Horse School

The story is about a girl, who is going to a boarding school and she is bringing her horse, Storm with her. The girl is called Juno, and she has a bigger sister, that had been there the year before, and older brother, at the boy's part of the huge school. Read to find out about Juno's adventures at her new boarding school.

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3. The first day

“Morning gorgeous,” I said as I walked up to Storm’s stall. It was early the next day. Sara and I were getting ready for our riding lesson. We were in the same class as Hannah, Alicia and Jess. Coach had already decided the groups. “Ready to got to our first lesson?” “Are you talking to Storm again?” Sara asked. “Maybe, besides I have heard you talk to Jack,” I said back. Fifteen minutes later we were walking into the arena. We were the first ones there. Sara headed straight over to the mounting block. I walked around for a bit, to let Storm have a look. He turned his head at everything. After a few minutes, I mounted up. I didn’t need the mounting block. It was the first time I had rode him with someone watching, besides Coach. I could feel my heart racing. I knew that this lesson was where everyone would remember what happened, and how you ride your horse. Sara made me feel better. Some of the older students would be watching too. I knew I couldn’t freak out. Storm reads me like a book. I had to get myself together. I nudged Storm into a nice, steady trot. He moved into me and collected himself. He started to arch his neck like he always does when he is showing off. I could hear Sara laughing behind me. As we went by the giant mirror on the short side, opposite the entrance, I saw how amazing Storm looked.

We moved as one. As the team we really are. It seemed like a dream. My mind wondered for our whole warm up. We started with clean transitions. Then we went to circles. Then we started working on lead changes. Storm flew through them. A couple of times I had to look and ask Sara if he switched them. Next, we started with leg yielding, Storm, and my, least favourite. Then, I asked Sara if she minded if I let him run. She moved Jack to the centre of the arena and Storm and I worked on some of our roping stuff.     Back home after Storm was trained, we started helping out at the rescue. We started roping some of the wild Mustangs.     As I finished warming Storm up Hannah, Alicia, and Jessica walked in. I walked Storm over next to Sara and Jack.     “When does our lesson start?” I asked Sara looking at the other girls.     “In ten minutes,” Sara replied looking at her watch. “Coach will be mad if they aren’t warmed up.”     “I would be too. Aren’t we support to be fully warmed up and ready to start when Coach comes?” I asked.     “Yep”     “Then won’t they get in trouble?”     “Nope, Hannah and Jessica push Griffin and Chex through warm up and don’t actually warm them up. Alicia normally does. I don’t know why she’s so late. She normally is one of the first in here. She likes the private time like us.”     “Wow, that’s just sad. I’m glad Alicia isn’t like that”     As we stood there watching Hannah and Jessica push their horses right into a canter. Alicia walked for half a lap then trotted then cantered, like you are suppose to.     About ten minutes later Coach walked in and Alicia, Hannah, and Jessica walked over by Sara and me.     “Welcome everyone. I have placed you all together because I feel your skills are close to each others,” Coach said. I heard Hannah snicker at that. “Would you like to say something Miss Fox?”     “No, I am just happy that I got to work with some amazing riders, and I hope I can just improve my skills,” Hannah said. I looked over at Sara, I saw her roll her eyes.

“Alright, you should all be warmed up, so start on the rail at a left lead canter,” Coach said.     As I moved Strom to the rail, I though about how much this ride mattered. As I asked Storm to canter, he picked up a smooth rocking canter. So I could feel him better I rode in my full seat. Sinking down into my heels, I sat easily to his canter. I could feel Everyone’s eyes on me. I had a long stretch in front of me so I let Storm stretch out and lengthen his stride. This was his natural stride. It was long but smooth.     “Alright everyone walk,” Coach directed. Once we all did Coach spoke again. “Okay, we are to judge each other at a walk, trot, and canter. Hannah, you go first. Next is Alicia, then Jessica, then Sara. Lastly Juno will go.”     I moved Storm to the centre and watched Hannah ride.     Hannah and Griffin started at a steady walk. I could see how tense Griffin seemed. He stayed like that the whole time. When Hannah finished she had this triumphant grin on her face.     “Well, what do you all think? Jessica?” Coach asked.     “You looked amazing!” Jessica said.     “Yeah, it looked great,” Alicia, said.     “You need to rock more in your hips when you canter. You are kind of moving your shoulders too,” Sara said.     “Juno how about you?” Coach said.     “Well……. To be honest……… Griffin looked really tense and confined. You should give him more rein and let him stretch out,” I said looking from Strom, to Sara, to Coach, to Hannah.     “I agree. Thank you Hannah,” Coach said. “Jessica, are you ready?”

