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Let's get down to business

By just-sora
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What's this? A huge ass drawing with a huge ass story? WHAT?? BLASHPEMY! So what am I doing when I'm in a really bad place mentally and have absolutely no motivation to draw anything? Exactly!! Start drawing the hugest thing I have ever drawn to date and end up being weirdly proud of the result. I really should fall into a depressed hole more often..

:new: EDIT: Now it has a proper title, too and not the file title. Idiot me.:I
I also forgot to add the refs I used. Double oops.



So here we finally have EMS' riding school students in their entirety.

From left to right:

:bulletgreen: Jascha Wolff on Fentzooler: The punk. Didn’t really want to come to EMS at first but ended up liking the stable and the people and the horses. Usually acts like he doesn’t care for anything but actually cares a lot. Really grumbly.

:bulletgreen: Mickey Arthur on Fünfer: The sunshine. Love everyone and everything and have a huge heart. Incredibly klutz-y and chronically late. They tell the best stories and their hair is really soft. They also give really good hugs.

:bulletgreen: Ira Severin on Wiggen: The goofball (also punk the second). She’s the first to say yes to a scavenger hunt and the loudest when she wins. Loves puns. Always misplaces and/or loses her things. Can’t sit still for more than ten seconds.

:bulletgreen: Lee Ju-Hyun on Davinja: The serious one. If she can’t do sporty things she’s Not HappyTM. Used to swim professionally, loves her family to bits. She’s really ambitious but knows when to kick back. Can take a joke. Especially from Ira.

:bulletgreen: Leandra Nowak on Ferret: The shy one. Never speaks. Not a word. Knows more languages than you think. Composes her own music on piano and violin. Really timid and will jump out of her skin at loud noises. Sometimes you forget she’s there.

:bulletgreen: Konstantin von Bredow on Euro: The rich kid. Is better than you. And if he isn’t he’ll train as long as it takes to get better than you. Flirts with you and knows full well what he’s doing. Gets where and what he wants, no exceptions.


“Hey, Lee! Lee, wait up!” The voice echoing over the stable’s sunlight-flooded courtyard, made Lee stop in her tracks and turn around. The first thing her eyes found was the unruly, curly shock of orange hair that was bouncing along like flames in the bright summer sun. She returned Mickey’s smile as they steered their bike across the dusty pavement.
“You’re here early”, Lee said, watching her friend push their bike into the bike rack. Mickey grinned.
“Yeah well, I should still be doing that project for school, real bummer …” They trailed off when they saw the impish expression on Lee’s face. “You’re making fun of me, aren’t you?”
Lee’s smirk turned somewhat apologetic. “You’re just too easy sometimes.”
Mickey gave her shoulder a gentle shove as the two made their way to the stable entrance. “I’ll have you know that I’m not always late. I arrive precisely when I mean to.”
Lee laughed waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dimness in the stable building. “Do you? So you did mean to arrive half an hour late to the last lesson and get chewed out by Kayla?”
Mickey snorted. “Of course I did. How else would I make my grand entrance otherwise? I could have done without Kayla’s lecture, though.”
“Maybe you should stop quoting ‘The Lord of the Rings’ then”, Lee chuckled and came to a halt behind a black-haired girl in front of the whiteboard with the lesson plan.
“Hey guys”, the girl said absentmindedly, her eyes transfixed on the names on the board.
“What’s up, Ira?”, Mickey asked, confused that the usually very chipper girl seemed to be uncharacteristically quiet today.
“Whatever isn’t tied down… are you seeing this?” Ira said, still staring at the board.
Mickey and Lee followed her gaze and noticed what she found so odd.
“Yeah, they changed our assigned horses for this lesson. What’s up with that?” Lee raised an eyebrow as she ran her finger down the names scribbled in black marker.
“Good, I’m not having some weird-ass hallucination then”, Ira scratched her head, an incredulous expression still on her face.
“No hallucinations”, a voice behind them called out cheerily, “we did change the lesson plan for today.”
The three turned and saw Yan stride towards them with a half smile on his face. Behind him the tall and impeccably dressed Konstantin and silent and shy Lea trailed along.
“It’s jumping training today with a little twist, but May and I are gonna fill you in once you’re inside with your assigned horses.” Yan jerked his head towards the indoor arena, grin still on his lips. “So… don’t let me stop you. Get to it, folks.”
They watched him head towards the arena, exchanging curious glances with each other. For a few moments longer they just stood there, until Konstantin shrugged and, after a quick glance at the whiteboard, headed towards Euro’s stall. Lee followed suit towards Davinja and one after another the other three scattered to their respective horses.
A couple of minutes later someone else came sauntering down the concrete stable aisle. More footsteps followed the first ones, an enthusiastic spring in those.
“Hey, Jascha.” May’s voice almost sounded too cheerful as she called out to the tall student. Lee rolled her eyes to herself in Davinja’s stall. Of course it would be him. Of course Jascha would be the last to arrive.
“I know you probably won’t look at the lesson board, so just a heads up.” May stopped next to him and patted him on the shoulder. “Your horses have been changed. You’ll ride Fentzooler today.”
“Okay”, Jascha said, tilting his head to the side,” why?”
May’s grin only got wider as she positively bounced towards the indoor arena, arms spread wide. “You’ll see. Go, get a move on!”
Jascha just shrugged in his usual indifferent way and slumped towards Fentzooler’s stall.

