Alexander's Riding Lesson

The Happy Harper
You find yourself in the well-lit Happy Harper. It seems to be perhaps one of the most cared for items of the hold. The walls have deep-red wood panelling, and glow baskets placed at a very regular interval. There are about six tables for eight and four booths in the corners. All the tables and chairs seem to be of a very nice quality and very well taken care of. Serving also as the center of social interaction at Gar hold, it is usually where one looks to find anyone.

Alexander lets his grumbling subside into a dark undertone. "Hail, I don't know.... amputate my toe or somethin' *mumble mumble*" Thessalonike above him starts to scream, and he whirls to shush her. "What? What?! I haven't had any sleep since *bleep* knows when so if you please," he oozes sarcastically. "Shut up?"

Kentin glares at Alex. "Watch your language, right now. I dont think Natch would approve of it."

Cress slowly walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Kentin nods a hello to Cress. "Afternoon."

Merdia looks up at Cress. "Hey," she says. "Nice to see you again." She looks back at Kentin. "So?"

Kentin shakes his head. "No thanks, not right now at least, im a little to settled in to pack up and move."

Cress heads to the bar - and the meat tray - having two hungry lizards with him. "Hello," he says, grinning, directing his greeting at everyone here.

Wintermute blinks in from ::between::!

Alexander sinks into a chair and his grumbling subsides. "Ahh.. Faranth, dya really have to do that?" he mumbles to no one in particular, slumping onto the table. "Geez.. ride.. kick a runner for me or something, Thessa. Go 'way."

"Oh, no," Cress says. Peering at the brown lizard, who just appeared he says, "you're gonna have to feed yourself 'Mute!"

Merdia drops her head on the table, the Harper just keeps getting weirder.

Merdia drains her mug and stands up. "I really ought to get back to the stables," she says. She looks over at Kentin with a little smile. "If you change your mind, you'll find me there."

Kentin smirks and shakes his head. "Unless things liven up around here, I will probably be over soon."

Alexander bats Thessalonike away from his head. "I could really do with some crap mucking about now.. is it what you had in mind?"

Merdia grins. "As you wish," she says. She peers at Alexander, who appears to still be muttering in the corner, and shrugs. With a wave to Cress and his 'lizards, she heads for the door.

Merdia turns back to Alexander as his comment reaches her ears. "You can muck crap if you like," she says with a smile. "I'm sure the runners will appreciate it. But I was thinking of exercise." She peers at him. "Do /you/ ride?"

Picking out the best pieces of meat for his lizards, Cress breaks some of it into to smaller bits for the young brown. The older brown is left to fend for himself. Which he does admirably, attacking the meat tray with a vengance.

Merdia shrugs, grins, and turns to Cress. "I guess I don't have any takers," she says. "Unless /you/ ride?"

Cress' head comes up. Ride? Grinning he says, "Sure, I can ride. But I don't have a runner. All I have are three hungry firelizards."

Alexander trudges over to Cress. "Uh, here," he says, "Have your firelizards meet my firelizard. Faranth knows she's more than I can handle."

Alexander nods to Merdia. "I don't know squat about runners, but I guess getting thrown is better than.." grumble grumble. Here he goes again, better get him out of here.

Wintermute chitters as a new lizard comes to the tray. He's in firm belief that /three/ sharing this food is two too many.

Thessalonike glares crimson daggers at Wintermute.

Merdia grins down at Alexander. "I know just the pony for you," she says. She looks back to Cress. "Looks like you've got your hands full," she remarks with a smile. "Though you're welcome to ride mine, if you'd like to join us. I won't be able to if I'm trying to keep Alexander from killing himself."

Wintermute snag another piece of meat and swallows it whole. There!

Cress smiles, "Really? It's been ages since I've been on a runner," he says.

Merdia returns the smile. "Sure," she says. She gives Alexander a nudge, not /too/ unkindly, but not too gently, either. "Come on, you scamp."

