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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4. The first riding lesson

“Okay everyone, now that the horses are warmed-up, lets head out onto the course. I’ll go last so if you get stuck or something happens just stop and go to the edge of the trail,” Coach said from atop Apollo. This was one of the first times I’ve ever seen Coach on a horse. Apollo was a five year old, green, dapple grey, Thoroughbred, stallion. He was at the other end of the barn from Storm and Jack. He was Coach’s horse that she rode. “Alright, Juno, you are going to go first, then Hannah. Following Hannah will be Jessica, Sara, Alicia, and then I will go last,” Coach said. “Wait three minutes before going. This is a long course with some difficult jumps. Pace yourself, I’m trusting you all to listen to your horse and understand them.”

Storm was starting to get antsy and so was everyone else. “Okay, let’s start before these horses waste all their energy,” Coach said trying to settle Apollo. “Juno, you can go ahead and go to the starting box.” I walked Storm over to the starting box. I turned him around so he didn’t take off. I looked down at my watch and got ready to start the stopwatch on it. “Okay Juno, ready. Set. Go!” Everyone yelled. I hit the start button on my watch and spun Storm around. He flew out of the start box and galloped off. I pulled him up to slow him so he had energy for the whole course, even though I knew he was built for stamina. I held Storm steady as we approached a two foot stone wall. I could feel Storm start to get excited and pointed his ears forward. Three, two, one, up! I thought in my head. I pushed him over the wall. He cleared the wall with ease. Storm cantered down an easy slope to an open field with a fallen tree that was trimmed into a jump, a pile of logs, and a old fence. The tree was about two feet tall and a foot and a half wide. The pile of logs was two-six, and about two feet wide. The fence was only about a foot and a half. Storm cantered across the field and up to the tree. Three, two, one, up, I counted again. There was about five strides until the logs then only about three to the fence. Five, four, three, two, one, up, I counted between the tree and the logs. Storm tucked up and cleared the logs with ease. “Three, two, one, up!” I said aloud. Storm cleared everything with ease and didn’t even flinch. We cantered down a winding trail through the woods. I saw a level jump, one that you had to jump up onto a ledge and then back down to the ground. I wasn’t a fan of these jumps but Storm loved them. They were hard to handle and required experience. Storm’s stride lengthened and his ears went strait forward. I gave him rein and pushed him forward “Three, two, one, up!” I counted. Storm popped up to the next level. There was only enough space for one stride on the level. Storm landed on the level and took a stride, and then he jumped down a foot onto ground level. Once Storm landed he tossed his head and bucked playfully. I laughed and let him run down a straight trail then slowed him down when I saw a stream that I knew would be best to be jumped. It was down a small slope. The stream was about two feet across. I pushed storm so he had enough speed to clear the stream. Storm went down the slope about half way then jumped. He landed on the same spot on the other side. He ran up the slop and kept going. He was breathing a little hard and was a little sweaty but nothing that I was worried about. He would defiantly need to be hosed off when we were done. We cantered down the trail and left the woods. We were now on top of the hill behind all of the pastures and the stable. I saw a barn that someone built to be a jump. It was about two-nine and eighteen inches wide. Behind it, was a ditch that was about eighteen inches wide, as well. Beyond that, there was a bush jump with logs on either side of it. It was only two feet high and a foot across. Storm gathered more speed to make all of the jumps. It was three strides between all of the jumps. I knew I had to make a decision of if I want Storm to take two or three strides. He could make two but I would have to really push him. I pulled on the reins telling him to slow. Storm threw his head annoyed. I knew better then to fight him. He would have to get more speed to take it right. I loosened the reins and kicked Storm to let him know to run. He responded instantly and pulled from a canter to a hand gallop. He flew over the barn like it wasn’t there. Two fast strides later we were flying over the ditch. I stayed in Two-point and waited two more giant strides then Storm pushed off and cleared the hedge like it wasn’t there. I could see the next jump on the other side of the field. I let Storm stay at a fast pace across the field. The next jump was a roll-top that was the same size as the barn. Storm cleared it without even blinking. I knew we were far ahead of every one else so decided to slow down for the rest of the course. I also knew better then to take a coffin fast. As we approached the coffin I finally got to get a good look at it. Coffins weren’t my favorite to jump because of Storm’s large strides. I had to hold him back to get the two strides that you were supposed to get. As we approached the coffin I finally got to get a good look at it. Coffins weren’t my favorite to jump because of Storm’s large strides. I had to hold him back to get the two strides that you were supposed to get. I slowed Storm as far as I could and had him shorten his stride. Storm tossed his head showing how annoyed he was. I kept my reins short and my seat deep to keep him from pulling forward. At the base of the coffin Storm slowed and took two strides and popped over the ditch then took two more strides up the hill leaving the coffin. Then he cantered away, lengthening his stride and picking up some speed. It was another quarter-mile to the end of the course and Storm wasn’t that tired so I let him gallop the rest of the course. I saw four girls at the finish line as I entered the final field before the finish line. As I got closer I saw that one was Kris on Comanche. Once I got only a few strides away from the finish line I saw it was Vanessa, Kelly, and Diana, from lunch today, on their horses. As Storm and I approached and crossed the finish line I heard Vanessa say a time, and Kelly write it down. I slowed Storm to a walk slowly in large circles, first to a canter, then a trot, then, finally, a walk. Once Storm was walking around and cooling off I looked at the finish line to see if anyone was close. It had been over ten minutes and no one was near the finish line. I knew Storm had been fast on the course and all but where was everyone? Did something happen on the course? Finally after five more minutes Hannah came out of the woods and pushed Griffon across the field. Griffon and Hannah crossed the finish line and the girls did the same thing they did with me. After another ten minutes, Jessica came across the finish line followed by Sara. Then, Alicia came across the finish line fifteen minutes later. After another ten minutes Couch came across the finish line signaling that everyone was done. Vanessa clicked her stopwatch, while Kelly went to go tell Couch the times. Diana went over to cool off Apollo for Couch. “Okay,” Couch said after looking over the times, “Everyone cool off the horses then Juno come see me in my office.” I looked over at Sara as she looked over to me. Sara and I walked the horses back to the barn on foot. “So what did you do?” Sara asked. “Honestly? I have no idea,” I said looking down. “I didn’t push Storm to hard and he wasn’t hurt when I got back, and I cooled him off the right way.” “Maybe she needs to ask you something or make sure everything is alright,” Sara replied obviously trying to make me feel better. Once I got back to the barn and to Storm’s stall I was in full-out freak-out mode. I was so worried I walked right into the stall without Storm, when Storm was tied up outside his stall. By the time I had Storm cooled off (which didn’t take very long since we sat on the course for so long), untacked, and in his stall with water and hay, I was about to start bouncing of the walls. I was so nervous I even almost put Storm’s hay in his water bucked instead of in his hay bag. I grabbed Storm’s red/brown Collegiate saddle, royal blue saddle pad, bell boots, and breast plate and brought them to the tack room. As I walked to the tack room I saw that Griffin, Chex, and Sand-King were already put up and Hannah, Jessica, and Alicia were nowhere to be seen. I saw some of the beginner 6th grade students getting ready for there lesson with Mr. Conroy, the beginner and intermediate couch for the middle school. I dropped my stuff off at the tack room and when to go see Couch in her office. Before I knocked I looked down the aisle and saw Sara give me a thumbs up. I swallowed my nerve and knocked on Coach’s door. I waited what seemed like forever then heard Coach telling me to come in. I slowly turned the door knob and pushed open the door. “Ah, Juno, good I’m glad you could come see me. I need to discus something with you about your ride today,” Coach said capping her pen and moving some paperwork from the center of her messy desk. “Take a seat.” I sat down at the only free chair in front of Coach’s desk. The other had helmets and bell boots on it. I tried to keep from showing how scared I was, something I learned to do very well from Joe. “What is it that you want to talk about? I thought about my ride after and didn’t find anything wrong,” I said looking at Coach then at all of the ribbons, trophies, and pictures behind her, and back. “Well there was something that I was concerned about, and that was your time,” Coach said clasping her hands on top of her desk. “What about the time?” I asked. I was happy with the time we got it was a good steady time. “It was very fast. I was the last to come in and so I never saw how hard Storm was breathing when you were done,” Coach said looking concerned. “He wasn’t breathing that hard. He was breathing no harder then Jack, or Griffin, or even Apollo,” I said suddenly defensive. “Well how did you explain how fast you finished the cross-country course? Unless you cheated and skipped some of  the obstacles,” Coach said looking me in the eye. “No, I’d didn’t skip anything and I didn’t push Storm to hard. I know my own horse and his limits. I’ve been riding and training on him since he could be ridden. I’ve known him his whole life. As for him being fast on the course, he has a really long stride and his breed is meant to be able to run for a long period of time. Its how he was made,” I say getting annoyed and defensive of Storm. I’ve known him since he was six-months old and have ridden him for a million long gallops. “Well, I wasn’t aware of that but next time I would like to see you work parts of the course,” Coach said seeming to understand. “Thank you for understanding,” I said feeling a little bad about what I said before. “It’s alright. Tomorrow we are doing jumping and I am excited to see you to in action with some competition in the arena,” Coach said standing up. “That was all I wanted to talk to you about, you are free to go for the day if Storm is taken care of.” “Thank you, Coach. I’m glad I got a chance to tell you that, too,” I said standing up. “Any time, Juno. Feel free to come and talk to me if you want to tell me any more about Storm,” Coach said walking to the door with me. “Okay, thanks. I might take you up on that offer some time,” I said smiling at Coach.

