- OOC; just dumping a load of short stories I've written over the past few months
From left to right: Aston riding Thomas and Harlyn riding Tinkerbell
“Can we ride mum, please, please let us ride!” Haryln whined, sighing jumping up and down. Effie had been busy delivering hay to customers all morning, Mekhi had helped her load the square bales up in the pick-up truck and off she went. Aston stared at Effie, his eyes pleading. He was the quieter one out of the two and always let Harlyn do the talking. “Harls it’s snowing, can I just have a rest for a minute please, sweet?” Effie sighed, running her hand through her daughter’s hair. Sheepishly, Harlyn spoke “… so we can ride later?” she drew her lips inwards and swayed from side to side. “Yes, but let me sit down for a bit,” Effie replied.
Aston settled down next to her on the sofa and snuggled into her side. Effie smiled dozily, she could have easily gone for a nap if she hadn’t got so much to do. There was an airy bitterness outside, a heavy fog made the air muggy, though it didn’t’ put the twins off of riding. They’d eaten their sandwiches for lunch, though Harlyn had complained she wanted cheese and pickle instead of cheese and ham. “I don’t like butter either mum!” she’d exclaimed. Effie stared at her not amused, “and since when did you not like butter?” she’d questioned.
Eagerly, the kids lugged their saddles up to the barn, Effie followed carrying their bridles. The twins faked panting once they reached the barn and Effie laughed, “You silly pair,” she tickled both of them and the two of them whined. “Come on, go grab your ponies.”
Effie stood looking around the barn, she despised mess and she grimaced once she saw all the sawdust left outside of the kids’ ponies’ stalls. She couldn’t resist, she grabbed a brush and began sweeping the sawdust away. Not long after she could hear the sound of pony hooves meeting gravel and the kids laughing and chatting away, she quickly popped the brush back in its usual place. They tied their ponies up in the ties and got on with grooming, Harlyn grabbed a hoof pick and began to pick the mud out of Tinkerbell’s tiny hooves. Aston, however, grabbed a mane and tail comb and some conditioning spray and began to brush through Thomas’ mane. “I’ll bandage them both up for you, pop out the way Aston,” Effie stated. Aston moved to the left and Effie squeezed past him over to the stack of shelves, she grabbed two sets of four bandages and walked back to the ponies. First, she started on Thomas, she had gotten good at bandaging over the years which meant it didn’t take much time. She finished with Tinkerbell and the kids started tacking up. Aston always struggled to put Thomas’ bridle on so Effie helped him, he was getting rather flustered about it all. Harlyn had teased him about it in the past so he had been feeling rather embarrassed about it. “Mum, stop I can do it myself!” he’d scowled, clearly struggling. She’d left him to it until he’d frowned and looked back to her for help.
The two of them were ready and tacked up. They walked the ponies out into the arena and quickly tightened their girths before mounting. Thomas was excited to be ridden and he suited Aston well as Aston was quite an impatient rider who wanted to go fast. Harlyn, however, was more careful and neat, it was surprising as Haryln was so scatter-brained usually and Aston was the patient one… it was a totally different story when they both rode. Effie sat on the fencing and watched them, it was interesting to see their riding styles, Haryln rode much more like her father, and he’d taught her to be quiet and precise.
Aston was the first to move into a trot, Thomas sprung forward in excitement and Aston worked him nicely onto the bit. These ponies knew their jobs yet it took the right riders to get the best out of them and after a long session of warming up and a few comments about their riding from Effie, they moved up into canter. Thomas began to canter sideways at first but Aston growled at him and he soon settled down. Effie could hardly feel her fingers, she’d worn thick gloves and a heavy coat but she was still freezing. “Are you two cold?” she asked, folding her arms. “Yes,” they replied quietly, hanging their heads. They’d really wanted to ride but it was just too cold outside. “Mum… can we finish now?” they asked sheepishly as all afternoon they’d nagged at Effie to ride. Feeling relieved, Effie nodded and the twins dismounted and led their ponies back into the barn. “I can’t feel my fingers,” Harlyn squealed, raising her eyebrows and shaking her hands. “It’ll be okay, you’ll get the feeling back in them when you warm up". Aston rubbed his left eye, it always seemed to run in the cold but the opticians had always said there was nothing wrong with it. Effie helped them untack and they left their ponies in the stables for a while.
Mehki and Dante
Mekhi ran his hand through his gelding, Dante’s, slick mane, all that could be heard was the sound of wind whistling through the trees and Dante’s soft breathing. They both stood staring across the horizon, it was a bleak day, all the leaves on the trees had gone and the ground was coated in a thin layer of snow. Mehki felt the heat terribly and even in the coldest weather he would sometimes wear a t-shirt. Today he was wearing a thick woollen jumper and he was already feeling hot, he pulled up his sleeves and let out a deep breath. Fog rose from his lips as he breathed outwards, the same to Dante too, it wrapped round them like a blanket, Mehki felt peaceful. Riding was his release, his happy place, his time to think, of course he loved spending time with his family as they were his top priority, but getting back to the barn and jumping on Dante was something he never wanted to lose. Dante lifted his head to see a crow in the distance, it croaked and began to peck at the ground searching desperately for worms. Nature fascinated Mehki, even as a kid he’d loved to play outside, making mud pies and keeping worms in glass jars. Little did he know they needed to live underground with a food source, he did wonder why they shrivelled up and died every time. Mehki laughed to himself at the thought of this, he missed his mother deeply though, she had passed when he turned ten years old. The two of them were close, she shared his passion for horses, when she died he promised himself and to her that he would never give up riding. Although seeing horses sometimes pained him, as it reminded him of his mother. He glanced up at the crow and half smiled before asking Dante to walk forward. It startled the crow, it flew off up into the trees and Mehki watched it go, he lost sight of it and brought his focus back onto Dante. “Come on, let’s have a little schooling session,” he spoke soft and low to his beautiful, dark bay gelding as they walked into the clearing.
