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Head Up, Heels Down
Topic Started: Apr 10 2012, 06:44 PM (2,574 Views)
MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
By the time Rory got back, Lydia was feeling a good deal calmer. Jay seemed to be pretty much fine. Nobody had been hurt. Things had been tricky, terrifying, but now everything was okay.

Rory apologized once more, explaining what had happened. It made sense. Lydia could even appreciate that Rory kept a bit of humor in his speech. That was important. Sometimes, laughing was the best way to deal with scary or painful moments. It wasn't always easy to do, especially without hurting other people. Lydia smiled, growing even more pleased as Rory complimented her. She wasn't sure she'd been perfect. It didn't matter. His feelings seemed genuine, and Lydia was a little bit proud. She had held herself together. She'd done something she wouldn't have thought she could manage.

"I'm okay," she said. "I'd like to get back on. I'd like to try again."

She playfully pouted at Jay.

"If someone feels like behaving himself," she added.

Of course, she was mostly trying to convince herself. She was actually a little nervous, but Rory had given her the chance to prove herself, to close out the day on a good note, and she wasn't about to turn that kind of opportunity down.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Bracing himself for Lydia answering in the negative, Rory was briefly lost for words as she professed her desire to get back on. She even made a joke about it. For a long moment he wasn't entirely sure what to say. He almost felt like asking her if she was sure. Wasn't she scared? Wasn't she angry? Didn't she understand what had happened?

And then his brain finally caught up to him. What was that old saying? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth? She wanted to get back on, and as her coach she was waiting for Rory to give the go-ahead. He shook his head briefly to clear his thoughts and smiled at her, indicating the mounting block a few feet away. "By all means, go ahead. He should be okay now. If anything, he might be a little harder to get going." Jay's half-closed eyes and flopping ears supported his statement as the gelding took the opportunity for a quick nap now the excitement was over.

As Lydia headed in that direction, Rory felt his body relaxing as his muscles lost tension and settled back into a relatively normal position for him. Somehow, everything had turned out okay. He was reminded idly of times he'd made mistakes on horseback years ago, mistakes which the horse would go out of their way to fix -- taking a jump extra-short when he'd pulled them into a bad distance, or ignoring all of his cues if they knew it wasn't safe to go. Afterwards there would always be that moment of dual anger at himself for making the mistake and amazement and pride at the horse for correcting the error for him, making up for his shortcomings. It felt like Lydia was the horse in this scenario.

He'd known she'd be a good rider, though. It was all in the hands. Calm hands like that wouldn't let panic overtake them at the first sign of trouble. He didn't have hands like that, he thought with a wry smile.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Rory told Lydia that things would be fine. He told her that Jay was alright now, that he might be a little more cautious. That was good. It made Lydia feel better. She was still a little nervous, no denying that, but she was going to beat her fears. She was going to get back in the saddle.

As she moved away and remounted, she worried for a few seconds that she was making a mistake. Rory had seemed a little uneasy. Maybe he was just trying to be polite, to keep her happy since she was his student. No, that didn't seem quite right, though. He's been so casual earlier, so easy in his directions. She hoped that he would be comfortable enough with her to be straightforward. More than that, she was certain that Rory would never put one of the horses in danger just for her comfort. He cared greatly about the horses. It was one of the things Lydia admired about him.

So, after taking a deep breath, she got herself settled in the saddle again, feet in the stirrups once more.

Just to be safe, she called to Rory, "Everything look okay?"
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Rory gave her a thumbs up, glancing over the two with a practiced eye. They looked fine, good. Jay looked more bored than anything else, even a little cranky that his lesson was continuing instead of him being taken back to his paddock for lunch. Lydia was sitting neatly in the saddle, back in her solid position. If she was nervous, she certainly wasn't showing it through tension in her body.

"Go ahead and move him back into a walk," Rory requested, mind running idly through the different things he could have her do as a nice, safe finish to the lesson. They could work some more on bending in the trot or do some work without stirrups -- no, he decided after a moment, that would be a little too much like a punishment rather than a reward -- or trot-poles, maybe. He continued talking as he tried to decide. "Concentrate on your leg position. Remember, you want it just behind the girth, not miles behind or miles ahead. If your leg is too far back he'll speed up, too far forward and he won't listen to your aids. Gently squeeze your reins a couple of times, get him listening to you in his mouth. Make sure he's listening completely to you. If he's got both ears forward for more than a few seconds, he's not paying attention."

He'd been going to have her canter, originally. Jay had a lovely canter. Uphill and smooth, with an easy rocking motion that made sitting a dream. But now...was it worth it? He figured Jay would be good no matter what, the gelding wasn't one to be fazed by a brief spook and bolt and was in fact probably too tired to kick up a fuss anyway, but...would Lydia be okay with it?

Well there was one way to find out, wasn't there?

"Do you want to try some...c-a-n-t-e-r work?" Jay probably wouldn't listen to him even if he had used the word instead of spelling it out, but no sense in taking chance and having the gelding prepare for a transition that Lydia didn't want.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Lydia got herself into position, straightening her posture like she'd been taught. She made sure to breath calmly. She was a bit nervous. There was no denying that. It was all instinctual. Intellectually, she understood what had gone wrong. She had a pretty good idea that nothing like it would happen again. She took deep, calm breaths, keeping her thoughts centered. What mattered was what would happen now, and nothing bad was going to happen. This was something she liked. It was something she had the potential to be good at.

