Read all about our outage on this thread.
 
Go Back   Aelyria > The Archives > Aelyria Archive > Arium > Nexus Prime

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 3, 2015, 03:25 PM   #1
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
The Rein Dance [Novice Horseback Riding, Striker]

Winter, Era XXII Post Fractum, Ponutis

The duties at Windsteed stables were many and began early in the brightening for Rhystlin. She dressed as appropriately for the job as she could afford - short leather gloves, simple clothing that protected her from the chill of the morning without getting in the way, and her newest pair of plain leather boots (the horse urine tended to eat away at the stitches on the soles and she had to replace them consistently throughout her eras as a stable hand).

The horses had already been taken from their stalls by someone else, so she began by retrieving a pitchfork and taking it to the nearest unmucked stall. The job of removing manure and soiled bedding was a smelly and rather laborious one, but the sweat and toil Rhystlin endured was never anything that felt unfair to her. The money was honest enough, she supposed, and it had been an interesting journey to learn how to properly care for a horse's living space. She just hoped she wouldn't end up doing something similar for the rest of her life.

She sighed and wiped at her brow with the back of her arm before leaning the pitchfork against the stall. She glanced up to see some of the horses being exercised out in the distance and she was overcome by a moment of envy. She had sometimes watched some of the lessons after she was done with her daily work and wished she was on that side of the farm.

As Rhystlin brushed her hands against one another and turned towards her filled cart, she noticed another stablehand spreading out bedding in a freshly cleaned stall nearby.

"So ... how much do they charge for lessons?" With any luck, the worker wouldn't simply ignore her. Sometimes her fellows seemed to be afraid of getting into trouble for so much as a simple conversation, especially when they were new. "Have you taken any?"

Last edited by Rhystlin; January 8, 2015 at 10:37 AM.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 3, 2015, 06:38 PM   #2
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
The stalls were redolent of old manure and dry urine. Notwithstanding the diligent efforts of Rhystlin and her coworkers at the Windsteed Farm to maintain the premises, the establishment prided itself on its stock, and the only way to guarantee the quality of the horses was to supply a consistent regimen of fine food and suitable exercise for them. Unfortunately, those two constants only stimulated the steeds’ digestive tracks, causing them to succumb to their bodies’ natural tendencies more often than not, which, unfortunately for Rhystlin, meant that there was always something to clean up.

In the stall immediately adjacent to the one that the young half-elf was beautifying, a few grunts could be heard from her fellow stable hand as he scraped away at some dry hay that had stuck to the floor of the stall. Positioned on his hands and knees, he used his dirty nails to peel away each brown strand that had been stamped into the earth by its occupant’s heavy hooves. “Gotcha,” he finally said, grinning victoriously as he plucked his victim from the floor and laid a fresh carpet of golden hay over the previously blemished spot.

Sorry, Rhystlin,” he said, rising to his feet after he finished and wiping his sweaty brow with the back of his forearm. Although he wore the visage of a young man, he carriage a burly physique and stood perhaps a head taller than six feet. “That little bugger was being quite stubborn.” He chuckled to himself, then leaned on the wall that divided his stall from Rhystlin’s.

She would recognize her fellow colleague as Troy, one of the two stable hands employed on the Windsteed Farm. Whenever it came to cleaning the stalls, he would usually be the one to accompany her as it was his responsibility to refill the hay once Rhystlin removed the manure and old bedding.

He ran a dirt-speckled hand through his shaggy mane of blonde hair. “I honestly don’t know. I never thought to ask,” he admitted. “I imagine Orwell would teach you for free if you asked him. It’s not like many people are coming around for lessons these days. It’s so cold outside. I always thought you knew how to ride?
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 3, 2015, 07:35 PM   #3
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Rhystlin grinned up at Troy as he turned and apologized to her. The man was so much taller than she was when standing at full height that she couldn't help but feel so tiny every time he stood up next to her.

