MM Arnett Ciel
Call it being lazy, or perhaps over-confidence – but what ever it was the provoked AJ to decide to ride the great Nordanner stallion bareback out on the first warm day of spring, she would later regret.
Although Arthur was a perfect gentleman and strictly disciplined, he was still a horse. A horse with about four months of pent up winter energy ready to be released. Though, you wouldn’t have been able to tell in the beginning of the day when AJ walked into the barn smiling with an extra pep in her step.
“Hello my lovelies!” She called as she rolled the doors open to the barn letting the late March sunlight filter in.
She was greeted by a chorus of nickers and snorts, the majority of the horses peeking their head out of their stalls to watch the human all but skip down the aisle. AJ walked over to Erste and stroked her forehead, smoothing down her ivory forelock. The mare lipped the woman’s other hand, searching for treats, her brown eyes kind and mature. The red mare would always have a special place in AJ’s heart, no matter how big DMA grew.
But Erste wasn’t her target for today, at least not first up. AJ spun around to look at the horse directly across from Erste. The massive Nordanner stood in the back of his stall, finishing up on his morning breakfast of rich alfalfa-grass mix. He wasn’t one to waste his time with casual chit-chat.
“Heya mister.” AJ cooed while she grabbed his bridle from the tack room. She wasn’t going to worry about a thorough grooming since she wasn’t going to saddle him. Opening his stall he flicked an ear towards her but didn’t raise his head from his food, choosing to ignore her. She stripped him of his stable sheet, tossing it to the side then walking up to him and egging him to raise his head. With a sigh, the stud complied and took the bit without fuss.
AJ led the horse from his box and out to the outdoor arena. Using the fence as a mounting block, she stumbled up onto his back, settling on him and moving his massive braided mane out of the way. He stood patiently, giving no sign of discontent. When she was ready, AJ clucked to him and moved him out to a nice relaxed walk, guiding him off the buckle. Although AJ didn’t do it nearly as much as she’d liked, she loved riding bareback. There was a certain barrier you encounter when leather is between your horse and you and feeling the muscles flowing through her seat and legs always gave her a silent appreciation for the animal that she made her career around.
The two warmed up briefly in the outdoor, more as a precaution then an actual warm up. Just in case Arthur felt his oats when he got outside. But he barely pricked an ear, guiding without hesitation and a look that almost bordered on lazy in his eye. So AJ decided to move out into the field across the street, just for a change of pace.
As they left the arena behind, Arthur did gain a bit of interest, his head raising and his muscles tensing slightly in anticipation. AJ took a soft hold of his mouth and worked the smooth snaffle in his mouth. She wrapped her calves around him and encouraged him up into a working trot. Surprising, his gait was relatively easy to sit, giving his animation. He definitely was awake and alert, but was still be respectful as they serpentined and circled out in the grassy field. That would change though, when she had him in a canter and allowed him to open up a bit on a straight away.
As soon as she kissed to him and opened her fingers, pushing his stride up into an extended canter, AJ knew it was a mistake. The stallion suddenly went rigid under her, his neck rising up and his tail flagging. With an un-characteristic squeal, he tucked as a began to pick up speed. AJ forced herself not to grip her legs around him, her heart starting to pound as his stride lengthened with every step with no signs of stopping. She put pressure on the bit and talked to him but Arthur was on a mission and had little regard for his passenger. That’s exactly what AJ was right now, nothing but a passenger hitching a ride on a 1200lb raw power and muscle machine that was letting his energy flow.
Taking a handful of mane, AJ settled in for a ride. She had rode her fair share of bolters before – and while it was terrifying (her least favorite vice behind rearing) it always humbled her to feel the true strength of a horse. Strength that was always there, and could be unleashed at anytime, but for reasons that she couldn’t comprehend, horses contained and allowed themselves to be dictated.
As the Nordanner galloped AJ thought about trying a one-rein stop on him, but then thought better of it. Number one – the ground was still soft from spring snow and rain and she didn’t want to risk him slipping at this speed. And, number two – she was no match against his neck muscles. She always laughed a bit when macho men thought they could out muscle a horse. You cannot in any way shape or form. They let you win, every time. If they don’t want to turn their necks, they’re not going to. Simple as that. So, AJ choose to just settled in and ride the bolt out. They had plenty of space, a few miles of relatively flat ground that was well groomed so she didn’t worry about hidden holes that Arthur could hurt himself on.
And ignoring the fact that Arthur was bolting and giving little to no regard for AJ, he was behaving well otherwise. Not trying to buck or wiggle out from under her. He just wanted to gallop apparently. So with a fairly taunt hold of him so on the off chance he did decide to throw his head between his knees and try and launch her, the two of them sailed across the country side in mindless oblivion.
Just a little doodle while on break. Have a couple others laying around that I may upload later.
Art © =Jag6201
Tools Used: Xerox paper and mechanical pencil
2013 © Molly Mellinger