PHOENIX HILL | PHOTO ALBUM - comments welcome.
Effie approached the skewbald stallion quietly, he was easily unsettled and lived off of his nerves. He lifted his head and let out a long breath before stretching his head out towards her and nibbling at her pockets. The woman smirked, dug her hand into her pocket, and presented him with a mint which he inhaled instantaneously.
Whilst buckling up his headcollar, Effie noticed a small nick on his shoulder, it was a minor scratch but was enough to pull off the hair, leaving a patch of bare pink skin underneath. She drew her lips inwards and shook her head, somehow her horse always came in from the pasture with some sort of injury.
They walked up the main aisle and they were both greeted by soft whickers and heads popping over stable doors; the stallion flattened his ears and threatened to nip each horse as he passed by. "Easy Windstar," Effie murmured, tying him up in the cross-ties. He pricked his ears up once he heard his name and began to fidget in the ties, nibbling softly on the rope attached to his headcollar. Effie shook her head once again and took up a dandy brush and began to dust the mud from his coat.
Eventually she finished grooming. She always spent a long while grooming him before her ride since it always calmed him down. He chewed anxiously as she lifted the saddle onto his back, a mere habit of his, he always became nervous before the ride. She thought he may have been man-handled in the past, he was certainly shy of hand and jumped when Effie moved too quickly.
Windstar shook out the tension in his neck once she was onboard, he felt more at ease once he'd gotten the tacking up over and done with and he became focused. Swiftly, the woman tightened the girth, gave him a pat and walked him into the arena. She'd planned to jump him but it had began to rain. Stuff it, I'm riding any way, she thought, Effie was an all-weather rider and Windstar didn't mind the rain. He peered round every corner of the arena, searching for monsters lurking in the trees, and jumped at any sudden movement. Effie was used to it by now and tutted quietly before asking him to trot on.
The stallion was beginning to calm down, and the rain eased off a little, she'd warmed up thoroughly and with a gentle click of her tongue, Windstar picked up a canter. She half halted gently and the stallion responded with a swish of the tail but began to concentrate once she turned him towards an oxer. He soared over it neatly, leaving at least a foot to spare, and cantered off with a small buck.
The rain had stopped by then and the woman dismounted, patted her horse and walked him back into the barn. They were both dripping wet and she took her coat off and began to dry off Windstar. He nipped at her in protest and she swatted him away which scared him slightly, but she made sure to praise him when he wasn't objecting and he soon understood. She put Windstar under the solarium and left him to relax for a little while whilst she stood sweeping the barn aisle and humming to herself.