Her brows quirked up in speculation at his response. "For free?" she echoed. Part of her couldn't help but feel disappointed that she had not inquired sooner. She had always assumed she could not afford the lessons. But what Troy said made sense, with the winter season being slow. She had indeed noticed that most of the activity on the farm this season was simply the workers ensuring the stock received its exercise. Maybe getting free lessons wasn't so far-fetched.

She shook her head at his last question and absentmindedly picked at something on the wood near where he was leaning, not sure why she felt embarrassed to admit that she didn't know how to ride. It was a fair enough question, given that she had been working there for a few eras now and hadn't once voiced any wish for lessons. She remembered when she was little, seeing her father on his own horse on the few occasions he came to visit her, looking like some sort of knight or celebrated warrior on his proud and handsome steed. In reality, she supposed he had only appeared that way because she had simply wanted it to be. As she grew, the romantic notion of heroes on horses subsided, but the wish to ride still seemed as important to her as ever, if not for the basic practicality of not always travelling by foot.

When Rhystlin and Troy's duties were done for the day she would resolve to seek Orwell out and ask him about lessons. The worst thing he could do was say no.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 3, 2015, 08:12 PM   #4
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
It can’t hurt to ask,” the large stable hand remarked before he exited his stall and moved on to the next. Just before he entered, he crinkled his nose in disgust as if some awful stench had assailed his nostrils. Theirs was a tedious, filthy, and taxing lifestyle on the ranch, but it was a job that provided them with a means of living, room and board, and distractions from the poverty-stricken streets that had plagued many of the cities of the empire since the invasion of the Xet Alliance.

* * * * *

The three suns of Telath had descended by the time Rhystlin and Troy completed their duties for the brightening. Many of the horses had been returned to the stables to shelter them from the usual dangers, namely the brutal northern wind and a number of predators that frequently stalked unsuspecting farm animals. Wolves were not uncommon in Arium, nor were the fearsome Night Drakes that occasionally descended from the Great Mountains to fill their acidic bellies with fresh horse meat. Few of the latter had been seen in recent months, but the owner of the Windsteed Farm rarely took chances with her prized stock.

As usual, Orwell could be found at one of the many barns that housed the equipment used on the ranch, and this brightening was no exception. Middle-aged with streaks of gray coloring his predominantly black hair, the horse trainer possessed a stocky build and was tan from countless hours spent outside. He wore a warm wool tunic and a thick green cloak over his shoulders, and his thick brown pants were tucked into knee-high black boots that were scuffed and covered in dirt.

When Rhystlin arrived at the barn, she would find him hovering over a table with a hammer in hand, pounding away at a metal hoof that was noticeably bent. The clink, clink, clinking of iron against iron could be heard from outside the barn, accompanied by the occasional grunt as the seasoned worker reshaped the ruined horseshoe. He did glance up from his work, though, when he noted the half-elf’s arrival.

That you, Rhystlin?” he asked, squinting towards the entrance to the barn. A few lanterns lit the inside of the building, but it was hardly sufficient to cast away the overpowering darkness from outside.
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 3, 2015, 08:48 PM   #5
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
The chill deepened as the suns fell beneath the horizon, leaving the small half elf to squeeze her cloak more tightly about herself as she trudged towards the barn. The brightening had been a long and wearying one and there was no more light to make her usual run after work a practical one - but that was fine with her, as even an unglamorous job felt good when it had been fulfilled with hard work and honest effort. She had been anxious about the end of the brightening anyway, as for some reason worrying thoughts seemed to collude within her head. It wasn't that she was worried Orwell would say no.... While it was an unfavorable scenario nonetheless, it was something deeper that concerned her; Rhystlin could not help but feel an unexpected weight upon her shoulders as the passage of time began to dawn on her. The steps she was taking to learn the things she had always wanted to learn felt like a bold step in a new direction, an unfamiliar territory. As simple as learning to ride could be, the very implications of what went beyond the decision almost made her turn on her heel and run.

