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The Sport of Princesses; Valentine's Day - Nickle
Topic Started: Feb 28 2018, 02:38 AM (181 Views)
bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Shinwagahara Sanctuary was well-kept on all days, and today was no exception. Though it was Valentine's Day and a Wednesday, there were still plenty of people visiting the farm to see the animals and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

Edie and Hinata would not be here for that. Instead, Edie led Hinata to the riding school and stables, where their ride would await them. Edie had talked up the plan the whole way up the hill. Once they were tacked up and Hinata got settled in, they would follow a hacking trail down to the beach, where the wide space would hopefully give them a lot of space to enjoy themselves for the afternoon.

While the prospects were enticing, though, they had to get through the less exciting parts first. Luckily, those could probably be dealt with quickly, especially given Edie's connections. When they walked into the building, Edie excused herself into the office for several minutes for her sort out the details. Once that was done, they could more or less get ready to be on their way.

But first, they needed a suitable mount for Hinata. Edie led her down the aisle of the stables. "There's several horses that belong to others that board here over there," she said as she pointed to one section of the stables, "and while their mounts are great, I don't want to ask them if we can take them out while they're not here. So I think we'll put you on one of the schooling horses."

She smiled at Hinata. "Don't worry about them, they're very docile and calm. Lots of people of all ages ride them, and they're a little older which means they're better trained and more used to it. So go ahead, take your pick of which one you like the most." Edie was willing to let Hinata take her choice of whichever horse she wanted, as long as she deemed them suitable for each other.
Edited by bonniecanuck, Feb 28 2018, 02:39 AM.
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
Hinata was getting excited at the date plans for Edie and herself and watching how passionately Edie spoke about them on the way over to the stables only made Hinata more eager. It was the way Edie spoke about the horses and the riding, it seemed to be a core component to the girl and Hinata found that amazingly admirable that she held such a passion for it.

Upon arrival at the stables, Hinata had been a bit uncertain at first on what to do, but Edie seemed to have things in hand and that put the girl at ease greatly. It was not too long before they could start choosing their mounts. Though she did not make it apparent, Hinata's heart was starting to beat a little faster for numerous reasons.

"I'd prefer it that way if I'm being honest Edie-chan. It wouldn' feel right to take someone else's horse for a trot, yknow?" Hinata then started to survey the horses that were available for her to choose from, she grinned and came to stand in front of the stable of a draft cross gelding horse. She looked at the nameplate that was on the stable door, "Drake. Ooooh I like this one Edie-chan! Do you think I'd be able to handle him? I don't really know too much about big animals y'know."
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
"Of course," said Edie. She watched as Hinata went down the aisle before settling on Drake, to which she went over to pat the gelding on the snout. "Drake is a good choice. He's fairly junior and energetic, but he's very sturdy and enjoys getting out, so I'm sure that you'll be excellent together." Drake in turn didn't shirk away from Hinata, and was quite open to the way that both of them were looking at him, as if he was in agreement with Edie's comments.

"I'll help you get him tacked up," she said as she led Hinata to the tack room. She would be riding on Valiant, her personal mount, but she wanted to let Hinata spend some time getting familiar with her own steed first, so they would get Drake ready first. Once in the tack room, Edie picked out the gelding's saddle and bridle, which, to ease complications and avoid potentially harmful mix-ups, were each on individually labelled racks and hooks. But just to keep the logistics simple as well, Edie would also take up Valiant's gear. "Would you mind helping me with that saddle and bridle?" she politely asked Hinata. It wouldn't do for her to carry all of the tack by herself.

She breezed down the aisle to Valiant's stall and left the mare's tack there before heading back to help Hinata out. "Okay, Hinata-san. Would you like me to do the work for you, or do you want to help out a little just for a bit of a hands-on trial?"
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
Hinata beamed at Drake a Edie described him to her. "He's a gem! And certainly big and strong enough to carry little old me, even if he is a junior!" This statement was more frivolity that actual horse fact, at least when coming from someone inexperienced like Hinata, but the enthusiasm behind the statement could fool you into believing it was actual knowledge.

