Redwood Academy: Counting Strides

Redwood Academy, the top boarding school in America, is home to aristocratic students and has an elite equestrian team. When Marleigh Hunter is invited to try out for the team, she realizes it isn't all that it's made up to be.... What happens next? Read to find out!


4. A pinto in a Cadillac Race

    It wasn't long until everyone was called down to the stables for roll call and horse assignments. I walked along the stone path to the lovely barn. I followed the signs carefully that read  Stables -> until I was standing right in front of the grand main barn.  Like a deer in the headlights, I looked up at the building, gasping. Snobby brats walked passed me, noses raised, giggling, and grooms scattered about like bees in a hive hurried around a barn tacking and grooming horses. I looked across the aisle way where I could see the boarders' barn, I envied them. I entered, looking around at the stained wood stalls, the horses peeking over their doors which were unimaginably gorgeous . I then looked ahead and read the almost empty horse assignment sheet it read: Marleigh Hunter-  Atlas. I grinned and began searching the stalls until I came upon the gorgeous bay his name plate read ATLAS. Atlas was my dream horse he was a golden bay with a blaze and four white socks. Puzzled, he looked at me with large, deep, brown eyes, and paused in his chewing. Hay stuck out from his pink, clipped muzzle not even a small bit of a whisker was visible. He was clipped to perfection and had a shiny coat, thick, perfectly pulled mane, and a long tail,that was clipped to straight perfection at the bottom. I read the white board attached to his stall and found he was an Appendix Quarter horse. Suddenly, over a loudspeaker, it was announced that schooling was to begin in an hour, so I dashed back to my dorm to get changed into my riding clothes.  I wore beige breeches, a blue polo and shiny black tall boots (I had cleaned them just for the occasion).  I tried my hardest to walk calmly and refrain myself from jogging. As I walked into the barn, I noticed the bee-like grooms buzzing around and tacking up Atlas. Never before, had someone tacked up my horse for me. I grinned with sheer excitement. Carefully, a groom began walking the gelding out of the barn and into the arena. I jogged to catch up with them, strapped on my Samshield helmet, and continued on. When we entered the arena, the groom proceeded to hold Atlas while I mounted. I made sure to land lightly and gracefully into the saddle when I sat. I gave Atlas a small nudge with my legs and started off with a brisk walk. Once he had properly warmed up at the walk, I gave him another nudge and picked up a working trot. Atlas had a large stride, a very large stride, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. The ring was crowded with many riders riding their own horses I felt like I was a pinto in a  Cadillac race.  The girl who had bumped into me was riding a frisky, grey Thoroughbred who held his head high and pranced nervously. With a hard blink, I regained my focus and asked Atlas for the canter. His canter strides were very very very large I half-seated and maintained a light seat even though it felt like I was being sprung out of the saddle.

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