16. Chapter 16: Needing Some Space
When I finished grooming Aries, I walked him into the indoor round pen that's just off the indoor arena and unclipped the lunge line and lead rope from his halter. I was going to do a join up with him. I clucked my tongue signal for Aries to pick up a canter in the left direction. "Ehh ehh ehh, get up there!" I said after he cantered around the round pen a few times to change is direction. When he had cantered around about 5 times, he lowered his head, licked his lips, and flicked his ears toward me. Those were the signs of the join up, and horses never lie. I turned away and heard Aries slow from a canter to a trot and then a walk almost immediately after I turned. He walked towards me and followed me as I walked in different directions. I gave him a mint and pat him on the head. "Good boy Aries. Maybe next time we can work on some liberty work and go for a ride aye boy, you wouldn't mind that now would you?" I said and he whinnied.
I let him stay in the round pen while I went to go and get the tack from the tack room. I would be teaching him tricks so he can be used as a trick horse when or if I ever become a trick rider. I'll start with a light English saddle today and use a Western saddle as I progress with him. I let Aries sniff the saddle pad and half pad before I gently later them on his back and withers. Before I lightly set the saddle on his back and withers, I let Aries smell the saddle too, and also the girth. He was doing pretty well. He tried to bite me a few times at first when I had wanted to tighten the girth but he didn't get away with it. I let him sniff the bridle before putting it on him. Because I don't really like bridles with bits like Perrie does, I use hackamores. Same thing goes for Tenny, and if I ever ride Tommy I ride with his halter and same with the other 11 horses and ponies. I put my helmet on and put my right foot into the stirrup of my saddle. I then pulled myself up and say deep into the saddle. "Easy boy, easy. Your okay, your fine. Remember now, just as we practiced." I said reassuringly as I clucked my tongue when he was done with his mini rears that we're so cute. "Good boy." I said when I finally got him into a fast trot and then a slow canter. He was just like Tenny, he has the gate of a rocking horse just like I was hoping for. He's pretty lazy for an ottb (off the track thoroughbred). "Good boy!" I said after I dismounted Aries and gave him a treat. I lead him back to his stall and hooked him up to the cross ties out in front of his stall. I curried him, brushed him, combed his mane and tail, and picked out his hooves after removing the saddle, hackamore, saddle pad and half pad, and boots and polos. Oh how I lived this horse. I thought to myself even though Tenny was still my baby, Aries was just like another child to me.
When I woke up the next morning in the hayloft, I heard the step creak. I quickly grabbed the closest thing to me, a knife to cut the hay bales open with, and was surprised to see Niall walk up and tell me to put down the knife. "Put it down Cathryn. Please don't kill me." He said softly. "I won't unless you don't leave. What are you doing here Niall?" I said. "I came to visit you, I have. The carrots that Louis wanted me to give to you and a bit more." Niall said leading me down the stairs. "This is Trouble, he's a miniature donkey with great bloodlines. And this is Stormy, he's a mule in need of training. He was rescued by some people that founded him in the mountains. Some wolves ate his mother. You can rename them if ya like." Niall said. "I can see that." I said. "And Niall I'm still not gonna forgive you. Thanks and all, I'll keep them, but you can't just buy me things an expect me to forgive you immediately afterwards. I just need some space. Go back and your with the boys and Perrie. It's not like I'm used to it or anything." I said and rolled my eyes. "Whatever Cathryn." Niall said getting mad. "Ya know I trie and do something nice for ya but you just make me feel bad again. You're lucky I can't return this ugly mule and donkey." Niall said. "Mules are useless and aren't worth anything anyways. I don't even know I bothered to save him. He would've been better off getting put down." He finished. "Your lucky I'm not gonna slap you. Just go. Every animal deserves a life, and to me all animals and mules and donkeys and horse are to be accepted. They belong to me now even though there a gift you always write my name for ownership. Don't feel so smart now. Now do ya." I said as Niall left.