Something in her heart bid her feet to keep trudging, though. She could hear the clink clink clink even before she had reached the barn door, and remained quiet as she approached in order to avoid breaking him from what seemed to be a deep concentration. Her right hand absently fingered the edges of her cloak when the man looked up to address her. She stepped further into the barn in order to allow him to see her better.

"Yes," she breathed, happy to be sheltered from the winds. She shivered a bit and nodded to the work he had been so focused on only moments before. "I'm sorry to disturb you, Sir, it's just that... I spoke to Troy earlier and he said you might consider giving me riding lessons if I asked."
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 4, 2015, 06:27 PM   #6
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
Shut the door behind you, will you?” the man bade, and as if on cue, a cold breeze suddenly filtered into the barn, stirring some of the equipment that hung on the walls and biting through Rhystlin’s cloak as if it were nothing more than a single thread of fabric. “I hate this blasted cold,” Orwell complained as he continued to rework the horseshoe in front of him. “I keep telling Orphelia that we should relocate to somewhere warmer, but you and I both know that she won’t be having any of that.” He chuckled. The owner, Orphelia, was rarely seen on the Windsteed Farm these brightenings, but everyone on the ranch knew her fondness for Arium.

Troy said that, did he?” the trainer asked. A half-smile curled along the side of his mouth as he regarded Rhystlin with his dark brown eyes, eyes that had probably shown more kindness towards the farm’s horses than the people who had worked alongside him. He went silent for a minute, and then threw a glance towards one of the windows which was clouded in darkness.

Yeah, I suppose I could,” he finally said, and he nodded firmly in the half-elf’s direction. “We’ll have to do your lessons at night, though. Ioannes knows there’s way too much work to be done during the day to take any breaks. But I suppose you couldn’t have asked at a better time. Big Torrence’s colt is all grown up now. Have you seen him? I’d love to see what that fella can do. He’s going to be big and strong just like his father.

How about you come back tomorrow? Same time,” Orwell said, “I’ve got to finish this shoe here for Old Mel. The snow dug a pothole in the field and he nearly broke his leg on it. He’s lucky to be in one piece.
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 4, 2015, 07:39 PM   #7
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Rhystlin was more than happy to oblige Orwell's request, shuddering as the winter breeze cut through her very bones. She turned hurriedly to shut to the door, letting out a final shiver afterwards as though to shake the cold.

She turned back to the man as he was regarding her in silence, a silence that seemed to last forever as his response hung in the air. When he glanced out the window and graced her with a "yes", the thrill that she experienced was enough to drive the weariness from her body. At night, he said? Anything! She thought. Regret be damned, how could she let terms like that put a damper on her excitement now? Her eyes were alight with a bubbling anticipation of when they would begin, her mind buzzing with what it would be like to ride at night. Would it be more difficult? It was nothing she couldn't handle, right? In the tangle of ardent thoughts that danced circles in her head, the half elf nearly forgot Orwell had still been speaking.

"Big Torrence?" she began quietly, trying to piece the sentences together. "I... no. Maybe?" Her cheeks turned hot at how incompetent she must have seemed in that moment. "I think so."

She nodded vigorously at his instructions, reaching for the door. "Of course," she promised. "Tomorrow, then." She tried to squeeze out without having to swing the door ajar, afraid the wind might sweep in and take all of the poor man's tools away. The chill that gust through the resulting opening bit into her body anew, but still she lingered long enough to turn back to Orwell, whose figure was delineated gently by the meager candlelight within. "Thank you!" Her voice was firm and animated in its sincerity. She beamed at him, and then she closed the door.

***

It was easy to feel some regret for agreeing to take lessons immediately after her duties at the farm, at least as soon as the weariness began to set into her bones. But one of Rhystlin's strengths had always been that of a hard worker, as she had learned from an early age that such effort was necessary in order to achieve. Life was not simple or easy for the commonfolk, and aches and pains were a part of what she knew. And so she drove on through the brightening, ever grateful for Troy's assistance, and as promised, sought out Orwell around the same time she had the darkening before. As tiring as a stable hand's work could be, Rhystlin was excited to get started, and this drove her to a sense of alertness. She could only hope she turned out to be as fast a learner as her caretaker Myach always claimed her to be.