Alexander hugs Merdia! Merdia looks a bit surprised, then shrugs and hugs Alexander back, planting a big smooch on his cheek for good measure!

Cress leaves 'Mute to fend for himself, and since Idoru and Dix seems to have had enough (already), there's no point in staying here all alone, feeding lizards who're not hungry anymore..

Alexander nods and trundles after Merdia. "Um. 'Kay."

Etereo would come down and feed, but ehh- what's the point. Besides, the view is better from up here. His half-lidded eyes look Thessalonike up and down. Rawr. Shake that tail, baby..

Gar Stables
A long cavern lined with stalls on either side of its wide, stone-surfaced aisle. The atmosphere is rich with the presence of beasts taken care of with loving care. The stone surface has been painted with a mural of a large open field in the spring.
There are several boxstalls here. There are twenty stalls, all of which are without a nameplate. They are very fresh and clean, with newly-laid bedding.

Merdia waves a hand toward one of the back stables, smiling at Cress. "Go ahead and tack up Starry," she says. "I need to see to Sunset." She looks down at Alexander. "So what don't you know about runners?" she asks him.

Alexander peers at Merdia, grabs a brush, and begins hacking the knots out of his hair. Okay. Now he looks somewhat decent, especially with his green involved.. er.. elsewhere. "Ooh. Sunset. That's Tierza's, isn't it?"

Merdia nods to Alexander. "Sure is. She told me it was fine to use him for any of the Garish kids... that'd be you." She nudges him. "So, do you know how to tack him up?"

Alexander shakes his head slowly. "No.."

Merdia clips a lead rope to Sunset's halter and leads him out of the stall, handing the lead rope to Alexander. "Here, hold this," she says, pulling a blanket out of the tack box and throws it over the runner's back.

Cress goes over to Starry's stall, making sure the runner is aware of his presense before he goes in. "Hello there, Starry, aren't you a beautiful runner?"

Starry nickers softly, stomping a bit restlessly.

Alexander poofs the blanket and spends the rest of his pose staring at it and patting it absentmindedly, despite the languid lead rope in his hands. "Soft.." he murmurs dreamily in the voice of someone who's been sleepless all last night.

Merdia pulls a saddle off one of the pegs on the wall and carries it over to where Alexander is standing. Taking the lead rope, she thrusts the saddle into his face. "Wake up," she says, looking him over. "You're probably strong enough to manage this."

"Would you like to get outside a bit?" Cress asks the runner, "I think you would. Taking hold of the mare's halter he leads her out of the stall, finding somewhere to tie the robe, so he can put the saddle on her.

The mare obediently follows Cress's lead, nuzzling the hand holding the lead rope.

Kentin walks, his cape swishing about him in from the Gar Hold CourtYard.

Kentin grins and waves to everyone. "Figured id find you all here."

Alexander watches Cress lead Starry around and begins to do the same thing. Except Kentin's in the door. "Oh, hi, Kentin," he yawns tiredly. "How are ya?"

Merdia grins as Kentin enters. "Hey, maybe /you/ can give Alexander a hand," she says. "You've done this before." She holds the saddle up questioningly, since Alexander hasn't made a move to take it yet...

Cress gives Merdia a questioning look. "Which one is her saddle," he asks her, looking at the collection of tackle with a puzzled look on his face.

Kentin smirks. "He seems to have Tierza's runner." Turns around and takes the saddle, strapping it on, and making sure its tight. "But i guess he can ride it, which one do i get?"

Alexander nodnods obediently and hands Sunset's lead rope to Kentin. "Hold this," he repeats with extreme gravity as he pulls a vegetarian meatroll out of his pockets.

Kentin takes the lead rope,and wonders how Alex got a /vegetarian meatroll/,

Merdia points to a saddle near the back. "That one," she says to Cress. Then she turns to Kentin. "Well, I /was/ gonna let you ride mine, but Cress is doing that for me. So why don't you try Whisper? I don't think Archellian will mind, since I've never seen him here." She peers down at the fastenings on Sunset's saddle, then glances back to Kentin. "Looks good," she murmurs.