Hinata then followed Edie to the tack storage and spotted the allocated gear that belonged to Drake. The place was certainly well looked after considering it was a stable. She'd seen other farm stables before and they usually weren't as neat or tidy. However perhaps that did have something to do with the type of animal being stabled. Livestock could forgive some scruffiness, but when you dealt with horses you needed a bit of polish to the place.

"I wouldn't mind at all!" said Hinata cheerfully. She moved towards the gear and gingerly extended a hand, before stopping and closing up her jacket in case the white of her dress got marked or stained. Perhaps white was not the most prudent choice on this kind of date, but if stains could not be avoided, she'd deal with it later.

Hinata picked up the saddle and bridle without hesitation, slinging the bridle along her arm and then lifted the saddle, making sure the bridle was being gripped by one hand in tandem with the saddle. It was heavier than she'd expected and her cheeks puffed out for a second before she got used to the weight.

At the mention of having Edie do the work for her, Hinata shook her head, "Nuh-uh. I appreciate the thought, but I wanna learn at least a lil' about how tah do this. I just am worried about Drake gettin' spooked while I'm putting all this on him."
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bonniecanuck
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In all likelihood, Hinata would probably be just fine. Edie had dealt with less enthusiastic riders who could barely manage without panicking and getting the horse really nervous, so with the way that her date was approaching this, she would do well enough. Besides, the schooling horses were a lot more pliable and less stubborn than when they had started.

"Well, if that's what you'd like," said Edie. "Just leave the tack by the door and come with me. I'll do a demonstration on my own horse so that you can see how it's done and then we can do it together on yours." She led Hinata back down the aisle to Valiant's stall.

"This is my horse, Valiant," she said to introduce her. The young mare projecting a sense of refinement and grace with her look facing them. Edie approached the window in the door to pat her on the head, to which Valiant nuzzled her snout on Edie's coat. She laughed. "Go ahead and introduce yourself to her," she invited Hinata. "Valiant, this is Hinata Seika. She's a good friend of mine and we'll be riding with her today." Though Edie was by no means a horse whisperer, the tone in her voice and her gestures seemed to indicate to the mare that Hinata was more than a friend, and so she inched her head forward to let her make contact.

Edie in the meantime had picked up the halter on a hook by the door, and replaced her bridle on the hook. "Alright, so I'm going to start by getting Valiant's halter on." She opened the door to the stall, stepped inside, and did just that in a flourish, but slowly enough that Hinata could watch. "The halter has a ring to which a clip can be attached to keep the horse in one spot. You'd put it on for grooming and tacking up," she further explained as she put it on.

She had retrieved the horse's grooming kits in the meantime, and brought Valiant's in. "So before we tack up, we groom. This is to ensure that the horse can be kept in peak condition during our ride." She swept Valiant's body with abrush, and with the light visible through the windows, the dust particles could be seen flying off. "Grooming also entails making sure their feet are clean," she continued, "so we'd pick their hooves as clean as we can of grime." She did so on all four of the horse's hooves.

"So with all that done, we can begin tacking up," she said. She put the kit away and picked up the saddle and pad and put them on. She then put the girth on to secure the saddle in place. She did each step slowly, and if Hinata had questions or something to say, she would stop and listen. It wasn't like they were in a rush anyway. She capped it off by picking up the bridle and swapping the halter with it.

That done, she took the reins in her hand and led Valiant out of her stall. She smiled at Hinata. "So, should we get yours ready now?"
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Nickle
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Hinata nodded silently and followed Edie back, readying herself to observe he date's actions carefully. Oddly enough, even though Artorias had said he'd assist her with this whole horse business he was being oddly quiet. Maybe he'd decided Edie would be enough to instruct her.

Hinata looked at Valiant's grace with starry-eyed wonderment. Truly it was a majestic creature and oddly enough, the combination of Valiant and Edie was dazzling to behold. He closeness with the mare was beautiful, a bond that was on a completely different level. A mutual one in fact, but still much deeper. Nothing like the cobble together mess that was herself and Artorias.