Last edited by Rhystlin; January 4, 2015 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Added dialogue colors.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 4, 2015, 09:08 PM   #8
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
The following darkening, Rhystlin would find Orwell inside the same barn as the previous day. This time, however, he was waiting for her, adorned in his usual work attire and thick wool cloak. His boots appeared a tad muddier than before, and there were splotches of ash coloring his face and beard. When his soon-to-be student arrived, he raised a calloused hand in greeting. “Right on time,” he said, the timbre of his voice revealing that he appreciated the woman’s punctuality. It was no small secret on the farm that the human valued timeliness, especially whenever some ancillary responsibility pulled him away from his prized horses.

Come on,” he urged, walking past Rhystlin to exit the barn no sooner than she swung the door open. The night greeted them soon enough, and had Orwell or Rhystlin not been native to the Windsteed Farms, they would have been cautioned to avoid traveling as it was practically pitch black outside. Orwell did not seem to care, though, and continued onward, leading the half-elf away from the barn and towards one of the training pens on the northern edge of the establishment.

They quickly arrived at a large, circular enclosure. A three beam white fence delineated its boundaries, wherein an open training ground was illuminated by several torches that had been erected at regular intervals along the fence. The firelight was sufficient to properly cover the area, dispelling most of the shadows from the immediate vicinity. Tethered to a wooden post inside the enclosure was a handsome horse with a chestnut-colored coat. Its figure was sleek and tightly-muscled, a consequence of its fine breeding. A streak of white ran down the center of its long face, highlighting a pair of dark eyes that gleamed in the torchlight.

Orwell grinned and opened the gate, motioning with an open hand for Rhystlin to enter before he followed her inside. “This is Marin,” he said, walking over to the fine creature, which turned its head in the pair’s direction when they stepped into the yard. Orwell stopped a short distance from the horse and waved for Rhystlin to join him. “He’s a gentle one, so he’ll be a good one to practice on. Why don’t you go ahead and get acquainted with him. Have you ever ridden a horse before?

Marin whinnied quietly as he continued to regard the conversing duo. He stood about sixteen hands in height, making him nearly as tall as the half-elf herself.
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 4, 2015, 09:47 PM   #9
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Rhystlin couldn't help but feel proud in response to the approval in Orwell's voice upon their greeting. She followed him silently and closely, grateful for the familiarity of the grounds to her on such a black night. She had to admire the beauty of the animal they approached, but she could expect no less from the stock she had seen produced on Windsteed Farm. It never ceased to amaze her, how proud Orwell could be of the horses, no matter how many there were. She had a deep sense of respect for a man who took pride in his work.

She stepped into the gate as Orwell bid her and then stepped up next to him as he approached the horse. "I have ridden a few times," she admitted, "when I've gone traveling with my godfather or with my father when I was young. But never alone."

She took a tentative step toward the horse as she spoke, her voice dropping as though she were afraid she'd scare the beast away. She attempted to recall what she saw the other workers doing when they were interacting with the horses, but she couldn't remember whether it was good or bad to bring one's hand up to its face. Instead, she slowly drew her hand upwards to the side of the horse's neck with the intention of stroking its fur or mane should it allow her. Even being just short of her height, it was an intimidating creature. But being near it was an experience all in its own.

"Hello, Marin," she said, attempting a soothing tone of voice. "You are a beautiful creature."

She looked back towards Orwell for guidance, unsure if she was extending the proper gestures to her new acquaintance.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 6, 2015, 09:32 PM   #10
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
Then you’ll catch on very quickly, no doubt,” Orwell said, and a small smile formed on the man’s face as he watched Rhyslin interact with the surprisingly docile Marin. The young horse moved his head in the woman’s direction, as if in response to her gentle greeting. Whether it was because of the cold wind, the presence of the newcomer, or a mixture thereof, the creature stood obediently in place, even when Orwell joined them.