After leaving Coach’s office I want to the front of the barn where I saw Sara talking to someone. I didn’t recognize. As I got closer I saw it was a boy with sandy-blond hair and blue eyes in riding pants, tall boots, and a red polo shirt. “Hey Sara,” I said as I got closer to them. “Hey Ju!” Sara said smiling at me. The boy turned and smiled at me too. “Juno, this is Eric Paterson. Eric, this is Juno Parker, my roomie, newest best friend, and rider.” “Hey, nice to meet you,” I greeted extending my hand to Eric. “Nice to meet you too,” Eric said shaking my hand and smiling at me. “So you ride?” I asked probably sounding like an idiot. “Yeah, I have a leopard appaloosa mare, named Appellation,” Eric said smiling at Appellation’s name. “That’s great,” I said smiling. “I’d love to see you work her one time. Maybe we all could go practice one day.” “That would be awesome!” Sara exclaimed almost jumping up an down. “Yeah that would be. Well I better go see Appellation,” Eric said. “Okay, I guess we’ll see you later,” Sara said hugging him goodbye. “See you later,” I smiled. I knew better then to hug him but I almost did. “Ju, you ready to go back to are room to do some homework?” Sara asked still watching Eric. “Yeah sure,” I think I said, I was still watching Eric, too. We both turned pulling ourselves away from the barn. We were halfway home when I couldn’t take it any longer. “Ohmigod, he’s hot!” I almost screamed. “I know we met at a riding camp last summer. Everyone had their eyes on him,” Sara said.

 

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