Hinata reached out gingerly, he fingers recoiling only once, before she patted Valiant "Hello there Valiant. It's a pleasure to meet you." So warm, so warm and inviting was the heat that came off of the horse. Hinata loved nature and animals, but it was truly the first time she had been this close to such a larger creature. It was an experience she would not soon forget.

Hinata did not in fact have any questions, not as of yet. She simply listened and nodded as she watched Edie, focusing and trying to commit everything to memory as much as she could and not wanting to miss any detail while Edie was instructing. When she was done, Hinata beamed, now very eager to try it for herself. "Alrighty! I'm gonna try tack up Drake then! It takes a bit longer than I would have guessed, I didn't really know about the brushing, I thought you did that only after a ride to smooth out there hair where the saddle had been."

Hinata made her way back to Drake, starting out with trying to reach out and gingerly touch the horse. He seemed docile enough and although nervous, Hinata managed to keep her own emotions in check so as not to spook him. What followed was Hinata starting with brushing Drake down, which was no an issue.

However, an expression of small dread crept on Hinata's face, realizing that in cleaning Drake's hooves, the lower part of her white dress might get stained. She hesitated for only a moment, before she dove in and decided to start cleaning. The dress could be bleached and washed, she was not about to let Edie do that part for her. What followed next after the grooming was a few moments of uncertainty a Hinata tried to remember what to do, looking over to Edie as she did things, "So its' the halter ring clip part after the grooming right?" asked Hinata, waiting for confirmation while her hands moved.

It was strange, she asked Edie for confirmation, but her hands seemed to have a certain...practiced motion about them, although the rest of Hinata clearly did not. The same aspect followed afterwards, "Then after that it's the saddle right?" It took Hinata a moment to hoist the saddle up high enough, unfamiliar with the weight, but managing to get it on to Drake and talking under her breathe as she remembered the things Edie had done.

Hinata looked back to Edie, once she thought she was done, "How's that?"
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
If it was any comfort to Hinata, Drake had gotten his coat mostly clipped once he'd started shedding as a result of winter's passing and spring's arrival, so she wouldn't have to worry about getting her dress dirty. Such was the realisation that Edie found her friend visibly fretting over for a few moments that she said, "It'll be fine. His coat's been clipped short enough that he shouldn't shed much if anything onto you, and he should've been washed this morning so you won't have to worry about dust and grime."

She could tell that Hinata was not quite used to the process, and it showed with the imperfections in her work. So Edie freed her arms from Valiant's reins and stepped by the door to observe her handiwork. When her date asked for validation and confirmation, Edie stepped in and quickly got her hands on to adjust. "You could move the saddle a little further forward," she explained, "since the girth would ideally go at the narrowest point of the horse's body." She adjusted accordingly. "Otherwise though, not bad for your first time. Maybe if you decide to take lessons here after this, you can refine yourself even further." She gave Hinata a sly wink. Even on a day like this, there was no escaping shameless self-promotion.

With that, Edie stepped back outside the stall to pick up Drake's bridle. "Putting a bridle on is a bit cumbersome for first-timers," she admitted, "and some horses can be a bit difficult with it, so I won't have you do it this time." She could sense Hinata probably being a bit disappointed at that, but bridling the horse tended to cause no small amount of grief to those new to the sport, and even plenty of veteran equestrians working with disobedient horses too, so better to err on the side of caution. Indeed, Drake visibly seemed to try ducking his head down when Edie removed the halter to lunge for a bite of the hay on the floor, but she had positioned herself to block the stallion from ducking his head and get the bit into his mouth, at which he stopped attempting to resist. "Our stallions can be a bit prone to this," she admitted sheepishly to Hinata as she handed the reins over to her.

"Well, I think that should be everything," said Edie as she looked around while taking back Valiant's reins. "Should we mount up and get going then? I don't think we'll need to pick up anything extra like crops or lead rope, but if you want a helmet for some extra insurance I can get one." Edie knew she was taking risks by not wearing a helmet, but the trail was hardly off the beaten track, and it wasn't as if she would be taking her and Hinata's horses on high-risk adventures anyway. Well, not in her mind. But things could happen, plans could change, and ideas could be implanted. Anyhow, she felt confident that nothing bad could threaten their ride.