Now, the first thing you’re going to want to do is put a saddle on Marin,” Orwell explained, and he bent over to lift a simple, brown leather saddle that had two straps towards Rhyslin. Like most saddles, one end of the seat was higher than the other. “Before you do that, it’s always best to make sure that there isn’t any grass, straw, or any other debris between the saddle and your horse.

The friction will irritate their skin,” the man added for clarification, and he motioned with his chin towards the horse to make his point.

Do you see the higher part of the saddle there?” Orwell asked, pointing towards that respective area. “That’s the pommel, and the opposite side is called the cantle. The most important part to remember is that when you put the saddle on, the pommel side faces the horse’s neck.

You’ll want to place the saddle closer towards the front of Marin’s back,” he continued. “Afterwards, secure the straps and the buckles around him to make sure that it doesn’t slide off. That would be disastrous.” He chuckled slightly, and then he gestured for Rhyslin to proceed.
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 6, 2015, 10:39 PM   #11
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Rhystlin nodded as she listened to Orwell continue, reaching over to take the saddle he offered her. It was a bit heavier than she expected it to be, and it took her a moment to adjust to holding the weight. She then looked over at Marin to make sure there was no debris on his back, attempting to tilt the saddle itself to check that nothing was stuck beneath it as well.

Rhystlin nodded again, this time in response to Orwell pointing out the pommel and cantle on the saddle. The cantle looked similar to a chair to her. She made sure the pommel was on the same side as the horse's neck before slowly moving to his left hand side. She took a moment to inspect the horse's back and to locate the whithers, which she had learned from her time on Windsteed Farm to be the high point above the animal's shoulder blades which typically sloped gently backward. She figured that would be roughly as good a place as any to guage where to place the saddle. If it was too far up the horse's back, she'd be able to adjust from there.

The half elf attempted to lift the saddle, pommel just past the whithers, over Marin's back before setting it down in as gentle and controlled a manner as she possibly could. The last thing she wanted to do was make the horse feel as though she was a source of something unexpected or uncomfortable.

At that point Rhystlin would test the saddle to see if it would attempt to slide back, and if so, try to shift it backward until it settled into place. After all, if it was so high that even gravity was fighting it, she couldn't imagine it would be comfortable for poor Marin. She made sure not to move it in the opposite direction of Marin's hair growth, because even the thought of setting the saddle on top of mussed-up fur made her cringe, and she couldn't imagine anyone would like that.

Rhystlin then tried to bring the front cinch over from the right, under, and just behind the front legs. She attempted to fasten it as snugly and securely as she felt was comfortable for the horse without allowing the saddle to shift. If anything, the front strap seemed to be the most important, given that it appeared to be the main thing that would hold the saddle in place. She then moved on to the back cinch. She wasn't sure if there was any particular guideline on where that strap should go, but she figured with the front strap already snug, it would have to be tied right where it was anyway.

All the while, Rhystlin tried to remain as close to Marin as possible in the hopes that it would make it harder for him to kick her if she somehow really irked him off. He seemed a gentle beast, however, and she felt secure enough in Orwell's presence. She tried to keep her actions deliberate and always looked to Orwell to ensure she was not doing anything disastrously wrong. But she could imagine the last thing he would do was let her cause any harm... to the horse, at the very least.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 7, 2015, 09:10 PM   #12
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
Good, good,” Orwell said, nodding his approval as Rhyslin finished securing the saddle on Marin. He tapped his lips absentmindedly with his index finger as he started to walk around the pair, pausing on the opposite side of Rhyslin to grip the saddle straps and tug on them gently as if to ensure that everything was properly buckled. When he was finished, he wore a satisfied grin.

Well done,” he sincerely said. “The next part should be pretty easy for you. You see those stirrups there?” He gestured towards the footholds dangling from either side of the saddle. “Stick your foot in there to brace yourself, and use the pommel to help pull yourself up onto Marin’s back.

