All that I’ve been though Everything I’ve faced All the lies I’ve been told and said and this This is how it’s all going to end I’ve failed everyone I’ve let everyone down and it’s purely my fault If only I wouldn’t have been such a selfish jerk then maybe maybe I could have set things right and maybe so many horses wouldn’t have died because of me but now It’s too late We’ve done all we can We’ve used up all our strength and energy all our resources all our drive and determination It’s all gone now We having nothing left nothing but blood on our hooves and broken spirits it seems that our only option now is to give up all the others already have I’m the only horse who still thinks there might be another chance but without my friends and my family at my side it won’t make a difference I can’t face this alone and my hope seems to be fading with every moment Balthazar once told me that there is always hope that we can find hope in everything all around us but even he doesn’t believe in that anymore no horse does but what I think Balthazar didn’t realize is that it’s not everything around us that gives us hope it’s not just any horse that can give you hope either it’s the odd little things that you find hope in the strangest little details that bring about the strangest memories You don’t always find hope in the horse you most expect it from but the one you don’t It’s those small things and these unlikely horses that renew your hope and when your hope is restored your strength your energy your drive and your determination to go on again will follow everything that was keeping you down your mistakes, your doubt, your sins.. they will all fade away leaving you fresh again to realize that giving up is an option you will refuse to take Our story begins with two brothers both were born to become the gods of horses the first one was born during the day, when the sun was shining beating down rays of life upon him His name became Cavalo Alato, the horse of light and life. The other was born under the night of a new moon in pure darkness He would become known as Cavalo Del Demone the horse of darkness and death These two horses are the balance of life and death for horses on our planet one cannot survive without the other For life cannot live without death and death cannot happen without life These two watched over the horses on the planet and kept them in balance Creating life and bringing death, working in tune with nature. However, Demone started to grow jealous and resentful of his brother which would lead to the corruption of his power over the balance of life and death among horses The horses tended to love and praise Alato for bringing life to them like young, beautiful springtime foals They did not feel about Demone in the same way however. they resented death and they feared it They dreaded Demone’s name and their fate of death in the future Demone’s jealousy for his brother began to fester as he desired to be like him to be appreciated by the horses for his role in the balance of life like how Alato was appreciated As his jealousy grew, so did his hatred One night, Demone sneaked out onto our Lands while his brother slept and he woke one of the horses that had a deep black coat just like him. The horse’s name was Damon and he was a well respected horse among the herds. Damon was surprised to see the god standing before him an he was afraid he had come to take his life Demone assured him though, that he had not come to take him and instead offered him immortality if he would allow him a favor. Damon did not know what this favor was but he felt like it was a good payoff and he didn’t want to disappoint one of his gods after all. After Damon approved Demone possessed the unsuspecting horse, taking over his mind and body and putting it into his own control. The next morning, now posing as Damon, an ordinary horse that the other horses would listen to Demone stood up in front of one of the herds and called to them to listen to what he had to say. “The gods are angry with us! We have not been respecting Cavalo Del Demone and he will come and take us all unless we worship him even greater than we worship Cavalo Alato!” The horses were frightened by his words, and unsure of what to do. Demone did not realize though, among the herd of horses was a light grey horse who Alato had recently spoken to and warned him that he feared his brother might be up to something This horse called upon Alato to see what was happening. Alato came immediately and stood in front of the herd Demone was surprised by his brother’s apperance and he came out of Damon’s body to face him. Alato was furious with what Demone had done and urged him to listen to him He tried to convince him that he was as respected as he But Demone would not listen, and was far to gone in his own selfish desires. He lunged at Alato. Wanting to rather have his own brother dead than give up what he wanted. Alato had no choice but to defend himself and the two brothers began to engage in a long bloody battle. Finally… Demone was overpowered by Alato He could not kill his own brother He did not have the heart to do so. And he also knew that killing him would disrupt the balance of life. He instead banished his brother to the core of the earth and kept him imprisoned so he could not try and hurt the horses and disrupt the balance again. After Demone was banished Alato went to the white horse who had warned him of what had happened Alato was proud of this horse’s loyalty and devotion and he asked him how he would like to be rewarded. However The white horse refused any kinds of gifts of rewards and said that he simply wanted to help Alato keep the balance of life stable and prevent evil from taking over his fellow horses Alato then decided to offer him something he had never done before He offered to give the white horse immortality and to become is warrior against evil a guardian to the other horses and a Protector of the Balance Although, Alato warned him, immortality is not as good as it may seem at first and there would be many responsibilities for him. The white horse still accepted Alato’s gift Over generations Alato promoted several more white stallions and mares To the honor of becoming guardian horses Protectors of the Balance Alato is now retired from the lands and lives in the Sky Haven a place horses go to rest after dying The Guardians reside