Character's Name: Callixta Rosella
Career Shown: Rider
Horse's Name Jabari of Honiley
Career Shown: Competition
Breed: Dutch Warmblood
Show Tier: Local
Class: Group 2 Dressage Class - C04
Through gritted teeth she tried her most alluring smile, pretty sure she looked anything other than relaxed and happy. A line of bleak faces stared back at her, their trained eyes watching as lifted her hand back onto the reins. She took a deep breath and prayed for a miracle as she closed her heels against Jakey's side.
She loved this horse more than anything or anyone, despite the numerous trips to the emergency room, the embarrassment of falling off at every possible speed and in every direction. She'd never known she could land with her head down near her knees. She'd staggered back up right away, remotely pleased with her flexibility. But there were times, just fleeting moments when Jakey was the horse she had dreamed of in her early childhood years; sweet natured, safe to be around. He seemed to schedule a good-behaviour hour about once a month, the rest of the time he kicked out viciously, threw his feed bucket at the exact right moment someone was unawarely passing his stable but his worst habit was having his human traipse around the pasture for hours in the pouring English rain before agreeing to be caught and go back into his stable.
Shows had become more and more alarming for her, and she'd found herself making excuses not to ride him in their previous show in Colorado. But Jakey was her first horse, the reason she had become such an experienced rider and she refused to follow Nathanial's advice and sell him. Instead, she'd entered him in the dressage class for this show, repeating to herself and everyone else almost daily that it was a wonderful way for Jakey to redeem his recent behaviour.
And so far, it seemed to be working. He was never a horse to fully relax, but his neck was arched to the point where he didn't look like a giraffe as they trotted around the arena. Although he was typically an eventer, she definitely didn't have the energy or motivation to battle with him on the cross-country course so she'd opted for the safety of the sandy arena, with a small cluster of people watching as the brown stallion moved effortlessly across the surface. His extended gaits weren't as impressive as most other horses, and she suspected that was due to their laziness in training, but she could feel his back stretching as his forelegs pushed further out.
So far, so good.
They hit the long side and settled down into working trot, heading towards the line of green and white tents under the shelter of the blossoming trees. Her eyes strayed to the side, to the small wooden barn Honiley Farm had hired. Ten more minutes, and she'd be able to collapse in the collapsable chair parked outside his stable and -
Suddenly she felt the familiar pull of gravity, the drop of her stomach lurching in panic as her entire body became weightless, floating somewhat ungracefully. She caught a lopsided glimpse of Jakey leaping sideways, and she could have sworn that the damn bugger winked at her as her butt connected with the sand.
Her hand reached up to check her riding hat was still in one piece along with her scrambled head, watching in dismay as her horse bucked his way over the white picket fencing, his reins drooping from his head.
So much for redeeming himself.