusk shone on the building making it glow. And
just inside the doorway, tied in crossties – Thunder! His
daughter’s beautiful white pony. A girl was tacking him up.
The man ducked out of sight, his heart
rushing in his ears. Had she seen him? He didn’t think so. But the
pony had. And the girl would too, if she rode past him. He had to
get out of here and fast. Why did she have to choose tonight of all
nights to go for an evening ride?
Still, the advancing darkness wouldn’t
be wasted. Dancer waited to be rescued as well. He would get the
big horse tonight and save Thunder’s recovery for tomorrow.
Dancer’s new farm was miles away, and by the time he got there the
stable hands would be asleep. Perfect timing to reclaim his
magnificent Thoroughbred racehorse, the best horse he’d ever bred
or raced. If it wasn’t for Graham…
Enough obsessing about Graham. What was
done was done. He was going to look forward from now on, and
getting his favourite horses and Kathy’s pony back home was the
Joanna slid her saddle onto Silver Sky’s
back and quickly did up the cinch. The tall pony looked out into
the evening light, his ears pricked forward.
Joanna smiled as she unclipped
the crossties. “It’s a nice night for a ride, isn’t it, Sky? We’re
going to have fun, and this time we don’t need to worry about being
Silver Sky nickered in response
and stamped a hoof.
“You’re supposed to be tired
out,” Joanna added as she swung into the saddle. The stallion
stepped briskly forward, then tried to plunge into a gallop. But
Joanna was ready for him. “Steady, Sky. Steady,” she murmured, as
she pulled him back to a controlled walk
She kept the reins tight as she
rode out of the barn, and glanced to her right. Raven and Trusty
were grazing a few yards from the gate. Before Raven rushed toward
them, she asked Silver Sky to trot.
A dirt track led across the
stable yard to a large pasture. Joanna sidled the stallion up to
the pasture gate. They’d been practicing this at night, opening the
gate without Joanna dismounting. Opening gates couldn’t be easier
once the pony was trained in what to do. Silver Sky held still as
she reached down to undo the latch, then without taking her hand
from the gate, she reined him around to the inside and closed
“Good boy,” she said, and patted
the white neck. That was the best they’d ever done, probably
because it was daylight and they could both see what they were
doing. She glanced back toward the barn. The riding ring was on the
other side, so Robbie and her dad were out of sight, but it didn’t
hurt to double check. Yes, it was safe to gallop!
She’d been longing to get out
all day. School had lingered on forever, and afterwards Mom made
her go shopping for a new dress for church – boring! Then homework,
then dinner, then dishes, and finally, freedom!
Silver Sky surged over the
ground. Joanna bent low over his neck, grateful he had energy to
spare. His legs drove faster and faster, carrying them both over
the pasture as if they were on wings. Joanna’s eyes watered in the
wind. She felt the pony gather himself as they came to the ditch,
then suddenly they really were flying! Silver Sky landed on the
other side on light hooves, snorted, and galloped on. How much more
fun this must be to him than turning tight circles and jumping
under complete control. In one way, it was too bad he was so good
at it. If he was Joanna’s pony, they could do fun stuff like this
The gate to the next paddock was
coming closer far too quickly. Joanna reined Silver Sky to the left
and the pony swung in a wide arch. Around the large pasture again,
over the ditch again, and then one more time! The third time they
approached the gate to the next paddock, she slowed him to a
“Good boy!” Joanna said and
patted his hot shoulder. She was going to have to take it easy now;
only walking and trotting for the rest of the ride. She couldn’t
risk her dad seeing him too hot, after he’d told her to keep a
slow, relaxing pace.
Silver Sky’s step was still
eager as she moved him alongside the gate. Within seconds they were
through and the gate was latched securely behind them. She nudged
him into an easy trot. This was the mare and foal pasture, but the
ten mares with their delicate, valuable foals had all been brought
in for the night. One of the mares, Silver Belle, had been acting a
little colicky, and that’s why Dad and Robbie were behind on their
training sessions. Joanna knew Dad wasn’t just making work for her
to get her out of the way. He really did need her help in checking
When they reached the next gate,
Joanna pulled Silver Sky to a halt and slid from the saddle. She
climbed the rails of the fence and searched the large pasture from
her vantage point. Was that them, on the other side? Four dark
spots and one white, far off in the pasture?
“Crystal! Tessie! Sparks!
The five spots started to move:
Silver Crystal, Silver Tresses, Silver Sparkles, Silver Magic, and
Silver Willow, all various tones of grey and all Silver Sky’s
daughters. The fillies lived in the pasture most of the time,
because Joanna’s dad felt that ponies who grew up in a natural
environment were the most mentally well balanced when they were
older. Until the fillies reached their third summer, when they
would start their lives as civilized competitors and companions to
humans, they lived rough.