Kentin raises an eyebrow at Whisper. "Maybe Alex would like her more..."

Merdia shrugs and turns to Alexander. "/Would/ you?"

Alexander sticks the *vegetarian* meatroll up in Sunset's face. Eat. "Natch doesn't like me eating meat," he announces. "She says it makes me difficult. But these veggie rolls really suck for hatchings.." Head is turned as Kentin mentions his name. And Arc's name. "Oooh, *could* I?" he squeals in a syrupy voice.

Cress picks up the saddle Merdia pointed out, then walks back to the big mare. "Hello again, Starry. Now just stay calm as I put this on, will you," he says showing her the saddle. Taking the blanket out from underneath he gets it on the tall runner with much difficulty. "You certainly are tall, aren't you?"

Kentin smirks at Alex. "Shes all yours." Turns back to Sunset. "Lets not pull any stunts today, ok? Good."

"Now let's get the saddle on," Cress says, as he swings it up over the runner's back, to place it its approipriate place there.

Merdia looks from Sunset, to Starry, to Cress, to Kentin... and giggles. "You know," she says, "It would probably be a bit easier on everyone if Cress took Sunset." She peers up at Kentin. "If you'd feel safe enough on Starry? You're a bit long for that pony, anyhow, even if he /is/ gentle." She turns to Cress. "What do you think?"

Alexander trots over to whisper and looks at her rapturously. Oooh. With an enterprising hop, he sticks his left foot into the left stirrupt and wings on over, landing with an oof.

Delicately proportioned, Whisper is but a little slip of a thing, tiny yet agile, standing at a mere 14 hands. Her hide is like a ray of sunshine, her soft silken muzzle almost beige, but darkening all the way down to her hindquarters where she's a warm golden colour, dappled with cream. Cream colored stockings and a creamy blaze colour her hide, complimenting the golden mane and tail flowing whisperingly about her. Amber eyes shine winningly, a mischieveous twinkle in their liquid depths. Tiny hooves are quick and sure, even over the most uneven ground.Whisper is 8 Turns, 4 months, and 27 days old.

Kentin shakes his head, letting Merdia take control. "Whichever."

Alexander looks at Kentin, then down at whisper, then to Merdia. "Um. What do I do?" he asks to anyone withing hearing. Does he release the hand brake?

Cress shrugs, "I'm okay with it. As long as I can get to ride again," he says as he lets the girth down the other side of the runner. Bending down he reaches under the belly of Starry, grabs the girth and pulls it up to the buckles on the saddle. Pulling the girth through the buckles, he tightens it hard, so the saddle will stay in place. "Allright Starry, here we go. This is the nasty bit," he says to the runner as he does the tightening.

Merdia shrugs, a bit confused by the unusual level of activity in the stables. She clips a lead rope to Whisper's halter and leads him out of the stall, with Alexander on his back. "Well, you /could/ sit there while I lead you around the field. Or, you could finish tacking her up and do this right."

Starry huffs as the saddle is tightened, stomping restlessly.

Merdia looks around, then makes a decision. "Cress, take Sunset, if you please. He's quite gentle. Kentin," she grins. "You'll find Starry maybe a bit more challenging, but she's quite lovely."

Kentin walks over to Starry,and finishes up what Cress started, getting a bit confused over all this bustle. "No more changes, ok?"

Alexander looks down. Now how does he get *down*. "Urg," he says eloquently, and rolls off of Whisper awkwardly with his eyes shut tight. Thump. "Okay.."

Merdia grins. "Shouldn't be any need, now," she says to Kentin. "Long as you can keep in the saddle, that is." She hands Alexander another blanket and kicks a footstool his way. "Go on," she says. "You just saw two people doing this."

Kentin shrugs and walks over to Starry. "Morning gal." Double checks all the straps before swinging up and into Starrys saddle with a practiced ease.

Kentin swings up onto Starry Night's back.

