• Published 21st Aug 2021
  • 774 Views, 99 Comments

Letting Go Of The Reins - applebatofalltrades



Applejack's rodeo career takes a turn. She must learn to adapt to her new life and the challenges that come with it.

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Wheelie Wheelie Hawd

Applejack’s arms shook.

She clenched her jaw and put all her effort into keeping her arms from shaking, but still. They shook. Her grip tightened around the parallel bars, which only made her tremble even more.

“You can let go.”

Applejack swallowed and shook her head. “No, I can…”

She couldn’t. With a thump, she fell back in her chair. “Damn it!” she growled, throwing her fists against her lap.

“Hey, hey, don’t do that.”

The blonde kept her head down but glanced up through her brow at the physiotherapist. Her bangs mostly obscured her view, but she found that was preferable to facing him directly. “I’m sorry.”

Rain, the young man who shot Applejack a tiny smile, nodded. “It’s okay, I know it’s frustrating. But you’ve only been here a week. You haven’t exactly been using your arms all that much until now, and certainly not trying to hold all your body weight up without help from your legs.”

Applejack knew he was right. She really did, but she just couldn’t help the frustration. It was like being back at square one. She might as well have just woken up in the hospital all over again with the neck brace and everything. Her frown deepened into a scowl. “I wanna stop.”

“Okay, that’s fine. You’ve had enough for today, we can continue tomorrow.”

Applejack shook her head and wiped away the hair from her forehead. It stuck to her, flattened by sweat. She set her legs properly in the chair and her hands on the pushrims. “No.” She backed away from the parallel bars and Rain, whose smile dropped a bit. “No, I mean I wanna stop. I don’t wanna do this anymore.”

The pale man took a slow step forward. “We just need to rebuild your arm strength and get you used to balancing out of the chair. It’s tough, but you’re doing well.”

“No, I–I’m going back to my room.”

She tuned out what he had to say as she spun away from him and wheeled past all of the other obstacles and training items she was supposed to tackle. Ramps and fake curbs mocked Applejack as she angrily made her way past them, leaving Rain alone in the room.

She knew he could have just stopped her. He could have grabbed onto the wheelchair and prevented her from leaving to lecture her. But he didn’t. Maybe he wasn’t sure what to do. Or maybe Rain was just nice like that. That had to be it.

That just made the anger come to a boil. Why did he have to be so nice? Sure, it was his job, but he didn’t have to be so cheery and friendly. He just had to help her. Applejack sucked on her teeth as she turned toward the waiting room, not even bothering to make eye contact with the nurse up front, who gave her a half-wave. Her eyes stayed glued to the floor in front of her. Tiles blue and gray and white drifted beneath her.

And then she hit something somehow hard and soft at the same time.

“Hey! C’mon, ain’t you watchin’ where you’re going?”

Applejack looked up at her victim. A well-built man, probably around her age, maybe a few years older, turned to look down at her with a frown. He looked like the guys in the books Applejack had heard her cousin talk about. Southern stereotypes. Tall—though he couldn’t have been too much taller than Applejack on her feet—tan, stubbled, and all that with shaggy dark hair peeked out from beneath his black felt hat. He was such a stereotype that Applejack was sure he was making it all up. As soon as he got a proper look at Applejack, though, his face shifted. His eyebrows stayed furrowed, though the half smile on his face made him seem thoughtful somehow.

Applejack’s own expression shifted into one of apology. She blushed and rubbed her neck. “Oh, I’m mighty sorry. I wasn’t lookin’ where I was going,” she admitted, inching backwards a bit. “You alright?”

The guy nodded and took his hat in his left hand. “Sure, it’s nothin’ to worry about.” He extended his free hand to Applejack. She shook his hand, though it was a bit awkward to have to reach up to do it. “Say, ya look familiar. Have I seen you someplace?”

Applejack swallowed and glanced away. “Maybe. I, uh, live around here.”

He furrowed his eyebrows and looked her over, which made her want to squirm. “Hmm.” He let out a single, nondescript chuckle.