About twenty minutes later the first students had their horses ready to go and began warming up, looping around the obstacles Yan and May were setting up. One after the other the rest came filtering in, Mickey being the last to enter and close the gate behind them.
On May’s call, everyone began lining up in the middle of the arena. She let her gaze roam over the students in front of her, a lopsided smirk on her face. They sure were a funny bunch, each with so much personality it was curious it all fit into the confines of their bodies.
“Alright folks, listen up”, Yan said loud enough for everyone to hear, “you’re probably wondering what this all is about.” He looked around, rubbing his hands together eagerly. He seemed to have way too much fun with this.
May didn’t want to be that guy, but had to rain on his parade a little.
“Before we start, however, a couple of.. formalities, if you will.” Her scrutinizing gaze stopped at the most inexperienced of their students. “Mickey, don’t mount yet, Fünfer’s throat latch is still open. You might wanna do something about that.”
Mickey blushed bright red.
“Oh and while you’re at it, his left boot is askew, too. Otherwise good job on his tack.” Blushing even more furiously, Mickey hurried to fix Fünfer’s tack.
Next to them Ira just shook her head.
“How is she always seeing these things? That’s insane.”
Mickey chuckled. “It’s practice, I guess.” They gave Fünfer, who was shamelessly exploiting the situation to get more cuddles, a few more pats on his muzzle before ducking down to redo his boot. “She’s been doing this a lot longer that we have, after all.”
“Speak for yourself”, Ira said, grinning impishly.
Mickey looked up at her with a sceptic expression. “You have not been practicing for thirty years.”
May’s slightly amused voice cut them off. “First off, stop making me older than I already am and secondly please stop talking and listen.”
“Ma’am, yes, Ma'am!”
Mickey almost expected Ira to snap off a salute with that answer. Thankfully she didn’t.
May had to bite back a grin. “Appreciate it, Ira. I’d also appreciate you making your stirrups shorter.”
“Right away, Ma’am!” Ira said, wrestling with Wiggen’s hyperactivity to get him to stay still while she fumbled with her stirrups.
“Good”, May snickered, finally fixating Jascha with a stern glare.
“Jascha, helmet on properly or it’s mucking duty for the next month. And if you keep on not remembering to put in on properly, it’s for the next year.”
Jascha reached up to right his helmet with almost no grumbling. May ignored it.
“You’re not getting on any horse without your helmet and not with an unfastened helmet either, is that clear?”
“Yeah”, he huffed, a slightly irritated note to his voice.
“Look, Jascha”, May sighed, holding out a hand in a gesture of peace, “I’m not doing this, just to annoy you personally. This is about your safety. I’d rather have you look uncool with your helmet on, instead of telling your parents that you’re in the ICU with a fractured skull. We have a responsibility for you, you know?”
Jascha looked slightly abashed when he murmured out a “Yeah, yeah”, avoiding May’s eyes.
Yan gave May sideways look. “You done dragging the mood?”
She smirked. “Yeah. I’m all out of criticism. The stage is yours.”
“Alright, great!” He clapped his hands together but then seemed to remember something else. “I have a little update on Nathan for you. He’s still in the hospital but he’s doing a lot better. Still, you’ll have to make do with me for the time being.”
Most of the students looked relieved to hear that their (secretly favourite) instructor would not be dying anytime soon. Jascha quipped an ironic “Aw, man” but smiled in relief much like all the others.
Yan carried on. “We assigned each of you specific Show Jumping horses today because we want to test your skills.”
He caught Mickey’s horrified look and immediately held out his hands. “Don’t worry, we’re not going to grade you or anything and we know you’re still fairly new to this, Mickey. We do know approximately where each of you stands experience-wise at the moment but we want to have an exact picture. Because…” The impish grin was back on his lips and he almost looked like an evil cartoon villain, laying out his masterplan. “.. we are going to take two of you to Denmark to the Rømø Beach Jumping event.”
His revelation earned different responses, ranging from smug (Konstantin), over relief (Mickey), to completely sinking in on themselves (Lea).
“For this”, May continued while the students digested the news, “we are going to hold some sort of tournament, if you want to call it that. Might be a bit too over the top, though.” She made a wide sweeping motion, showing the obstacles she and Yan had set up. “You all will go over a set parcours, a bit higher for the big warmbloods like Euro and Fentzooler and lower for the ponies of course. We’ll take your time and the two who finish it in the quickest time and with the least faults will go to Denmark.”
Lee and Ira exchanged a glance.
“When was that event again?” Lee asked, a sliver of apprehension already on her face. When Yan told her the date, she saw her worries confirmed. “I’m out, then. I’ll be in Korea with my parents during that.”
“That’s too bad. But we’d like you to take part today, anyway, so that we can see where you’re at.”
“Of course.”
Yan looked at each of them in turn. “Anybody else got any questions?”
They all shook their head.
“Great, let’s get started then.” His gaze got caught on Lea who looked incredibly uncomfortable, fidgeting with the reins in her hands.
“Lea, stop looking like we’re trying to kill you. This is just a friendly tournament, okay?”
She nodded but still didn’t seem very comforted.
“It’s all in good fun, Lea. No one’s going to rip your head off.” Lee smiled down at Lea, patting her lightly on the shoulder as she steered Davinja past her, “Just take it easy.” Again Lea nodded but didn’t look much more encouraged than before.
“Alright”, May called out, heading towards the middle of the arena, “a couple more warm-up rounds, people, and then we’ll start with the ponies.”