Cress finds Sunset's bridle, and proceeds to rub it between his hands before putting the cold metal into the runner's mouth. "Hi, there Sunset. Seems like I'm gonna be riding you instead og Starry overthere," he says, grinning. Maybe a good thing too. This runner is more his size.

From Starry Night's back, Kentin shrugs from up top. "Piece of bubbly." Turns to look at the others. "Ready when you are."

Merdia watches Kentin and ducks involuntarily. "She's too tall to walk out with you up there," she says, cringing. "You'll take your head off! Lead her out, if you please..."

Kentin swings down from Starry Night's back.

Kentin smirks at Merdia. "Your no fun, I can always duck."

Alexander poofs his blanket and stares at it, then snaps it over Whisper's back gently. "Uh.. like this?" he ask hesitantly.

Merdia shakes her head. "Two lessons ago, you were complaining about nearly getting killed. By a kid-sized pony!" She turns to Alexander. "Yes, that's it." She hands him a saddle. "You're holding up progress."

Having put the bridle into Sunset's mouth, Cress is now buckling all that needs to be buckled. "There, that wasn't so bad now was it?"

Sunset nickers softly and nuzzles into Cress's hand.

Alexander peers around for a saddle. Or some horse thing.

Kentin grins at Merdia. "You seem to actually think I have never ridden, I was Gars messenger."

Merdia blushes and peers up at Kentin. "Just going by what you told me yourself," she reminds him. "Go ahead and help Alexander, then, since you're the expert."

"Looking forward to getting out are you," Cress says to the runner, nuzzling the soft muzzle, while waiting for the others to be done.

Kentin shakes his head. "Never said I was, your the expert.":

Alexander looks down in his hands. Oh. Saddle. Thing. Right. Saddle is sort of tossed over Whisper's back, and he stares at it critically. No, that's not right, it's on backwards. He takes if off, turns it around, and tosses it on, then squats by the girths. Staring for a few moments at at the living breathing runner critically, he give her a gentle kick on the flanks, causing her to inhale suddenly, and he pulls the girths tight and buckles them.

Merdia grins at Alexander's efforts. "Not bad," she remarks, checking the straps. She pulls a bit and bridle off a peg and tosses it in Alexander's direction. "See how you do with this." She turns to the others, a bit apologetically. "Just another minute, okay?"

Kentin smirks at Merdia. "No problem." Leans back against the runner, yawning.

Alexander has a metal thing freezing in his hands. He looks the gift horse in the mouth. "Open," he commands, and amazingly, she does, to give a wonderful view of teeth and tongue. He sticks the metal bit in her mouth over her tongue.. not like this is a thermometer, after all. The bridal is wrapped around Whisper's head and buckled on.

Merdia grins, checking over Alexander's work. "Looks pretty good," she says, then peers. "Sure you never did this?" She shoots a look at Kentin, then takes Whisper's lead rope. "Come on, let's get out of here."

Orchard Path
You travel along a freshly resurfaced path through the middle of a large Orchard. You are surrounded on all sides by large trees reaching for the sky, making a large canopied roof over the path. This roof provides welcomed relief from both the hot afternoon sun and the rain. The trees seem to be divided into sections of Orangefruit, Yellowfruit, Greenfruit and Redfruit trees. A newly carved sign is placed just to the side. Carved on the sign is an arrow pointing North with the words Gar Hold' and an arrow pointing South with the words Grinstead Hold'. It is an autumn afternoon.

Kentin taps his foot a bit impatiently,and than looks at Merdia. "Think it would be alright if mounted /now/."

Cress slowly walks in from the Gar Stables.

Sunset walks in from the Gar Stables.

Alexander walks in from the Gar Stables.

Alexander swings up onto Whisper's back.

Merdia looks sidelong at Kentin. "As you wish," she says, with a wry smile. "I'm all done telling you how to ride now."

Kentin swings up onto Starry Night's back.

Cress swings up onto Sunset's back.

From Whisper's back, Alexander vaults onto Whisper's back, with *stirrups* this time, and not as loud a thud. Amazingly, the saddle doesn't slip, and he perches somewhat gracefully, gripping the saddle horn.