If Hinata felt settled and didn't need anything, then Edie would lead the horses to the mounting block by the large stable door. She would invite Hinata to get on first, assisting her friend as necessary while letting her get her taste of the spirit of the fantastic beast she now had a connection with.
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
Hinata was grateful for Edie's help. She didn't want to have an uncomfortable ride and that included making it uncomfortable for Drake. It was a silly thing to think that the horses in the stable weren't looked after, but such thoughts came to the forefront of the mind after all. "I'm not overly worried about the dirt, I just kinda realized it for a moment due to this dress ehehehe..." said Hinata blushing.

Hinata stepped back a little meekly when Edie intervened to adjust the saddle. She was thankful, she should not have felt silly for not knowing the exact place to put it, after all it was Hinata's first time. Maybe it was Edie's demeanor. She came off so confident here, it was...interesting to watch.

At the mention of lessons, Hinata scratched her chin, "Maybe...I'll see how the ride goes first, if it all the same to you? Although I wouldn't mind gaining some more proficiency in riding, I've got no clue what I'm doing." she'd spoken before realizing the impact the words might have, "Th-that is to say! I'm looking forward to it right now! S-Sorry..."

She stood back, watching Edie take over the more difficult parts of the tacking up. Edie was handling Drake masterfully in Hinata's eyes, despite his attempts to duck the reigns. Hinata giggled a little to herself as Edie and Drake caught themselves in a dance of dodge and tack, as it were.

Once the bridle was on, Hinata took the reigns and bowed her head in thanks. At the mention of a helmet, Hinata thought about it for a moment and then shook her head, "I appreciate the thought, but I think I'll be alright." she bonked her head gently and stuck her tongue out playfully, "I'm hard headed as it is, so the helmet would take more damage!" she laughed and grinned before dropping the joke and saying with a smile, "Besides, though I don't want to start taking it for granted, I think Artorias' may just summon up her armour for me if I was in any real danger, like that time he camouflaged me."

As the horses were lead out, Hinata then stood looking up at Drake's saddle. He was a magnificent beast. But still a big one. She stood, focused for a moment in a way she thought serious, but to Edie probably looked comical as her very face was showing her grappling with how to approach mounting the horse.

Hinata then moved toward the saddle and gripped the front and back, Drake's reigns in the hand gripping closest to the front. She lifted her leg and put her boot into the stirrup, vaguely away that her skirt may have lifted a bit too high. But she was up quickly enough. Hinata may have been small, but she had a surprisingly fit little body on her from all her hiking and climbing outdoors. Not that she showed it off that much.

In a flash she was pulling herself up on the saddle and swinging her other leg into the other stirrup. She sat down on the saddle, reigns in her hands and grinned, triumphant!

And then...started to realize where she was...

She looked around, then down, then around and back to Edie.

She was on a horse now and didn't know how to make him move or respond.

"I'm....I'm stuck...." she said, sitting atop Drake her face a vague mask of disbelief and terror.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Edie took her time to check out the tack to make sure that it would be safe for Hinata and her mount. Once that was done, she helped Hinata mount up. The use of the block alleviated her having to exert herself too hard to get on.

She stepped back to take a look at Hinata's position, and it seemed good. Her stirrups seemed to be of a suitable length, her seat centred, and her reach on the reins solid. Then, it seemed, Hinata would be ready to get going.

Except, she wasn't. Edie checked herself. She hadn't instructed Hinata to get her horse moving.

This was where her instructor experience came in. She stepped to the side so that Hinata could get a good look, and explained everything to her.

"It's alright, Hinata, you're in good hands," she said soothingly. "Here, we're going to adjust your seat and get your comfortable." She first held out her arms to the side, and indicated to her hands. "Hold your reins like this," she said, as she picked up a nearby lead rope to show how the reins were held - with the reins inserted between the ring finger and little finger on each hand. "Keep your grip light, but still firm enough so that you're not grabbing it tightly. And shorten them a little so that your hands are a little further away from your in front. Your position looks good otherwise, so just try to keep this seat in mind as you ride."