He waited for Rhyslin to do the same, standing behind her while she did so in the event that she needed any assistance climbing into the saddle. Once she was done, he undid Marin’s reins from the post and offered them to the half-elf.

Why don’t you go ahead and take him for a ride around the pen,” he suggested. “If you want him to go faster, give him a nudge with your heels in his sides. If you want to go slower, tug on his reins. Just make sure to keep your feet in the stirrups at all times. They’re there for a reason.

He smiled and stepped away, waving for Rhyslin to test out the young horse.

OOC:Feel free to take any liberties with your next post
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 7, 2015, 11:16 PM   #13
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Rhystlin was grateful for Orwell's clear direction. She lifted her knee high, slipped her boot into the stirrup as directed, and shifted her foot to ensure that the slight lip of the boot's heel was firmly enough against the stirrup to not slip. She gripped at the pommel of the saddle with her gloved hands as tightly as she could, then hoisted her weight upward with a strong push of the leg, lifting the other up and over before planting herself down in the seat. She had not been on a horse for many eras, and never on her own, so the sensation was strange. She could feel the saddle and horse's sides against her legs, and with her heels pushed down her calves felt more stretched than they would have been if she were standing. Any movement from the horse was so foreign, so unlike not having one's feet planted on solid ground.

When Orwell offered her the reins, she took them in both hands on either side of the horse's neck and then lifted them to a comfortable height of about an inch into the air. She then returned the man's smile, but mostly out of nervousness that he would set her free to plant herself on her ass. Still, she resolved not to let her hesitation rule her and took a deep breath. She stood up straight, pulled her shoulders back, and opened her chest as she had seen others do during their lessons in the summer. The students had always had a beautiful posture, so she could only assume it was important. She moved the balls of her feet over the stirrups and then nudged with her heels, gently at first, bidding Marin to walk forward at a basic pace.

The sensation was ... not unfamiliar, but awkward nonetheless. The horse swayed beneath her, bidding her hips to move with its back as though the two of them were one creature. At first the rocking unsettled her, almost causing her to lose the gentle grip she had had with her legs and to topple forward slightly. She had to realign her posture and focus, as it actually took more concentration than she realized to maintain her seat. It would seem riding a horse was not a passive but an active job, one requiring the rider to remain in tune with the horse. But she quickly realized that such a relationship was an exhilarating one, as it meant that in time the horse's power could be her own as well.

The half elf attempted to steer the horse by applying gentle pressure to either one or the other side of the reins, mostly to keep it at a comfortable distance away from the edges of the pen. She continued at the pace she was at for several minutes, and with time the swaying might have actually turned out to be a calming sensation... if not for the winter winds. When she was comfortable enough with the pace, she decided she'd try her luck and have Marin speed up a little. She nudged him with her heels again, hoping to bring him to a trot. The pace was a rather smooth one as well, but the swaying was much more obvious than it had been at a walk. She continued for several minutes more, but was too afraid to attempt a canter, so with time she pulled gently at both reins to bring Marin to a slow, and then to a stop.
Rhystlin is offline  
Old January 10, 2015, 11:56 AM   #14
Striker
Tree Hugger
 
Striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Natura
Posts: 1,842
Striker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious SuperheroStriker is a glorious Superhero
The leveled terrain within the pen made for a comfortable ride, although the constant thump of Marin’s saddle against Rhystlin’s rear was certain to haunt her in the morning. Over time she would definitely acclimate to the sensation, but the cold outside had hardened the leather seat and toughened its feel. Nevertheless, the saddle, properly secured by the half-elf’s handiwork, remained in place as she continued her progress around the enclosed space.

Marin moved at a slow trot, obeying the nudges from his master. His head bobbed with each and every stride, but it was not difficult for Rhystlin to control his reins or use her thighs to help steer him in the right direction. She would soon realize that he was a surprisingly intelligent horse, and even had she not used the reins to turn his head or guide him accordingly, he still would have followed the curve of the fence.