With a nod, she followed Rory's instructions, getting Jay into a walk again. As she adjusted and made sure everything was going correctly, she felt the discomfort and nervousness melting away. Everything really was okay. It was comforting, in fact, falling into a rhythm, listening to Rory's instructions again, going with the flow and doing what she was supposed to.

By the time he called out, asking her if she wanted to try canter work again, Lydia was actually fine. She was feeling pretty good, about her situation and about herself. Now that she was working on things again, she could be a little proud of having stayed on, and of the praise Rory had given her.

"Let's try it," she called back to Rory, smiling now.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
She had balls, that was for sure. Jay felt his own face split into a relieved grin as he took a step forwards, unconsciously standing a little straighter as the last of the tension and fear left his limbs. He trusted Jay for something like this, and it only cemented in his head the idea that here was a really good rider just waiting to be shaped and formed a little further. Like a young him. He'd always been the one to climb back on after eating hogsfuel in order to make sure the horse didn't get away with it, to prove to himself that he could ride through anything. That was the mark of a good rider. Confidence without carelessness.

"Right." His voice was stronger now, ringing out clearly towards the girl and her horse. "Get him into a nice working trot, listening to you before you even think about your canter aid. Try it in a corner -- you remember the drill. Nice sitting trot for a few steps, nice and deep, then inside leg forward, outside leg back, and push. Once he's in the canter you can sit or two-point, whichever feels more comfortable, but if you two-point I don't want to see you hanging on his mouth. Let him flow under you. Just do the long side of the ring, bring him back for the corner so I know you're still the one calling the shots."

Jay's ears had perked up considerably at the sound of 'canter', but in the manner of the best school-horses everywhere he didn't change his stride an iota, speed staying the same although his body tensed slightly as he waited for the command.

Rory waited too, half-holding his breath. Moment of truth.


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It seemed that confidence was returning to everyone. Rory perked up, Jay perked up, and Lydia was buoyed by them. She followed Rory's directions, a little bit more carefully this time. One moment of tense excitement was more than enough for a lesson. Lydia worked with Jay, getting him moving. Things went smoother with the corner this time. Maybe Jay had decided to play nice with her, to cooperate as a way to make amends.

After a few moments, Lydia took a deep breath and followed Rory's instructions, giving Jay the signal to speed up into a canter.

For a fraction of a second, she was afraid that he was going to bolt again. She forced herself to stay calm, to remain relaxed, and before she knew it Jay was moving along, quickly but smoothly, cooperating just like a dream. Lydia let out a sigh of relief that turned into a bit of a giggle.

Things were going to be fine.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The rest of the lesson passed quickly enough. Lydia cantered the other way as well, and Jay carried her along like the schoolhorse he was, as innocent as Rory had ever seen him. They did so well that Rory even toyed with the idea of letting her hop over a couple of fences...just tiny crossrails, nothing too major...but eventually he rejected the idea. Jay was puffing a little more than usual, and he could already see the tell-tale slipping of Lydia's leg position as the muscles began to tire. That had always frustrated him as a kid, how he'd be raring to go on a horse with more energy then sense but would have to stop the ride because exhausted muscles simply gave up and relinquished their hold on the saddle. It had taken years to work up to the place where he'd ride four and five horses a day and still have the strength to pick paddocks or go for a jog in the cross-country field.

Years to work up there, seconds to lose it.

He shook the thoughts away like water and called Lydia into the center, smiling at the look on her face. They chatted for a few moments about the lesson and what they'd work on next time, what she'd liked, what she'd disliked. Neither mentioned the almost-accident. Then she swung off and they headed back up to the barn together to untack.

Rory stuck around. He wasn't entirely sure why...maybe it was the thought of the pile of homework waiting for him at the house, or the fact that the barn was quiet today and he always liked it when it was just him and horses. Whatever the reason he gave her a hand untacking, and hesitated when she was about to put him back in his walk-out.

"Hey...actually, do you want to hand-graze him for a couple of minutes? He's probably earned it." Rory poked the gelding affectionately on the shoulder, and got a displeased snort in return. "I mean, if you have time."


marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}


phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight

sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The remainder of the lesson went very well. Lydia felt pretty good about her performance, and there were no more scares. True, she got tired after a time, but that was okay. It had been a good day. She felt like she had accomplished something important, even if all she'd really done had been avoiding screwing up too badly. She beamed at Rory as he called her to the center of the ring.

The conversation was pretty good. Rory always came off as interested in her feelings about the lesson. It made Lydia feel like her input really mattered, like she had control over the direction of her learning. She was more than content to leave the incident out of the conversation. There was no need to upset Rory again, not when everything had worked out.

They got Jay untacked together. Lydia was about to say goodbye to Jay and Rory for the day, when Rory suggested giving the horse some time hand-grazing.

"I've got time," Lydia said, smiling. "Jay's been really good. I'd love to."

Lessons always ended too quickly, and Lydia was eager to cling to her time having fun for just a bit longer. Her dad wouldn't mind. He was just happy that she was so involved in something.
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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MurderWeasel
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((Skip and loose GMing approved!))

The rest of the time Lydia spent at her lesson was relaxing. It always was. Still, like every time, too soon she had to rejoin the real world. She gave Rory a wave, and told him she'd see him next time, and with that she was heading out, back to everyday life.

((Lydia Robbins continued in Diversions))
V7:
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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