When Rachel arrived home she started to work on her list when a vehicle pulled up the driveway, she figured it was Carol but went to look anyway. It was Jason. He was here earlier than she anticipated, she hadn't finished her chores yet and she hadn't even shovelled a pathway to the guest apartments yet.
"Hi, you came a lot earlier than I anticipated, the stall is almost ready though if you want to bring your horse and tether him it shouldn't be too much longer", Rachel said trying not to sound too stressed.
"Yeah, we caught a tailwind on the plane, I'm Jason by the way and do you know if Carol is here?" Jason asked, his nicely trimmed dark brown, almost black hair suited his defined face and Rachel had to wake herself from her daydream to respond.
"Um, no sorry, she's out getting a manicure, if you want you can wait in the house while I get your accommodation ready", Rachel answered as she jogged back into the barn with her black sneakers, loose jeans and red t-shirt.
She went in and quickly cleaned up the guest apartment and made the beds before shovelling a pathway to the apartment so nobody would slip, she also managed to finish getting the stall ready for Jet, Jason's horse all within the hour.
"Jason, your apartments ready now, sorry about the wait", Rachel said as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"No worries, is it just you running this place?" He asked curiously.
"Oh no, my stepmother Carol owns it, I just look after the horses", Rachel said shyly.
"So it's just you?" He asked.
"Well, occasionally my stepsisters help out a bit but mostly yeah, it's just me", She replied as she sat down at the table.
"That's a tough job for one person, do you go to school?" He asked, she didn't like where these questions were going.
"Yeah, anyway, enough about me, you should go get some rest, it's getting late, do you want any dinner?" Rachel asked as she went to the kitchen.
"No thanks, I'm not really that hungry, I think I'll just go get some sleep", He said as he walked off to his apartment.
Rachel walked into the barn and started cleaning the equipment; she went over to go see Jet. He was a beautiful large bay warm blood with a noble head. His big eyes looked at her and she quickly gave him a pat before looking at his schedule and needs, from what she saw he was a pretty easy horse to look after.
About half an hour later Carol arrived home with her two daughters, she could tell they were all admiring their manicure and laughed because she knew it would be undone within an hour of riding. Jenna made her way to the barn and came in, she gave a disgusted look towards Rachel before moving to go see Jet.
"So this is Jason's horse, not too bad", she said with a smug look, "I can't wait until he gives me and Rose some riding tips."
"It's a good thing too because you need it", Rachel remarked.
"Are you saying I'm a bad rider? Stable girl, that's all you are and all you will ever be that's why people like you don't get to be seen with people like me or Jason", She said with glares of disgust, "You'd think by now you would know your place."
Rachel had already left the room to go make some dinner for Carol, Rose and Jenna. She only wished she could prove to everyone that she was more than the stable girl, she loved being around horses but she knew she would amount to more than that.
Rachel didn't get to bed until eleven at night and didn't look forward to tomorrow morning. She pulled about three blankets over her, not having a heater in winter was a real bummer but she survived anyway.
She didn't sleep very well that night, it was cold in the barn loft and she kept having dreams about her dad and the accident, she still remembers ever moment and every word.
"Can I watch you ride?" The young girl asked her father with a beaming smile.
"Of course", He responded to his daughter as he led the horse into the ring.
The sun had been shining only moments ago but the rain came very suddenly causing the dirt in the arena to transform into mud. Carol came out to watch at some point to and clapped as he cleared each of the large obstacles, he was a brilliant rider and was admired by both Carol and Rachel.
Sampson, his horse, glided over the jumps easily so they were raised a few centimetres and skies became clear again. The large chestnut horse had nearly cleared the round, his hind leg knocked the bar and was unable to land successfully tripping and falling in the mud. Rachel's father had lost his balanced going over the jump and fell off before landing under the horse and the jump.
"Go get help!" Carol yelled at Rachel who ran to her neighbours because she knew her stepsisters wouldn't provide any help.
He was dead before she came back, she didn't know if he was dead before that or not, she can almost remember every tear that slid down her face.
Rachel woke up again and looked at the time, it was almost five anyway so she didn't bother going back to sleep. She went down and went into Jebediah's stall, the gelding was one of the few horses that remained from when her dad owned the ranch. She tacked him up to ride English, she could do most disciplines but she felt like doing jumping this morning to get her blood flowing and the obstacles were already set up in the yard.
She mounted the horse and cantered him around the arena to warm him up before heading for the first jump, she cleared it with ease. The jumps were fairly high but Rachel knew what she was doing, she couldn't stay out for too long because she would get caught by Carol or one of her stepsisters and she wouldn't be allowed to ride for the rest of the week or month or something ridiculous like that.
Jason looked out his window, it was misty in the early morning but he woke when he heard a horse nicker gently from the arena which was close to his apartment. He saw a chestnut, or was it bay? Horse easily clearing the fences in the arena, fences that he used for jumping, it was designed to be an extremely hard course, he couldn't see who the rider was so went back to sleep and by the time he woke up they were gone.