It was noticeably colder astride Marin. Even though the horse was moving at a moderate rate, the wind sliced easily through Rhystlin’s cloak and batted at her face and hair. Arium was known for its frigid temperatures, and this night was no exception. Fortunately, the lack of snowfall made the woman’s endeavor significantly easier as the earth was clear and the snow had yet to carve out any divots or potholes.

You’re doing well,” Orwell complimented when Rhystlin returned to her starting point. He nodded again when she pulled on Marin’s reins to bring the well-muscled beast to a gradual halt. “Go ahead and spend a few more minutes on him, and see if you can bring him to a run. He’s a fast one. Take my word for it. But I think you can handle it. Just make sure to keep your feet secure in the stirrups and hold on tight to his reins.
__________________
Status: Slowly getting back into the swing of things.
Striker is offline  
Old January 10, 2015, 03:09 PM   #15
Rhystlin
Hero
 
Rhystlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arium
Posts: 1,441
Wealth Tier: Steel
Rhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious SuperheroRhystlin is a glorious Superhero
Yep, her legs and heels and pretty much everything below her hips were going to be sore later on, she could sense it. But for now, the thrill of having ridden a horse on her own for the first time had put her in the clouds. But she was shivering now, and her fingers felt stiff as she leaned forward for support and began to brush at the loose hair that had whipped into her face. The cold that stung her face had made it all the more painful. When Orwell suggested she try to bring Marin to a run, her body couldn't help but shake in response. But aside from that, she couldn't help but envision herself falling unceremoniously from the horse's back, no matter how wonderfully accommodating the horse had been for her. But the half elf refused to complain, especially in self-doubt. She nodded, unable to smile or show much expression at all really, flexing and unflexing her fingers and heels in an attempt to fight the stiffening there. She attempted to tuck the hair away from her face and then grabbed the reins more firmly, tipping her toes to the sky and sitting up as straight as she could. With the cold now seeping into her bones from the ride, her body tried to fight her.

With a simple nod at her instructor, the girl bid Marin into another walk, using her heels to let the creature know what she requested of him. Then, she brought him to a steady comfortable trot again and let him make a full circle at this pace. She found it was easier and more comfortable to move her hips up and down at a similar pace Marin's body seemed to rise and fall. When she felt confident enough, she bid Marin to go faster, attempting to keep her feet rooted firmly in the stirrups as Orwell had instructed. She attempted to keep her posture tall and sat lightly in the seat, as even the canter didn't seem enough to force her body forward. Marin's head bobbed up and down as he began to move faster, his mane dancing in the wind.

Again, Rhystlin remained at this pace until she felt comfortable at it. She realized if she remained the way she was in her seat, the horse would be unable to move freely at a gallop, and in fact she couldn't see how sitting up straight would allow Marin to maintain his balance at such a speed. So, she lifted herself slightly from the saddle, leaned forward, and placed both hands at either side of the horse's neck, attempting to keep her head elevated and above him in order to allow his head to bob as he moved. She then bid the horse to gallop.

At this point the wind cut into her deeply, even burning at her lungs. Strands of hair was whipping at her face again, and her nose, fingers, and toes were burning. But the speed was both exhilarate and frightening, and the sheer magnitude of power she shared with the horse washed over her in a sense both awe-inspiring and intimidating. It was enough to maintain a healthy sense of nervousness in her that prompted her to not remain at this pace for long. She did not want to fatigue or cause injury in Marin, either.

Rhystlin pulled gently at the reins and sat back into her seat, knowing that Marin had responded well to weight cues so far. His intelligence and patience with her had been astounding, and the half elf was overcome with a new sense of respect for what Orwell had been doing with the animals here. With the wind aching in her bones and the excitement beating in her chest, she slowly drew Marin to a halt again.
Rhystlin is offline  
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:48 PM.


 
 
Terms of Use :: Feedback

Aelyria ™ Version 3.4.1
Copyright © 1989-2019 Play by Post LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Aelyria ® is a Registered Trademark of Play by Post LLC.
Created by Juan Gonzalez and People Like You.