She wasn’t quite sure what to say. “I, err, used to go to rodeos a lot.” Applejack bit back a frown. It wasn’t a lie.

He tapped his chin and put his hat back on. Seemingly satisfied, he shrugged, though his face kept the half-smirk he’d adopted earlier. “Ah, that’s probably it, then.”

She nodded. “Well, my brother competes. And my sister.” It took everything she had not to slap her hand over her mouth. He hadn’t asked. Why was she saying it?

“Oh, got a real rodeo family,” he said with a laugh. “What about you?” His eyes widened as the words came out of his mouth. “Well, uh, I mean…”

Applejack shrugged and crossed her arms. “It’s fine. Nothin’ to do about it now,” she put simply. “But, uh, I wasn’t like this forever.”

“I know.”

“Oh?”

“I’ve seen you in the circuit,” he admitted. “But I get if you don’t wanna talk about it, Applejack.” He smiled a bit, but Applejack wasn’t quite sure how to respond. An awkward moment passed before the guy cleared his throat. “Uh, how could I forget? My name’s Thistle Thorn, but everyone just calls me Thistle.”

He was a bit… weird, but fine. She still couldn’t quite place him, but she decided she probably either hadn’t paid enough attention to the rest of the competitors, or she plain forgot. “Nice to meet ya officially, then.” Applejack gave him her best smile, which he easily returned. “Thistle. Say, you a bull rider?”

He shook his head. “Naw, they’re too ornery for me. I do roping and bareback, though I’ve got a bit of a shoulder problem right now, so I gotta stay in the broncs for a bit. Can’t exactly throw a lasso if I can barely get my arm up.”

Definitely crazy enough to ride bareback if he was nursing a shoulder injury while doing it. Applejack chuckled lightly and kept the comment to herself. He was probably in the facility for his shoulder, then. And either he really cared about his body or he lived close enough to warrant coming to the Canterlot clinic. Though, judging by his profession, Applejack figured it was a safe bet to assume he lived nearby.

She didn’t want to seem like a creep and ask, though, so she just nodded. “Oh, well I hope your shoulder heals up soon, then.”

He tipped his hat. “Thanks. I hope whatever you’re doing goes well.”

Applejack almost laughed at that. He clearly meant that she was in a wheelchair but was too polite to say it. She didn’t want to bring it up either, though, so she left it at that. Instead, she dipped her head at him. “I gotta go now, but nice talkin’ to ya, Thistle.”

“My pleasure.” He tipped his hat and grinned. “Say, any chance I could get your number? It’d be nice to have a friendly face ‘round here, and yours is real nice to look at.”

Normally, Applejack would have rolled her eyes and walked away from a guy trying to make a pass at her, but she had to admit that Thistle wasn’t all bad. He even made her cheeks redden a bit with the comment. That usually never happened, not in a way other than a frustrated fluster, at least. Besides, he was a conventionally attractive guy and he seemed nice. It wasn’t like she could make the excuse that she was too busy to get to know people anymore. She had to talk to him now.

Applejack settled on a smile. “Sure. Gimme your phone and I’ll give you my number.”

He nodded and handed her his unlocked phone, ready for a new contact to be put in. She inputted her number and sent herself a text with a simple ‘hi’ so she could save his contact, then gave the phone back. Thistle grinned and pocketed the phone. “Cool, thanks. I’ll text ya sometime, alright? Maybe we could hang out or somethin’. Once you’re done here, at least.”

That seemed a bit nerve-wracking, especially since she hadn’t been anywhere but a fast food place since getting out of the hospital. And even then, she had made Big Mac bring her back to the truck almost immediately. She couldn’t stand people looking at her.

But she had to. Something about Thistle made Applejack want to get to know him. She wasn’t sure what. Maybe he was charismatic, maybe she just needed attention, or maybe it had been too long since she’d talked to anyone that wasn’t a nurse. Maybe she missed having a friend.

“Okay,” Applejack agreed with a nod. “Sounds good. Bye now.”