Her attention then turned towards getting the animal to move. "I'll teach you basic commands to walk, steer, and stop. I don't want you doing anything further until you have the utmost confidence, but I at least want you to get a feel for how to do this." She quickly turned away and tied up Valiant with a lead to keep her in position - not that she didn't trust her personal mare to freak and/or run in the first place, but safety first - and picked up the lead rope to attach to Drake's bridle.

"I'm not going to make him move, only to keep him close so that you don't lose it," she continued. "Here's what you should do. Get your horse to move with a light squeeze of your heels. If that's not enough, intensify with a firmer squeeze. If that still doesn't work, kick back if you must. Drake's pretty dutiful so I'm sure you can get him going from the onset, but if you can't, well, just do that."

Once Hinata could get him moving, then Edie would walk side-by-side with her while keeping Drake on the lead rope. "Good!" she said approvingly. "That's a huge step for any rider. Now, I'll teach you to steer and halt. You should use your reins and body for this. If you must steer, pull the rein lightly on the side you want to go, and turn your eyes and body to give your horse cues. Body and sight are extremely crucial aids in addition to the reins for turning, since you two are connected now. Try doing a figure eight. Then, try halting. Pull back on the reins and push your body weight back slightly, those should be good enough to get him to stop. If you feel confident enough, I'll drop the lead rope and let you go on your own."
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Nickle
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The Original Ni-san
Hinata listened and did as she was instructed by Edie to get Drake to move. Truthfully, it felt rather bizarre and not how she had imagined one would get to horse to move. Hinata had been thinking it had more to do with the reigns motion more than anything with her legs and heels. However, the more she grew used to doing as Edie instructed, the more she started to get her own understanding of it.

In Hinata's mind, if you wanted to give someone a jolt, you poked them in the ribs. Now she was not doing that to Drake, only gently squeezed her legs around the horses' massive body, massive in comparison to her at least. The actions could be called similar due to the desired result.

Hinata gingerly started shifting her body weight and moving the reigns to get Drake to turn when needed, in order to move him in the figure of eight pattern. Hinata then slowly and carefully leaned back and pulled on the reigns, causing Drake to come to a halt.

She looked at Edie. "I-I've got it, thank you. I'll be alright" She didn't say it, but the look in her eyes showed that she wanted Edie to let go of the reigns now. Hinata was an outdoors kind of girl and although riding a horse was part of her experience she was lacking, it looked like she was eager to make up for that fact.

Deep inside Hinata, Artorias sat quietly, a figure dimly illuminated by a small fire. You couldn't tell his expression, but he reached out a gauntlet to the fire, as if warming only that one hand. The dull metal seemed to become polished for a moment. Hinata was unaware of this little scene, but Artorias shortly afterwards lowered his glove, the seemingly polished glove becoming far more dull and nodding his head.

Hinata waited for Edie mount her own horse, before moving her legs and causing Drake to ride up closer to her. She seemed to have taken to the instruction rather well from the look of it. The slower motions at any rate.

"Alright c'mon! Let's get out of this stable and to our real date!" she said with a cheerful grin, clearly eager to start feeling the wind against her face and through her hair.
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Hinata seemed like a natural on the horse once she had been given the appropriate instructions. That made Edie smile. She seemed to have a sense that Hinata would know what she was doing, and she appeared to feel vindicated by that fact. She removed the lead rope from Drake's bridle as Hinata asked, and let her keep trying out the movements on her own.

In the meantime, she untied Valiant and then moved to the block to mount up herself. She was quick with the action, and she gave Valiant a generous pat as thanks for her compliance, as well as to encourage her for the nice long afternoon ahead of them.

As Hinata pulled up to her, she nodded. "Good. You look dazzling on horseback," she complimented as she looked around. There were only a couple other people in the stables, but they seemed occupied with other tasks and didn't bear the pair any mind. That was good. She pointed to the large door at the far end. "We'll go out from here. Ride behind me, keep at least one horse length from me as we go outside. We'll just go out at a walk, but once we're out we'll reach the trails. From there we can go up the mountains or down the beach, and we can ride together side-by-side, and I'll be happy to teach you anything else you might want to learn. Sound good?"