Dante much preferred show-jumping but he was definitely talented in dressage, he had big, exaggerated movements and a nice head carriage too. They trotted round for a moment, Dante was focused now, the froth at the side of his mouth began to form, not because Mehki had harsh hands, because he didn’t, but because he was excited and happy to be working. Mehki asked him to half-pass across the clearing, immediately Dante responded and half-passed until Mehki asked him to stop. After a long and intense thirty minute schooling session, Mehki allowed Dante to walk. Both of them were puffing now and it was getting darker by the second. Luckily they were close to home, he allowed Dante to walk back home on a long rein.
Mehki holding Kodie ready for Effie to ride
It was still snowing; beautiful crisp snowflakes were beginning to settle on the ground, Effie was sick to death of riding in the snow. The indoor school was still under construction, she couldn’t wait for it to be finished. “Sweet, hold him still for me would you?” Effie handed Kodie’s reins over to Mehki. Mehki took hold of them quietly, Effie was in a huff as she’d just got back from parents evening. One of the twins had been disrupting lessons recently; Effie was constantly being called in by the Head Master. Mekhi was less strict with the twins; he allowed them to push boundaries too often which left Effie frustrated. He loved his kids and hated telling them off and the kids knew it, they could get away with most things with him. However, the kids both started trying to push the boundaries with Effie, who was having NONE of it. They’d both stood shocked once they’re mother began to shout after they’d been winding each other up all day, “I am beyond tired of your silly comments and jokes, pack it in the both of you!” she’d scorned. They’d looked at one another and sulked off to their bedrooms.
Kodie nudged Mehki gently; he always knew when something was up as he was sensitive. Back in the day Kodie was quite a nervy horse but he’d come out of his shell in the last couple of years, Effie was proud of his progress, he was her prized possession. He proved to be very talented, jumping courses of 1.30m at home with ease and the scope to go higher. He blinked his eyes gently, watching Effie as she jolted the zip up on her coat. “Thanks Ki,” Effie took the reins from Mekhi’s hands and slipped them over Kodie’s head. He ducked slightly, “it’s okay,” Effie shushed him, he had been ear-twitched as a yearling and she’d never quite been able to get him used to having his ears touched, though he was much better than he was when they bought him. Kodie had been brought for Effie’s 21st birthday, she’d been eyeing up his sale advert for a while and Evan and Mehki tried him out and brought him home.
Effie picked up the reins and Mehki instinctively walked round to Kodie’s right side and held the stirrup. Effortlessly, Effie swung herself up onto his back. Almost instantaneously, Effie felt better, once she was on horse-back nothing else mattered. Her fingers were red, she could hardly feel them, she began to squeeze and release them for a while to try and get feeling back into them. She gave up in the end and walked Kodie around the arena. His hooves fell softly and he made a quiet grunting sound with each stride, he always made this noise when he was happy. Effie rubbed at her nose which was also turning pink, she sniffed gently. The chilly weather always brought on a cold for her, she hated the cold weather and she lived for the evenings when she could settle under the duvet covers with her electric blanket.
They’d warmed up thoroughly by this time, though Kodie never worked up a sweat, Effie cantered him confidently towards one of the smaller fences and he popped over it neatly. Effie moved with him as Kodie landed softly on the other side, she ran a hand down his neck and smiled to herself, there was nothing better than riding your heart horse. Eventually they began to jump the bigger fences; she reached 1m which Kodie found easy. Effie didn’t want to go much higher, the snow was starting to settle on the ground and although it wasn’t icy, she didn’t want to risk it.
They finished jumping and Mehki ran over with a quarter sheet, he flung it over Kodie’s back and Effie pulled it over her legs. The two of them warmed down before she dismounted and walked him back into the stables.
Effie jumping Kodie
Dante and Zander in the pastures
Dante leaned over the fence and began to rub his neck on one of the posts and Zander began to lean on him, rubbing his neck on Dante’s rump. The snow was falling lighter today, the snow from the night before had melted but another layer of snow began to settle. It was cold enough for it to freeze and Evan was pretty sure it was going to stay this time. The idea of it made him smile, the thought of riding Zander through the woods, everything coated in pure, untouched snow was his idea of perfect. Winter was definitely his favourite season. Evan trudged up the track to Zander’s field, both of the horses nickered to him as he approached and Evan grinned. “Hey boys, how’re you doing?” he mumbled as he reached them. Gently, he rubbed a hand down Zander’s face and Zander nudged him. Dante reached over to Evan, grabbed hold of his hood and yanked him backwards. He released the hood and shook his head feeling rather proud of himself, however, Evan was less than impressed. “Naughty boy,” he managed to stifle a laugh. Evan spent some time in the field with the two geldings before bringing Zander in to ride.