He winked and backed away a few steps before turning around entirely and disappearing behind a corner. Applejack stared at where he left before remembering where exactly she was. Her mood instantly dropped as she was reminded of her failure. And not just that, but her defeat. She gave up and stormed off.

She quit. She wasn’t a quitter.

But… it felt impossible to try. She had tried, and she’d been trying for the better half of the week, but she still could barely hold herself up. Applejack sighed and rubbed her forearms. They were sore and achy, and all she had done was try to do something other than sit. She dropped her hands back on the pushrims and continued her trip back to her room.

~~~~🍎~~~~

Applejack typed slowly on her laptop. She’d been busy making sure that the scheduling for the ranch was still up to date despite the couple of months she’d been unable to do it herself. Apple Bloom had accidentally pointed out how they had run out of horse feed a couple of weeks ago, and that was when Applejack realized that she had been the one taking care of that aspect of the business, which meant that while she was gone, there was probably no one doing it.

Not to say that she was the only one, though. Big Mac had been doing a half-decent job so far… But looking at the long-neglected spreadsheet on her screen? Applejack couldn’t help but grimace. She might not have been the best with technology and math, but spreadsheets she could do. Organizing was one of her strong suits when it came to the technical aspects of living at a ranch. That and actually ordering feed.

At least it gave her something to do at her desk, which was already leagues better than being confined to a hospital bed. Applejack inhaled sharply and reset her eyes on the bright white spreadsheet in front of her.

“Feed’s good, hay’s fine… did I already get the West Neighle vaccines ordered?”

Her mind wandered away from the spreadsheet as she thought about the virus. Luckily they’d never been hit with an outbreak, but that was only because they’d kept their horses and cattle up to date with vaccines. Especially the horses. But if she hadn’t ordered the boosters, then that might change, and then it’d be all her fault and—

There was no way she’d be getting any actual work done at this rate.

With a resigned groan, Applejack closed her tabs and stared at the cool gray desktop background. Her elbows propped up on the desk and made a rest for her forehead. She was supposed to be seeing Rain in an hour, but she really didn’t want to go, especially not after she had made a fool of herself the day before.

“God, I’m so childish,” Applejack muttered to herself. She clenched her eyes shut and shook her head in her hands. “What am I supposed to do?”

Ding!

At the speed of molasses, Applejack looked up from the tabletop to the laptop’s screen. A window appeared, showing her a short text stream with a new incoming message. She wasn’t quite sure how her phone and laptop could be connected like that, but when Apple Bloom had set up the laptop for her, she said not to worry about it.

For a moment, Applejack had hoped that it was Strawberry. It had been radio silence from her ever since their talk in the car, and Applejack couldn’t exactly blame her. She’d wanted for so long for Strawberry to leave her alone, but now that she was… well, Applejack wasn’t quite sure how she felt about it. She at least wished she could continue to tell Strawberry to buzz off, at least.

It was a weird hope, and she would have never bet any amount of money on having hoped for something like it, but something about how things happened left a sour taste in Applejack’s mouth. Was that how she felt?

Her dashed hopes soon returned once she realized who had messaged her. No, it wasn’t Strawberry, but it was probably the next best thing. She shot back up and opened the window fully. A subtle smile replaced the frown that was beginning to form on her face.

Thistle
Hey
Are you around?
I’ve been thinking about you

Applejack rolled her eyes, though she couldn’t even force the grin off her face. Was he trying to hit on her? Or was he just being stupid? She decided it didn’t really matter right then.

Me
Yeah, I’m around.
What have you been thinking of me for???

Thistle
Well, I don’t know
I couldn’t stop thinking about the awful pretty girl who almost ran me over with her wheelchair

Okay, she didn’t know much about flirting or anything, but that seemed flirty. Applejack paused and bit the inside of her cheek. She kind of wished she could ask someone, but she knew Fritter would jump to so many conclusions, Big Mac would not at all understand, and Apple Bloom was too young. She didn’t even want to consider Granny.