But that didn’t mean they looked
rough. Every day, twice a day, Joanna’s dad or Robbie – and now
Joanna, she hoped – came to check on them. The morning visit
included training reinforcement, like leading them, picking up
their feet, grooming, and tying them. Add to that their huge
walk-in shelter, plus the creek that trickled through their
pasture, the bushes along the creek to play in, the forest along
the left side of the property, and theirs was the perfect
upbringing. It made Joanna wish she could be a pony on their farm.
At least then there’d be no more homework. Or dishes. Or doing
stuff with her mom that her mom loved but that she only tolerated,
like going shopping, and getting their nails done together, and
dressing up for any and every occasion.
As the five fillies trotted
toward them, Silver Sky reached over the top rail to nicker a
greeting. Joanna tied his reins to the fence, and climbed through
the rails and into the pasture. Sparks reached her first. Joanna
gave her a hug and a treat, then moved on to Crystal, Monster, and
Willow. Last of all, she came to Silver Tresses – Tessie. Joanna
gave the filly her treat, then scratched her neck as the filly
munched it down. Tessie was one of her favourites. She was the last
foal of the farm’s foundation mare, Silver Surprise, who had passed
on last winter. What a horrible day that had been for all of them.
Even Joanna’s mom loved Surprise, and she wasn’t a horse
Joanna was still trying to
convince her dad that they should keep Tessie as a replacement
broodmare. The problem was that Tessie was so talented, it seemed a
shame to keep her at home in the pasture just having foals. And she
was worth a lot of money. Already there had been offers, but her
parents kept turning them down. They wanted Tessie at home until
she was old enough to be trained, to give her a good start in
Joanna patted the elegant rose
grey neck and moved back to Monster. She breathed in the pony’s
scent. All ponies smelled good, but some were better than others.
Except for Silver Sky, Monster was her favourite smellee. The filly
bumped her with her dark grey nose. “Sorry. No more treats. But
I’ll bring more tomorrow. I promise.”
Joanna climbed over the fence,
untied Silver Sky, and mounted. The two of them watched the fillies
wander into the evening. Crystal gleamed like a fairy pony as they
moved farther away. She was the only one greying early, and was
almost as white as her sire, even though she was only two years
By the time Joanna turned Silver
Sky toward home, evening was well advanced. She did the same thing
she always did when she was outside at night. She looked up.
“Star light, star bright,” she
said, seeing Venus, the “evening star”, glimmering above. “First
star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I
She shut her eyes.
make everything okay with Raven. And please let Dad let me ride Sky
all the time.
Two wishes. Maybe that was cheating.
everything okay with Raven.
That was more important.
Joanna opened her eyes and
sighed, then began combing out Silver Sky’s silky mane with her
fingers. That one tuft always wanted to flip to the wrong side. She
smiled in the twilight. There was something so magical about being
alone with a pony and riding through a starlit evening.
She opened and rode through the
first of the gates on the way back. Too soon she’d be back at the
barn, and she didn’t want to go home yet.
Suddenly, Silver Sky stopped,
his ears taut forward. Joanna peered in the direction he was
looking, but she could see nothing. The stallion danced sideways.
“Whoa, buddy,” she said in a soothing voice. “It’s okay. We just
galloped around this pasture, remember? Three times. There’s
The pony stopped again, and
snorted. Then he lowered his head. He must’ve just been looking for
some excitement. He didn’t want to go home yet either.
Joanna turned him to the right.
If they both thought their ride was too short, then they should
make it longer. They should ride along the farthest fence in the
large pasture, on the trail through the woods. That would add ten
minutes to their ride, if they kept to a walk.
That girl was so brazen, riding Kathy’s
pony as if he belonged to her. What right did she have? He could
see the pony’s whiteness like a pale shadow as it came near. So
beautiful. In fact, more beautiful than he remembered, far more
beautiful. Was this Kathy’s Thunder, or had he made a mistake?
The pony stopped abruptly. It was
looking toward him. It must have smelled him or seen him. He had to
hold still. Completely, totally still.
Suddenly, the pair turned and started
toward the forest.
He’d been lucky this time, but who
would’ve thought they’d come back the same way so quickly?
He could hardly see Thunder’s paleness
any more. Tears filled his eyes as the pony disappeared into the
darkness. He was being silly and far too emotional! He would see
the pony again. In one night, or two at the most, he would be
Kathy was going to be so surprised and
overjoyed to have her Thunder home once again. This would be the
final and greatest surprise of all.