It became clear rather quickly that Konstantin and Lee came in best, clearing the course easily in record time with no faults at all. Lee seemed to have the time of her life keeping Davinja’s temper in check. Konstantin just seemed complacent, like there was no other way this could have played out.
Not too closely behind them followed Ira, slower but without faults. Jascha was almost on par with her. He had rushed Flint too much over the last obstacles to beat Konstantin’s time and knocked one bar down. He was visibly annoyed by that.
Mickey had a solid time but one fault too much. And at the end of the field was Lea, who had gotten too nervous and lost her head. Ferret had been so confused he knocked down a rail on every other obstacle. They both looked disappointed but Lea seemed relieved that it was finally over.
None of these results had actually come as a surprise, except maybe Lea failing as spectacularly as she had. Ferret was a solid jumper and Lea herself really wasn’t doing so bad either, but the pressure of everyone watching her perform had been too much on her.
May looked up from her clipboard where she had taken notes. “Alright, guys, you all know the results. Good job, everyone, you all did really well. So, since Lee sits this one out, it’s Ira and Konstantin going to Rømø. Congrats you two.” Konstantin smirked his absolutely infuriating self-satisfied smirk, Ira high-fived Mickey.
“We’ll see you two outside once you’re done taking care of your horses. And don’t take them out onto the pasture it doesn’t look like that thunderstorm is going to blow over anytime soon. Alright, that’s it, you can go cool your horses off now.”
While the kids still did a couple of easy laps around the arena, Yan and May started to put away the obstacles. Around the arena building, the storm started picking up in earnest, heavy rain thundering against the high windows. The darkness made it seem much later than it actually was.
One after the other the students filtered out into the stable building, leaving Yan and May behind to put away the last reminders of the lesson.
“You know, I knew how Lea was with audiences and pressure and such but this was really bad. I’m a bit worried about her”, Yan said, quietly enough that the kids outside would not hear them. May nodded, scratching her chin.
“You and me both. And she isn’t even that bad, she’s just… herself.”
Yan snorted. “Eloquently put, May. Speaking of eloquent… I know it was my idea to send some of the kids to compete, but we can’t really send them to another country on their own, can we?”
May didn’t like the way Yan looked at her. Not one bit.
“I don’t see how that has anything to do with eloquent. Also where are you going with this?”
She had more than a hunch where he was going with this, still that didn’t mean that she had to like it.
“Well”, Yan began, slowly leading the way towards the stable, “they’re kids. You can’t really think about letting them go to Denmark all on their own with two of our horses.”
May laughed, ignoring the small voice in her head that poked her that he was probably right.
"Oh, I will definitely not play babysitter for our students. They're not kids anymore, they can do this on their own."
Yan seemed to consider this for a moment. When he spoke again, his voice was a little too nonchalant to be taken seriously.