From what she knew, at least, Thistle was nice, but she just didn’t feel any particular way about him. Was she supposed to? Or would that come later, if at all? He was a nice enough guy from what she could tell. Applejack wasn’t sure what to say, so she decided to just joke about his comment.

Me
You say that now, but you seemed pretty darned upset when I did hit you.
If I’d been a guy, would you have been mad?

He didn’t respond right away, which amused Applejack. She grinned and looked away from the screen to wait. In a way, she was glad that she’d met Thistle, even if it had only been a day ago. Somehow, he felt genuine, like he actually wanted to talk to her. He didn’t know her before—at least not personally—and he wasn’t obligated to be nice to her like the employees at the hospital and the rehab centre. He met her for the first time in a wheelchair and he was nice.

Plus, it was admittedly kind of great to talk to someone outside of the family. Maybe Strawberry had a point. Maybe Applejack was lonely, just not in a way that she ever knew she could be.

The thought made Applejack grimace. She didn’t want Strawberry to be right. Not just out of the principle of Strawberry being right, but if she was, then that meant Applejack had unknowingly been leading a very sad, lonely life, right? And if she hadn’t noticed it, it was because she was too busy. Now, she wasn’t busy anymore. She couldn’t even focus on doing the work she had given herself.

By the time Thistle responded, Applejack had decided that she would prove Strawberry wrong even if in hindsight. She could have friends, and she could talk to people. She wasn’t a lonely person!

She could change. And she’d do whatever it took to make it true.

Thistle made a joke about how he couldn’t stay mad at a girl like Applejack. For her part, she decided to swallow her pride and push away every part of her that wanted to stop talking to him. Every traitorous, lonely part of her.

It was weird at first, but she got the hang of it. Eventually, an hour flew past in what felt like minutes and Applejack noticed it was just about time for her daily session with Rain.

She considered not going, but then what? Then she’d be wasting time and money. And time was money on the ranch. If she could at least get marginally better, then maybe she wouldn’t be such a detriment to her family. And maybe she could keep talking to Thistle later.

Applejack typed out a goodbye to Thistle, who said he had other things to do anyway. The blonde shut her laptop and backed out of the desk, mentally preparing herself for another try with Rain. She could change. She would change. It wasn’t like she had much of a choice.

It was a bit of a struggle to open the door for herself, but she was getting better at it. Applejack paused in the doorway and mulled over her options, but no matter how much she didn’t want to do it, she knew she had to.

With an exhale that was someplace between frustration and determination, Applejack left the room and went down the familiar path to the physio area. The walls went from a cool white to a pale blue. The way the room was decorated with colours and toys among the equipment and obstacles hinted at the fact that children used the room, too. That made Applejack frown. She couldn’t imagine being a kid and having to go through with this. Or even anything like it.

She imagined her little sister, even if she was much older than a young child, in her place and felt a lump form in her throat. She could only pray that Apple Bloom would never have to even have a taste of a room like the one Applejack once again found herself in.

Surprisingly, her eyes fell on Rain, who watched her roll in with a victorious smile. Applejack barely managed to not roll her eyes and turn around simply from his shit-eating grin.

“I knew you’d come today,” Rain said in place of a regular greeting.

“Oh, shut it,” Applejack muttered, which made Rain laugh. “I can still leave, y’know.”

“But you won’t.”

Applejack pursed her lips and glanced at the ceiling.

Rain shook his head in amusement. “Alright, well let’s get started, then. We’re going to give your arms a bit of a break today, so no parallel bars.”

That was a relief. Applejack barely contained a wide smile and instead just nodded. “Okay, so what are we gonna work on?”

The young man stepped back and rolled out a wheelchair of his own, then sat in it. “Wheelies.” He popped a wheelie and did a spin in it to do what could only be seen as showing off. “They’re one of the most essential skills. They’ll get you around uneven surfaces, down curbs, ramps, and anything that might be harder on all four wheels, plus they help move your body around and make sure you don’t get pressure sores.”

Even though he was showing off a little, she could definitely see the use in learning how to be good enough to show off like that. “Sure, that makes sense.”

