Friday, August 26, 2011

Shooting Star Stables

A light-hearted, fictional story about three young girls who love horses, continued from this post.

“Geez, Holly, it’s about time! I thought you were never gonna get out here!” Jennifer teased.

“I know, me either! I couldn’t wait to ride today, especially after such a stinky day at school. Algebra totally blows my whole afternoon,” Holly complained, patting her horse Aphrodite on the neck.

“Well, you don’t have to think about it anymore. I’ll see if I can help you with it later,” Jennifer said. She knew Holly’s worries needed to be assuaged ASAP or she would just continue to think about them until they had swelled to blinding proportions.

“Okay, girls! Let’s see whatcha got!” Katie said briskly as she stepped through the rails and headed to the center of the ring. “We won’t wait for Blair. She can join us when she’s ready.”

Holly and Jennifer didn’t need to be told twice, and they began a sitting trot around the ring. Holly made sure to keep a couple horse-lengths between Aphrodite and Firefly, and she settled into the soothing rhythm of her mare’s gait. It didn’t take long before all thoughts of algebra were gone, and she could enjoy the beautiful, pure connection between horse and rider. After they had gone twice around the ring, Katie asked for a posting trot. Holly made sure she was on the correct diagonal, and looked up to see Jennifer rising and sitting with each step in near-perfect form.

Jennifer had been riding all her life, and was one of the most advanced young riders at Shooting Star Stables. Holly found herself getting jealous of Jennifer sometimes, as Holly had started riding only a few years ago and wasn’t quite as experienced. Holly usually managed to push those thoughts aside, though, because Jennifer was one of the best friends she’d ever had.

Katie’s request for a canter jerked Holly out of her thoughts, and she once again fell into the rocking motion of Aphrodite’s stride. Holly concentrated on keeping her inner thighs tight around Aphrodite’s middle so that she did not need to depend on the stirrups. She still needed to check her form fairly often to make sure it was correct, as it didn’t come quite as naturally yet as she would like. Jennifer had reassured her that even the best riders still needed to check their form, even those who seemed like they were born riding.

As the girls cantered, Katie explained what they would be working on that day. Jennifer would be doing a full course of jumps, while Holly would practice sets of two jumps. Both of the girls would be working on evening out their horses’ strides in preparation for the jump. Holly was eager to get started, as jumping had become one of her greatest joys since she had started learning how a few months ago. She trotted Aphrodite over some cavelletti on the ground to get them both in the right mindset of pacing steps, before asking for a canter again and turning her toward the first jump . . .

Read more about Shooting Star Stables tomorrow!

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