From Sunset's back, Cress grins. "Now you'll behave, right Sunset?" Not that he's worried about being thrown, he's tried that many times before. He'd just like to make a good impression.

Merdia grins up at Cress. "He's a really gentle runner, Cress. You should have no trouble with him." Still holding Whisper's lead rope, she hands the reins to Alexander, checking his grip. "You use these to tell her which way to go," she directs him. "She's really sensitive, so you /don't/ have to yank. Just drop the reins over her neck in the direction you want to go. Got it?"

From Whisper's back, Alexander hesitantly releases his death grip of the saddle horn with one hand and holdes the reins in his right. He taps the reins on the left side of Whisper's neck, and almost yelps as he feels the warmth of hair , bone and muscle moving beneath hiim.

Holding the reins of the runner, Cress looks at the others, "Where to," he says, eager to get moving, and is in fact riding around in circles.

Merdia grips the lead rope tightly, keeping Whisper from moving too far, too fast. "That's right, Alex. See how she responds? Now, to get her moving, you dig your heels into her flanks... or as close to 'em as you can reach." She looks hard at Alexander. "Not too hard, mind, or she'll take off." She looks up at Cress. "No reason you have to dawdle here - go on and give him a good workout." She points down the Gar Road. "Just don't get lost," she teases.

From Whisper's back, Alexander leans over a bit to look down, not even sure where the flanks are. Ankles.. shouders.. ankles.. shoulders..for a few moments he tries to align them before realizing he can't if he's leaning over. He shrugs one of his 'what the hay' looks and taps what he thinks are the runner's flanks.

From Sunset's back, Cress touches Sunsets flanks with his lower legs, without kicking him with the heals of his boots. The runner responds instantly and sets off in a trot. Waving to the others he shouts, "See you later."

Sunset walks to the Gar Road.

From Starry Night's back, Kentin smirks at Cress,and debates chasing after,but decides to stick around in case Merdia could use any help. "Good Bye!" Is called out.

Whisper starts forward in a slow walk, hooves clapping the dirt path beneath.

Merdia glances up at Kentin. "Need help?" she teases, as Starry stamps impatiently.

From Whisper's back, Alexander laughs nervously as the herbivore starts its forward motion. "Man, I want spurs," he murmurs, watching the path flow by him like a slow moving river. "Can we go any faster?"

Setting into a gallop they move down the road. Coming to the crossroads, Cress decides that turning back is a good idea, since he really doesn't wanna get lost.

Sunset walks in from the Gar Road.

From Starry Night's back, Kentin shakes his head at Merdia. "Im all set, though I have to get used to this once again, its been a while since i needed to ride."

From Sunset's back, Cress shrugs as he comes back. "I thought it might be more fun to stay here with you," he says.

From Starry Night's back, Kentin smirks at Cress. "It just might be, moment Alex kicks too hard."

Merdia grins up at Alexander. "Sure you can go faster. But /first/ let's make sure you know how to /stop/." Another significant glare at Kentin. "Pull back on the reins. Not hard... unless you really have to. She'll stop."

And the entire party ambles over to the Hold Field…

From Whisper's back, Alexander tugs on the reins obediently and tilts to the right. Oh, wait, that's both reins at the same time. "Whoa," he drawls in a Southern accent, and tips his imaginary ten gallon hat. "What does yelling giddyap do?"

From Starry Night's back, Kentin smirks at Alex. "Why not try it and find out?"

From Sunset's back, Cress grins, "much more room to move here," he says, whether to the runner or the other people is not specified. He slaps said runner on the neck, whispering something to him as he leans toward its pointy ears.

Merdia giggles at Alexander. "Nothing, really, unless you kick her at the same time. She's trained to respond to touch more than voice." She looks over at Starry stamping impatiently, then smiles to include both men. "Go on with you," she says. "You didn't tack them up just to stand here."