Rain let his chair fall down back on its four wheels and came over next to Applejack. He definitely seemed a lot more confident and comfortable in it. Applejack wondered how long it’d take until she would feel that comfortable in a wheelchair.

“It’s a lot easier than it looks, but it does require you to be well balanced.” Rain put his hands on his legs to draw attention to them, and rubbed up his legs and to his belly button. “All of this is what you used to use to balance, right? You could use your legs to self-adjust and shift your weight and your lower back helped with that.

“But now, you can’t do that anymore, so you’ve gotta find a new way to balance. Your legs are always going to sit beneath you however you leave them. There’s no moving them around to shift your weight and balance.” He gestured to his upper torso and shoulders. “It’s all gonna be up here, now. It helps to have the body jacket to keep your back perpetually straight, but soon you’ll get that off. Once that happens, you’ll have to readjust and make sure you’re keeping your own balance.”

Applejack nodded. She hadn’t really thought of it that way. She, obviously, knew that her legs weren’t going to be much help, but she hadn’t thought about how important they were to keeping balance, even just sitting. The back brace definitely helped with keeping her upright but she was due to get it off in a couple of days. Applejack thought about how it’d feel to have to keep herself up, and even when she realized she’d get used to it, she then tried to imagine taking wheelies and angles into account.

Honestly, it was a bit daunting.

“So, I just want to make sure I have it right.” Rain backed away from Applejack for a moment and stood up from his chair. He placed a hand a few inches above where his belly button would be, almost halfway up his ribcage. “Around here, that’s where your paralysis starts, right? No feeling from around here down?”

Applejack remembered the few moments she’d had without the body jacket. On each occasion, she found herself dragging a hand down the side of her torso, and at a certain point, the sensation just seemed to stop. It was like touching something that wasn’t attached to her. She swallowed and nodded. “Yeah, around there.”

He nodded and sat back down. “Okay, no problem. So, you’ve already got a good start. You seem to be pretty well-balanced just sitting in your chair. I find that patients in wheelchairs usually have some trouble getting the posture and position right and end up a little off-balanced, but you’re already ahead of the curve in that aspect.”

Those were words Applejack had never heard said to her before. She wasn’t sure how much he meant it, though. Maybe he was just being kind or trying to build up her confidence. Either way, she gave him a smile. If he was telling the truth, then she could probably thank sitting in a saddle so much for her ability to adjust. But she knew that once she got the crutch that was her back brace off, it would end up being a whole other can of worms.

“For now, stay doing what you’re doing and I’ll teach you to pop a wheelie. Don’t try it until I tell you to, though. I don’t want you to roll out and fall, so I need to be near you in case.”

Applejack agreed and watched as he did it again, going through the motions slower for her. She looked attentively and mimicked his hand placement on the pushrims, but refrained from actually doing it as he said. There was a lot of counterbalancing and slight rolling, she noticed.

After his explanation, he popped back down and casually leaned back in the chair. “Okay, you think you’re ready to try it?”

It couldn’t be that hard. She nodded eagerly.

“Great. Before you jump into it, though, I’m gonna give you a bit of a crutch. Lock your wheels and I’ll put you in wheelie position so you can get used to the feeling.”

Once Applejack set the brakes, Rain stood behind her and pushed down on the handlebars, causing the caster wheels to lift off the ground. She felt her body lean back slowly until she was at about a forty-five-degree angle tilted backwards.

“Okay, I’ve got you steady, so don’t worry about that right now,” Rain said. “Now, you’re gonna probably feel a bit weird because your body isn’t directly upright anymore. That’s okay, it’s normal. What I don’t want is you trying to balance by moving your upper body too much other than to look where you’re going. It might seem easier, but it could cause you to fall and will definitely get you used to a bad posture.”

Applejack made sure to not move other than to try to look back at Rain. “So how am I supposed to stay balanced?”

Rain pointed a finger at her wheels. “You gotta get used to using your chair to balance. If you’re tipping back, roll back. If you’re tipping forward, roll forward.” He set Applejack back down on all four wheels. “It’s hard and requires a lot of practice, but I know you can do it. If you need to make a minor adjustment with your body to balance, that’s okay, but I’d avoid making it your first choice. Wheels are your friend, and the chair is an extension of you now.”

