Keeker and the Horse Show Show-Off

BOOK: Keeker and the Horse Show Show-Off
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KEEKER
and the Horse Show Show-Off

by
HADLEY HIGGINSON
Illustrated by
MAJA ANDERSEN

Chapter 1

This is Catherine Corey Keegan Dana, but everyone calls her Keeker. Keeker is nine and one-quarter. She lives in Vermont in a little white house in the country with her mother, her father, five dogs, two cats, a goat, a parakeet and a hamster named Sam. She doesn’t have any brothers or sisters but she does have her very own pony, named Plum.

This is Plum. Plum is a Shetland pony who lives in the big field at Keeker’s house. Plum has her very own apple tree that she likes to sleep under. She also has a red halter that she’s very fond of.

Oh, and she has Keeker.

In the summertime when school is out, Keeker is very busy. She likes going down to the pond to look at tadpoles. She likes going over to her friend Polly’s house to put on plays. More than anything, though, she likes riding Plum.

Summertime is busy for Plum, too. She likes rolling in the dirt to scratch all her itches. She likes nibbling apples right off the tree. She likes chasing the goat when he scoots under the fence.

And now that she’s trained Keeker, Plum doesn’t even mind going riding.

Chapter 2

During the summer, Keeker takes riding lessons. Twice a week a college student named Jane Louise Appelgarden comes to Keeker’s house to help with Plum. Jane Louise is very tidy. She wears riding clothes. She NEVER looks dirty.

Keeker finds this fascinating because no matter how clean she tries to stay, she always ends up with hay in her hair and slobber on her clothes. (Ponies don’t drool. But they can be slobbery.)

Jane Louise likes to start every lesson with stretches. “Swing your arms like windmills,” she tells Keeker. “Push your heels down, and stretch your neck up tall!”

Sometimes while Keeker is windmilling, Plum will stop walking altogether and put her head down to sneak a snack.

“Silly twirlers,” thinks Plum as she munches. “It’s SO much more fun to eat grass.”

After stretches, Keeker and Plum practice their gaits, which means going at different speeds. Walking and trotting is easy, but it’s very hard to make Plum pick up her speed to a canter.

“Give her a kick!” yells Jane Louise. “She’s just being stubborn.”

Keeker kicks, but Plum just puts her nose in the air and trots faster.
Rat-a-tat-tat.

One day Keeker and Plum were whizzing in trot circles, when Keeker had a brilliant idea.

“I know what will get Plum going,” she said. “Let’s try jumping!”

Jane Louise agreed that this was just the thing to do. She took two hay bales out of the barn and placed them end to end, making a fuzzy-looking horse jump.

“Okay, Keeker,” said Jane Louise. “Trot once around the jump; then turn toward it, and give her a big kick! Remember to stand up in your stirrups a little and release the reins like I showed you.”

Keeker and Plum trotted once around then headed toward the jump.

“Are those for eating?” Plum wondered as they trotted toward the bales. “Surely I’m not supposed to go OVER them?”

“Yikes!” thought Keeker. She closed her eyes and crossed her fingers and gave Plum a BIG kick. Plum was startled; she snorted and bucked and charged toward the bales. Keeker and Plum flew over them.

BOOK: Keeker and the Horse Show Show-Off
10.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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