"You do realise that they're going out there carrying our stable name, right? Showing what they learned here? Representing our skills and values...? And they're going to be at a pretty big competition in a foreign country with internationally recognized stables and riders all by themselves, being inexperienced and teenagers...."
May stopped mid-step, her fists clenched. Yan was sure he could hear the wheels in her head churning.
"Okay, fine", May growled and turned around, her hair flying around her shoulders, jabbing an accusing finger at Yan’s chest, "but know that this is your fault and your fault entirely and I hate you for this and you owe me at least fiver dinner dates when I get home."
Yan grinned and clapped her on the shoulder. "I knew you'd see reason. Who’re you gonna take?”
“Well, you’re not going to a competition without actually competing. That’s just not you.”
Again she growled, this time because she realised that he was right.
“I’ll have to think about it, but I guess Anouk or Impulse would be good choices. They’re both experienced enough for the Grand Prix and could use a turn out.”
She shot a sideways look at Yan.
He was smiling that secretive smile of his again, highly amused by how quickly she had known exactly who to take out of their complete roster of excellent jumpers.
“Oh nothing…”
Before she could pursue the matter further, Yan pointed towards Ira and Konstantin coming towards them.
“I’ll leave you with your protégés then and go check on the others. Have fun with the argument.” He snickered as he left.
May had to suppress the urge to throw something after him and waited for the kids to finally reach her.
“You done?” When they both nodded, she motioned for them to sit down in the small rider's lounge type of room at the back of the stable. “‘Okay, good. Then let’s get started.”
She explained the logistics to them for a bit until Konstantin asked: “Can we choose the horse we take with us?”
“No, we already chose. We want you to compete in the novice and intermediate classes respectively, you choose which one does which. Now before you do that”, she pressed on before they could say something, “the two horses you’re taking are Aureolin and Stormfall.”
She let that sink in for a moment.
“Oooh Stormfall...”, Ira said with an admiring twinkling in her eyes, which May could easily understand. The stallion was impressive and a challenge, but nothing the two couldn’t handle.
Konstantin cut across anything else Ira might have wanted to say.
“I’m not riding a pony!”, he said with an expression, that suggested that May had just told him he would have to ride on a pig.
Ira looked as though she might protest for a wild second, just to poke Konstantin a bit but eventually she shrugged.
“Alright, fine, if my lady considers himself too fine for a pony, I’ll take Au. Oh, that’s gonna be fun.” She grinned. “Lemme guess... you want the intermediate, too?”
Konstantin ignored the jab against himself and quickly put his blasé expression back on.
“Of course.”
She grinned and shook her head the tiniest bit. “Of course he does.” She turned back towards May. “I guess that’s decided then.”
May had to suppress her laughter and tried her best to nod with a serious expression.
“Good, now that that’s settled, let’s talk about our stay there..”