“Sounds easier said than done,” Applejack said with a frown.

“It is,” Rain admitted. “But again, practice makes perfect. And we are going to practice today.” He walked around next to her and tapped her pushrim. “To pop a wheelie, put your hands here, and then push forward with both arms forcefully. That’ll lift the casters up, and then you’ll have to adjust.” He glanced at her and put his hands on his hips. “Do you remember how that position I was holding you in felt?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s what you’re gonna try to get to. That’s the balanced position.” He took a step back and sat back down in his wheelchair. “I’ll show you one more time, then you can unlock your brakes and give it a shot. It’s actually harder stationary than in motion, in my opinion, but we’re learning stationary first.”

Once he made sure Applejack was paying attention, he put his hands where he showed her—as if the wheels were a clock and he was grabbing the number eleven—and gave one strong push forward. His casters rose up and sent him backwards, but with a minor adjustment, he was able to stay balanced and even rocked back and forth a bit, still staying in place. He let the chair fall back down.

“You’re probably not gonna get it on your first try, but that’s why I’m here.” He got up and got behind Applejack once more. “Unlock your wheels and give it a shot. Either you won’t get up high enough, or you’ll tip backwards in which case I won’t let you fall.”

She could do that. And she knew Rain wouldn’t let her fall. But she could do it.

Her first attempt went about as well as Rain had said it would. The casters went up—only to fall back down with a thud. Applejack clicked her tongue and shook her head slightly. Okay, so she needed more force. Rain gave her the all-clear and she tried again. That time, however, her momentum was too strong and she tipped too far backwards and rolled forwards at the same time, though luckily Rain made good on his promise and prevented her from falling.

That was the weirdest part. Applejack had felt that sensation before, the feeling of tipping backwards off a chair. Usually, it was accompanied by flailing legs and arms. This time, though, her grip merely tightened around the pushrims and her legs stayed where they were.

It was… an unexpected setback.

“Okay, that was good.” Rain patted her on the shoulder and stepped in front of her to talk face-to-face. “So, you see what I mean? It takes practice, but you’ve clearly got the strength to get into position.”

Applejack shrugged. “Sure, but I dunno how I’m supposed to do it just right.”

“You overcompensated for the first try,” he explained. “It happens quite often, and I find that around the third or fourth try is when people really start to get it. Are you down to give it another try?”

“Uh-huh.”

Her third attempt went about as well as her first one, though she saw it coming. She put a lot less strength into it. That just meant she needed to put some kick into it, but not necessarily a lot of power. That made sense. Sort of.

Her fourth attempt worked. She got into position and, miraculously, managed to correct her slight overshoot. It was definitely easier than she thought to stay in the wheelie, though she did find herself probably overthinking it.

“Great job! You’re balancing really well.” Rain stayed behind her, but the smile was obvious in his voice. “Okay, see if you can go forward. Just push the wheels forward as if you were moving normally, but keep your weight back in the chair.”

Tentatively, Applejack did as she was told. She managed to go forward a few inches, but then wobbled and had to be caught by Rain again. Though, that definitely didn’t feel like a failure. She waited for him to set her back down and then turned to him and shot her arms up. “Didja see that?!”

Rain gave her a high five and nodded. “Yeah! See, I told you you could do it. You even managed to move a bit. Most people just lose their balance immediately.”

“Well, I ain’t most people,” Applejack joked with a cocky grin. “C’mon, what’s next? I’m gonna get that wheelie down flat soon, so we should keep on going.”

He laughed softly. “Woah, there. Let’s reel it in for a second, alright? I am going to teach you something else, but it’s not wheelie related. We’ll come back to that.”

Applejack was a bit disappointed, but still, at least she’d get to learn something new. “What is it this time?”

Rain threw himself into his wheelchair and rolled up to one of the three steep ramps. He stopped next to the flattest one, but even that one was steeper than the tiny inclines that Applejack had practiced on back in the hospital. “Ramps!”

Maybe Rain wasn’t so nice, after all. “I thought you said my arms would get a break?”