Once Hinata confirmed her instructions, Edie gave Valiant a light squeeze. She barely needed her boots to make contact for the mare to take the cue, and she set off at a smart, march-like walk. She expected Hinata to follow, and as they bathed in the sunlight of the outdoors, would look to be sure that she was doing alright herself.
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Nickle
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Hinata blushed a bit at the compliment, before deciding to own it a bit cheekily, taking hold of the reigns in one hand and flipping her hair over her shoulder with the other, "Why thank you!" she said with a grin, before giggling and taking hold of the reigns in both hands again.
"You look much better than I do though, you ride with confidence and it shows. So elegant!"

She nodded in agreement with Edie's plans, "That sounds excellent! I'd love to ride on the beach! Lead on!" Hinata followed Edie out carefully into the sunshine, squeezing down on Drake as she'd been instructed to do, flipping her hair back quickly into a more manageable position.

This felt empowering. It was no wonder high ranking people used to ride on horseback. Apart from it literally making you stand above the crowd to give you that sense of power, feeling that you could control such a powerful beast made you confident you could do the same to some common peasants.

Hinata stopped that train of thought in its tracks. Was..was that an Artorias' thought or a a thought spurred on by endorphins due to riding a horse? Mental note to think about that later.

"Come on! Let's ride!"
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bonniecanuck
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Edie smiled at Hinata's confidence and compliment. "I'm glad that you're enjoying it," she said. "Let's ride, indeed!"

She rode up to the gate, and reached down to open it, then walked through before stopping at the side to let Hinata go through, at which she would lean back down to close it. Her seat was comfortable and stable, but loose and flexible that she could move to reach and lunge in accordance with her needs. Opening and closing the gate was hardly a challenge when she could move like that.

Outside, the air was nice for her to enjoy and breathe easy. Even in a dress with a skirt short enough to be considered immodest for riding, she felt incredibly comfortable with the environment around her. It seemed that way too for the lesson that was going on in the outdoor arena, where there were several lessons going consecutively with different skill levels and a broad range of people among them.

But that was not for Edie or Hinata today. The beach awaited them, and so it was in that direction they would head, away from the others. Edie checked to be sure that Hinata was there. The trail to head down was paved, but Edie wondered if Hinata would perhaps enjoy taking their hack off the beaten track, or just stay on it and loosen up and have a little fun with their mounts, perhaps by teaching her a trot, or even a canter if it came to it.

Either way, it seemed Hinata was incredibly excited to find herself on a horse, and it was Edie's hope that she could feel that way through the whole experience. She wondered if Hinata might have anything to teach her in return.

They passed out of the farm's gates and reached the trail soon enough. Edie halted to let Hinata join right next to her, at which she got Valiant going again so they could be side-by-side. "How're you feeling?" she asked. "I could teach you some things to help you feel a bit of a rush while we're at it."
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Nickle
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Hinata followed Edie, a little uncertain, but riding with a newly found surety after the few initial hiccups and lessons. The biggest sensation Hinata was feeling was simply about how high up she was. It wasn't like this on a car on on a motorcycle. Not that she had a license for either mind you, but she had ridden on both with someone else doing the driving and riding. Vehicles were low to the ground and just did not offer the same feeling of height as the horse did.

Hinata's vantage or the world around her had ground and it felt incredibly liberating. Is this how tall people were all the time? Not that they as tall as horses, but a lot were still pretty tall, especially considering Hinata was more the the diminutive side.

She noticed Edie had slowed down Valiant so that she and Drake could catch up and then start riding side by side. Hinata grinned, "Honestly? Just reveling in how great it feels to be up this high. I know its weird, but it just is cool and novel and is making me feel great, y'know?!"

A glint appeared in Hinata's eye. She may curse herself later for this, but what was the point in hesitating given where she was already? Treat it like a rollercoaster. You can't get off once you're strapped in. "I'm in the mood for a rush. What did'ja have in mind Edie?"
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bonniecanuck
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Edie grinned. "Well, I was thinking we might pick up the pace with a little bit of a trot." She said that pretty nonchalantly, but in her mind she figured that this was something that Hinata might appreciate to get a bit of excitement going.