Tools and Info

Programme: Paint Tool SAI & Adobe Photoshop CS5
Tools: Wacom Bamboo Pen
Time: well over 24 hours

Refs used:
Fentzooler by Bundy-Stock
Fünfer by LuDa-Stock
Wiggen by Bundy-Stock
Davinja by Bundy-Stock
Ferret by Bundy-Stock
Euro by Bundy-Stock

Textures used:
wooden beams by ftourini-stock
arena walls by ftourini-stock
inner arena half walls by Tzolkin
sands by ftourini-stock
Quilt for blankets by liz-stock
Jascha's jeans by NeverlandStock
Mickey's jumper by West-Ninja
Image size
4320x1820px 9.36 MB
© 2017 - 2020 just-sora
anonymous's avatar
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Helsinge's avatar
This is awesome, must have taken forever to do but it turned out great, so many interesting details :D Each character has a unique personality, it's easy to keep them separate in my mind already and I feel like their personalities are reflected a lot in the art as well.
just-sora's avatar
Ooooh goooood Helsinge, you're killing me with your comments.:faint:
Thank you so much, you're so nice.:tighthug:
And I'm so glad it's easy to tell them apart. This is the best compliment you could give me on this.:la:
Helsinge's avatar
<333 I tend to be very slow at getting around to commenting, but I try to do at least something sooner or later, people put too much work into their art for me to not show appreciation :aww:
just-sora's avatar
that's an awesome mindset.:heart: 
I should really take that as an example and try to comment more as well, because you're so right.:D
Helsinge's avatar
It takes time and effort, so I understand not everyone is always capable, and it's why it can take me so long to do sometimes too... but lately I just sort of comment on the "easy" stuff like five at a time, takes two minutes, and then things with long stories or a looot of image detail that I want to think about, I read on my phone while I'm on the train (since then I don't have anything else to distract me anyway) and then I can think about what I want to say, and then it's easier to comment when I get home ^-^
CSStables's avatar
Amazing work! :wow: I can't even imagine how much time and effort this took to make QAQ :heart: Love it!
just-sora's avatar
Oh wow, that means a lot coming from you. Thank you so much.:heart:
CSStables's avatar
My pleasure! <333
Ikiuni's avatar
I absolutely love how much details there are. ^^ This is amazing work. <33 Love all the poses. Love everything about this drawing. :D
just-sora's avatar
Thank you so much, oh goooood.:tighthug:
blackwxtch's avatar

i'll just leave this here
just-sora's avatar
 AngelMoose EmoteGif 
Moose-Of-Pulchritude's avatar
Saitama Serious IconWHEN I ASK FOR MEN??
just-sora's avatar
yessssssss Mushu 
ReneeScarted's avatar
Wow this looks so awesome, so many horses and riders and all are beautifully done!
just-sora's avatar
fdsjaklfjdskla thank you so much.:heart:
Scutterland's avatar
Ahhh this is great!!! :bow: Wow I would love to make something like this, it looks incredible <333
just-sora's avatar
Thanks a bunch.:heart:
Don't try, it will end up killing you.:lmao:
Scutterland's avatar
I shall remember your word of warning for sure XDDD
just-sora's avatar
Do that but feel free to also ignore it whenever you feel like your art is not taking long enough.:lmao:
ArcticNomad's avatar
This is a masterpiece :D (Big Grin) So many characters and I like the different expressions they have! And the movement, it looks much more realistic when the horses aren't just standing here like stones while they are actually standing, love it :D (Big Grin)  (if that makes any sense, I can't describe it better...)
I don't know why but in the character descriptions the part ''The rich kid. Is better than you. And if he isn’t he’ll train as long as it takes to get better than you.'' made me smile  xD I need to take some time and read the whole story later ^^
just-sora's avatar
Wow, thank you so much.:heart:
Yeah I know what you mean. Especially with this many characters in one pictures it's hard to make everyone look alive. Because no one just stands there like a statue.xD
Hehe, that's great. I was hoping that the descriptions of the characters would at least be a bit funny to someone (I mostly write them in the dead of night when I think I'm being incredibly funny but actually am not.xD)

Thanks it really means a lot to me you'Re actually going to take time and read the whole thing. I admit it got a bit out of hand. Sorry.^^;
ArcticNomad's avatar
You're welcome! Now I also realized that the rich kid is even riding Euro, haha money money xD 
The story was good too =P (Razz)  
anonymous's avatar
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