He scoffed and waved his hand dismissively. “In a wheelchair, every day is arm day.”

Applejack groaned loudly. It was going to be a long session.

Author's Note:

Here’s a longer chapter. Kind of a miracle! Three chapters in three weeks? Am I doing good at making up for that random four-month-long hiatus? Finally starting to get closer to what I’ve been most excited about, no I will not elaborate. The pacing is going to start changing a bit if you couldn’t tell. So we’ve got two,,, new characters, Rain and Thistle. What do you guys think of them? I think that Thistle Thorn is such a warrior cats name. And hey, is Applejack acting a bit weird?

I don’t know how many active readers I have, but if any of you don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ve been tweeting about Reins pretty regularly over there. Most of the time its stupid bullshit that doesn’t make sense, but recently I’ve been talking about the playlist I have for this story. Mostly for this arc, and it’s mostly songs that remind me of characters and their dynamics. It’s also mostly relevant to things that haven’t happened yet, which is why I haven’t shared many of the songs. Lately, I did talk about two of them. Should I make blog posts about stuff like this? For example, whenever I decide to release a song from the Reins playlist, I could post it as a blog post and briefly explain it without giving any obvious spoilers. Or if you have any ideas of things I could make blog posts about, that’d be cool.

Again, idk how many active readers I have, but I think that someday it’d be cool to be more interactive. Maybe questions for the characters in universe, maybe talking about the story, answering questions as the writer,,, whatever. I dunno! If that sounds interesting, let me know. And not to be annoying, but hehe, if any of you like this story, don’t be afraid to share it with your friends :) More readers means more motivation to write because I know there’s people other than me who want to know what happens next.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this chapter! Let me know your thoughts on it if you want. I respond to all comments! I’ll see you next chapter (which is hopefully soon)


The Ty Pozzobon Foundation intends to break the stigma of mental health and wellbeing among Westerners and those who live its lifestyle.

Ty Pozzobon Foundation was established in February of 2017. Tanner Byrne and Chad Besplug were two of Ty’s closest friends and western lifestyle participants. They were instrumental in starting the Ty Pozzobon Foundation. Chad Besplug stated, “we want to break the stigma and start the conversation about mental health”. No one should have to battle this demon on their own. Bull riders would share advice on how to stay on top of a bull. Now they are sharing advice on how to stay on top of life.

The Amberley Snyder Freedom Foundation intends to give support and resources to youth and young adults living with disabilities to help them grow their confidence and independence.

The mission of Amberley Snyder Freedom Foundation is to provide youth and young adults with special needs and disabilities tools and services which will support their freedom, growth, happiness and independence. The ASFF will give youth or young adults the opportunity to utilize their strengths and continue to improve regardless of their personal challenges and situations. The focus of ASFF is to create and support environments of personal growth and unyielding progress.

Ty Pozzobon and Amberley Snyder are both big contributors to the rodeo community and beyond.

Pozzobon, unfortunately, took his own life at the young age of 25 despite being a top rodeo cowboy after many concussions. It was discovered that he suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a progressive and often fatal brain disease usually caused by repeated head trauma. He is the first case documented in a bull-rider. After his passing, his brain was donated to science in the hopes that it would help doctors learn more about this disease. [source]

Snyder was a rising star in the barrel racing scene. After a car crash rendered her unable to use her legs, she never gave up and worked hard, even getting back into the saddle only 4 months after the accident. When asked what her goals were for recovery she said it was simple. Walk. Ride. Rodeo. She retaught herself how to ride and how to barrel race and even made an appearance in The American in 2015 as the fan exemption. Snyder still appears in professional competition to this day despite having to quite literally buckle in and strap into her saddle. She is all sorts of inspirational, delivering many speeches and talks and showing support. She even has her own book titled Walk. Ride. Rodeo. and a Netflix movie of the same title. [source]