Of course, she was being realistic, and while she wanted to see if she could get her cantering by the time they reached the sand, it was just stepping stones and seeing if she could get the feel for the faster gaits.

She did a little demonstration first. Making sure there was enough separation between her and Hinata, she gave Valiant another squeeze, and the youthful mare perked her head up slightly as her gait transitioned into a faster, two-beat one. As if one cue, Edie rose in the saddle, then sat back down, alternating with each beat of the trot. The rather off-kilter clacks of the horseshoes coalesced into a stable, rhythmic beat.

As if showboating, she got Valiant to head forward for the next twenty or so metres, then turned her around to let Hinata watch, before circling back around her to slow down right back next to her. "If you want to give it a go," she said, "give him another squeeze, and let him go. I suggest that you go up and down with the beat. This is called a posting or rising trot. It stops you from being jostled and keeps you stable, and also eases strain on the horse's back. You can likewise sit it, but a posting trot is the best way to feel comfortable while still feeling yourself move."

While she was encouraging Hinata to give it a go, Edie wasn't making her. If all else failed, they could just stick to walking down and they would be fine. But Hinata was confident, Drake was smart, and they had a lot of space around to go for it. All Edie would do for now was watch and maybe give advice, but if Hinata had an issue, she would step right in. If she got going though, she would definitely ride ahead to follow with her.
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The Original Ni-san
Hinata watched Edie carefully as she demonstrated a trot. Hinata had been settling into Drake's rhythm now, feeling the motion of the horse's slow walking gait and feeling how it was best for her to sit. Like with a lot of thing, it was starting to dawn on Hinata that relaxation was key to horse riding. Not relaxed enough that you were on top of a horse and at its mercy, but allowing your body to relax.

She'd been stiff at first, but going up and down as the horse moved made her uncomfortable. By relaxing herself, Hinata felt her body almost moving with the Drake's. She grinned at Edie and nodded, "Alrighty, a trot sounds like fun." she squeezed down gently on Drake and felt him increase his speed. It was a bit more bumpy, a bit more up and down, but Hinata found she could compensate for this by almost rocking subtly with the motion. She giggled, a real life rocking horse.

However, she was not finished. She let a mischievous, but slightly confident grin take a hold of her expression, as she very shortly after moving Drake to a trot, squeezed him again and sent him into a canter. She began to outspeed Edie, although Hinata was sure a the more experienced rider, Edie would catch up in no time.

Hinata's grip on her reigns was tight, but hold was just loose enough to maintain control and not distress Drake, she turned her head over her shoulder and called back, "Come on! This is the good part of the date! Sweep me off my feet darlin'"
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bonniecanuck
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Bonnie Bushi
Edie was glad that Hinata could follow. She spurred Valiant forward as well, taking the time to adjust the length of the mare's stride with shifts to her body and seat as well as her hold on the bit, so that she could stay with Hinata.

But then the smile on her face turned to surprise as she watched Hinata make Drake go further forward. "Wha...how did you do that?" She was caught completely off guard. She had taught Hinata nothing of how to make the transition to canter, fully intending to first get her comfortable with the trot first. Yet her date had now managed to make the huge leap to cantering and begin speeding ahead.

Well, it wasn't as if she had any reason to stop her at a time like this. She stopped posting and sat in the trot, and as if Valiant was anticipating the command, the white horse sped forth in a lengthened canter. She made up ground with Hinata and Drake quickly, and as she approached, noted that they were heading into the denser tree cover of the woods. They were just about halfway to the beach.

As she kept riding, Edie still found it prudent to gleefully call out to Hinata, "You really learn quickly!" Despite the rockiness of the gait, she could still look and observe Hinata's form, and give her feedback. Years of learning had given the girl, among other things, the ability to speak completely normally without doing something to harm herself like biting her tongue.

But it wasn't as though she were giving a lesson right now, so she held back from being overtly critical and just let the scenery whiz past. The beats of their horses' hooves echoed down the path as they continued to charge forward.
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