“Yes,” she said pushing Chex to the rail.     As Jessica walked I looked how Jessica signaled Chex. She was very forceful and had really big signals.     “Well?” Coach said looking at us.     “You need to watch where your leg is it moves a lot when you post,” Sara said.     “You need to loosen your reins some,” Alicia said looking at Sand-King’s mane.     “She needs to go fasted and be much more collected than that,” Hannah snapped     “You need to be softer with your signals. They were really forceful and you should make them smaller. They seemed to take your focus away from you mount and your position,” I said looking at Coach for reassurance but she never looked at me.     “I agree with you all. Jessica, do you see your problems?” Coach asked.     “Yes and I agree, too. Thanks guys,” Jessica said.     “Alright, Alicia,” Coach said looking over at the blond girl with the horse to match.     Alicia was an amazing rider. She has that special click with her horse. They looked fluid and crisp.     “Okay, anyone have anything to say?” Coach asked.     “You looked amazing, Alicia,” Sara said.     “That was a really good ride,” Jessica smiled.     “It wasn’t your best ride,” Hannah huffed.     “You looked amazing. You can see the bond you have with him,” I said looking at Alicia. From under her helmet you could see her smiling with strands of pretty blond hair framing her face.     “Sara, ready?” Coach asked As Sara moved Jack on the rail I watched her hands. As she finished I saw Hannah role her eyes.     “Okay, who wants to go first?” Coach asked looking at each of us.     “I will, you looked good. You just need to make sure you sit up strait,” Alicia said looking down.     “You look like you are a board, you need to loosen up a bit,” Jessica commented.     “It was okay, but your whole seat was wrong,” Hannah said. Sara looked over at me and I just rolled my eyes.     “You need to keep you hands back they are creeping up his neck,” I say. Everyone nodded in agreement.     “Okay, Juno, go ahead,” Coach said.     As I moved Storm to the wall I concentrated on Storm and the ride ahead of me. I sank into my heels and straightened. I looked ahead and collected my reins.     I let Storm walk for a half lap and let him get used to everything and calm down. I asked him to puck up a steady, smooth sitting trot. After another half lap of sitting trot, I moved into a posting trot. He moved smooth and steady under me. I could feel every muscle move. He listened to my every command.     When I thought he was good and settled I asked for an easy canter. He moved instantly and I could sit still with no problem. He was a dream. It reminded me of riding with my friends and the other trainer at the rescue, Austin.    I pulled Storm up after a half lap. I walked him into the centre feeling confident. I couldn’t think of anything I did wrong.     “Okay, who wants to say something first?” Coach asked looking at the other girls.

“That looked great, maybe just let his head drop a little when he canters, it looks like you have a tight rein when you don’t,” Jessica said. I felt a little better.     “I agree with Jess, He, also, seems to be throwing his head around in transitions,” Alicia said, smiling. “He seems really choppy in transitions but it could be worked out with practice,” Sara said. “He is a choppy mover and is throwing his head to much. You need to put a harder bit on him and tighten your reins. He looks like a free-range chicken you strapped yourself onto. You look like that, too,” Hannah said matter-of-a-factly. “Okay everyone lets start jumping. We will start at 2ft to determine your skills,” Coach said. A couple of the grooms had put up some jumps. There was one single, a three-stride line, and a hard bounce. “Okay, Sara you are going first, then Alicia, then Jessica, then Juno, then Hannah,” Coach said looking at her clip board. “This is all we are doing to day so once you go wait for everyone else to go then you can start cooling the horses down and leave. Okay, Sara.” Sara took Jack in a large circle then pointed him for the first jump. It was a simple vertical with a striped pole. Sara and Jack took it easy but almost clipped the rail. The next line had a vertical with traffic cones under and beside it. The second jump in the line was a thick ivy wall. Jack easily cleared the first jump but hesitated before the second. Sara had to really push Jack up to the bounce. It was simple and wasn’t meant to spook the horses just to make them stretch. Jack ended up taking down the second pole in the bounce. Sara was a little disappointed when she came back to the group. “Okay so what can you do to fix that?” Coach asked. “Push him through the line and take him in stronger into the bounce,” Sara said.

“Okay good, Alicia,” Coach said nodding to Alicia. Alicia rode everything strong but Sand-King ran out of the line before both jumps. Jessica worked well with Chex but, she ran out before the bounce. “Alright, Juno, go ahead,” Coach said looking at her clipboard, again. I collected my reins and brought Storm into a steady trot. He worked into me. After making a large circle I pushed him into a easy canter. He sped up as far as I let him go and came up to the jump. Five-Four-Three-Two-One-UP! I counted in my head. On ‘up’ Storm rose up and brought his legs up under him. He cleared it with inches to spear. As he came out of it he tossed his head and gave a playful buck. Before the line he focused back on me. Three-Two-One-Up! He cleared the first part easy. Everyone was getting a five so I pushed for a four with his long stride. Four-Three-Two-One-Up! I counted. Storm rose up and cleared the second part with ease. I let him pick up the pace before the bounce. That was the hardest jump of all. I pushed Storm into a hand-gallop. Three-Two-One-Up I counted. I felt him land then take-off immediately. He jumped high but arched himself so it was smooth like normal. Storm landed behind it and cleared it with inches to spare. I waited to hear the pole fall behind us, but I knew it would never come when I heard Jessica, Alicia, and Sara clap. “Very good job, Juno, you seem to know how to manage Storm’s speed,” Coach said. “Okay, Hannah, go ahead.” Hannah kicked Griffin right into a canter. She didn’t circle him like everyone else. She pushed him into an almost-gallop and ran him up to the first jump. He took a long spot and barely made it over. Hannah still pushed him on. She pushed him through the line and Griffin got a four but had to get a half step before the second jump. Hannah pushed Griffin into a gallop before the bounce. Griffin got a bad spot in the first part. In between Hannah kicked him to the next jump and He ended up knocking the top two rails down. Once he landed Hannah popped hi reins and kicked him. “Hannah, get off that horse. Now,” Coach said furiously. “Everyone except Hannah leave. This lesson is over.”  I got off Storm and pulled his reins over his head. I started walking towards the door, but not before catching Sara’s eye. I knew we agreed. Hannah pushed it way to far. She was so in-for-it. I knew Coach hated showing off. By doing what she did, Hannah compromised Griffin. She was not getting off easy. I knew this was going to be a tough year and I was going to start pushing it to get noticed. I decided then to practice after tomorrow’s lesson. I was going to ask Sara later tonight, but right now I had to put Storm up and get back to the dorm to finish last minute work and get stuff ready for classes tomorrow. It was going to be a late night.

 

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