there as well, but they come to the Lands whenever the balance of life is disrupted. With Demone banished, Alato now takes the full responsibility of giving and taking away life. It is rumored, that while he is banished underground, Demone is obtaining his own secret following. Before the horse Damon was possessed by Demone, he was an innocent, and kind horse, but that had now begun to change. Damon no longer felt the same since. When Demone had possessed Damon, he had left an evil part of himself behind inside Damon. As Damon felt the deep evil inside of him it began to grow, , he developed a strong loyalty to Demone. Damon went out and gathered other horses to follow him and his quest to one day have the god Demone return , even if it would take him generations to accomplish. The horses that Damon gathered were often time horses with black coats like he and Demone had. Over time, these horses were called Dark Horses. The horses were now silently divided into three groups. The Dark Horses that were secretly attempting to bring Demone out from his prision beneath the planet, the Balance Protectors, trying to keep the peace throughout the land, and the normal horses, unaware of the constant struggle between the balance of life. Aw, come on, that’s the end of it? I’m afraid that’s all for tonight, young one. You foals need to be off to bed. It’s getting late. Ugh, but I don’t want to go to bed. I want to stay up and listen to more stories. Me too! I want to hear more. Come on, Dad, can we please stay up just a little bit longer? No, it’s time for you to go to bed, son. Oh could I at least ask a few questions about the story? if you don’t mind Shaman… Not at all Annabel. Leonardo? Okay, we have time for one question and only one. Thank you sir. Shaman, If Demone is a god, and Alato’s brother, and is so powerful, how come he can’t break out of his prision? Well, Alato used a very magical binding spell that keeps Demone trapped. It is known to be the most unbreakable spell ever created. Are you freaking kidding me? It’s just a stupid story. And magic? Come on? That’s ridiculous. Stop filling these annoying foals with these silly old horse tales. Xavier, horses have been telling this same story for generations. Yeah, from his great sire to his grandsire, so on and so forth. But these tales sound so far fetched. You just use them to teach foals to be good. And all this magic stuff. Good grief. And really? Dark Horses and Balance Protectors or guardian angels or whatever they are called are earth? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard or seen of one before. Maybe they were hear one day, but I think they are long gone now. These stories are apart of our history and these young ones should hear it. And well, yes Xavier, most of us haven’t ever seen a Dark Horse or a Protector before, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t real. In fact, from what I’ve heard, there are some Protectors, and Dark Horses that have actually learned to disguise themselves to look like ordinary horses. So if they can disguise themselves, then I guess that could mean that you, Ash, could really be a goody-two-hooves Protector, oh, wait, no you couldn’t be. You’re way too annoying to be a Protector. You must be a Dark Horse then. Shut up Xavier! That’s not true! Actually, the only Protector that I could see being here would be little Annabel, because she’s so sweet. Very funny Xavier. alright. That’s enough! Off to bed all of you! But I have more questions! No. Get to bed. No more questions. Bed. NOW. Jewel, please ascot them back to the herd. Yes, my love. Come on now foals They’re good foals, and they will group up to be good horses. I’m worried about Ash though. He’s just so angry. I am still worried about him having such a dark coat. He was born almost pure black. Don’t worry, he will gray out. I know, but it still concerns me. I don’t know what I would do having a Dark Horse in the herd. Even if he didn’t gray out and his coat stayed dark, that wouldn’t mean he’d be a Dark Horse Leonardo. You know better than that. The color of a horses coat doesn’t define him and his personality. Yeah, but it sure would attract other Dark Horses to him though. You know you’re not far off from being a horse with a black coat either. Yet you are the leader of a nice herd that would do anything to protect it. It’s not just the color of his coat that concerns me. I should go now. It’s getting late and I have some important errands I need to run. Are you sure you’ll be alright by yourself in this dark? I can get one of my stallions to escort you. No, no, I’ll be fine. You always say that, but I can never seem to believe you. You worry too much about me, my friend. I’ll be fine. I always am. When will you be back? There are still stories the foals need to learn. Sometime soon, I promise. Farewell. Have a safe trip. Hey. Hey, Annabel? Yeah Ash? Do you really believe that story? Of course I do. Why? Don’t you? I guess I do. I’m not sure. What about you Comanche? Do you believe in it? Huh? oh uh, yeah. Those Dark Horses don’t sound very scary though. I bet I could take one on any day. Oh and ah, hey Annabel, what were some of the other questions you were going to ask? Oh, I was just going to ask things like why do Dark Horses have only black coats, Protectors only white, if there was ever a name given to the white horse that became the first Protector, you know, stuff like that. Oh. Well hopefully Shaman will be back tomorrow so you can ask him. Or maybe my Dad knows. You’re dad scares me sometimes dude. Why? He’s just my dad? I know, but he looks at me weird sometimes. I don’t think he likes me. Why wouldn’t he? You’re just a big mouthed foal with no discipline. What’s not to like! Hey! Ugh! Whatever. Ann, why do you want to know so much about that story anyway? Are you like planning to become a nerdy story telling horse like Shaman? Oh you are hilarious Ash. It’s just curiosity, I guess. I find it interesting. My mom says it’s always important to be curious and learn new things. Well, my mom says it’s always important to think before you neigh and have self control. Yeah, that’s because she’s talking to a hothead like you. Comanche! Okay, you foals can have all the fun you want tomorrow. It’s bed time now. Good Night, Comanche. Good Night, Ash. Night, Ann. Night Ash. Sleep tight. And don’t let the Dark Horses bite!