From Whisper's back, Alexander whacks Whisper in the flanks with his heels. "RUN, FOREST, RUN!" he yells suddenly.

Merdia /again/ has her arms about yanked from her sockets as Whisper charges forward with her still holding onto the lead rope.

From Starry Night's back, Kentin grins at Merdia. "Doesnt this seem familiar...."

From Whisper's back, Alexander is jolted suddenly, but he catches himself and grabs onto the saddle horn. He whees and leans down close over the runner's back.. except the horn is sort of digging into his abdomen. "Yay! Speed!"

Merdia digs in her heels, and is dragged a good dragonlength before she gives up, rolling out of her fall and sitting hard on the ground.

Giving the runner a touch on the flank, Cress manages to get him into a trot. "Come on, Sunset, you can do better than that," he says, kicking a bit harder and is rewarded with a gallop. "Yeah," he shouts, "that's better!"

From Whisper's back, Alexander taps the rein against the right side, and Whisper veers with it. "Hey, look, I can steer!" he whoops joyously over the rhythmic thudthud of hooves on grass. He then tugs on the reins again gently to slow Whisper down, and steers the runner back to Merdia, allowing the runner to untangle her legs from the lead rope.

Merdia pales at the sight of the approaching runner, scrambling to get out of the way of her hooves. "Alexander, watch /out/!!"

From Whisper's back, Alexander resists the urge to kick the runner again and tugs on the reins. "Sit. Stay," he commands to the runner in a canine calling voice. "Having fun, Merdia?"

Merdia gets to her feet, narrowly missing being trampled as Whisper abruptly stops. "Shells, Alex, you could kill a person."

Kentin swings down from Starry Night's back.

Kentin leads Starry Night.

Kentin walks, his cape swishing about him to the Gar Stables.

Merdia brushes dirt and grass off her clothes, and takes hold of the lead rope again. "I think that's enough for one day, young man," she says. "Hop down, and you can /lead/ her back to the stables."

Reaching the far end of the field, Cress reins in the runner and steers him back to the others, in a walk. It's time to leave and he should let Sunset cool off before returning him to the stall. "Well, this is great," he says to Merdia, "but I'm afraid I can't stay much longer.

Alexander swings down from Whisper's back.

Alexander hops down from his loft on the saddle. "Mnkay," he replies, taking the dirty lead rope in his hands. "C'mon, Whisper."

Cress swings down from Sunset's back. "Oh, that was great, Merdia. Thank you so much for inviting me to go for a ride.”

Alexander bows formally. "What he said," he echoes. "That was really nice of you."

Merdia smiles at Cress. "Thanks for coming. It was fun." She holds out a hand to take the reins from Cress. "I'll put him away." A bit surprised, she turns to Alexander. "Well," she says. "You're quite welcome, too. Come by the stables anytime."

Cress smiles at Merdia, "thank you very much, Merdia. I appreciate it. I'm getting kinda tired too, I was up all night, you know?" He's a StarCrafter, so of course he's up at night!

Merdia nods. "So go to bed, already," she says. "See you later."

Alexander pats Whisper fondly on the cheek. "We should do this more often," he notes, beginning to lead Whisper across the fields. "Maybe you could teach lessons or something. Arc sort of arranged for me to have lessons with Daneily, but then we sort of forgot about it after he got Searched... so now I still can't ride."

Merdia looks down at Alexander. "Sure," she says. "I don't mind teaching. There's just that first gallop that gets me. Needs some fine-tuning, I think," she says. She turns to Sunset and clicks her tongue. "Come on, boy, let's go..."

Alexander leads Whisper trailing into the Courtyard. "Ahh.. " he proclaims, staring into the trees. "Nothing like an autumn sunset, huh."

Gar Stables

Whisper walks in from the Gar Hold CourtYard.

Alexander walks in from the Gar Hold CourtYard.

Alexander trots up to Whisper to detack him, unbuckling the bridle and removing it, and pulling off the bit. "I don't think I'd be able to muck stalls after this," he says to himself, and goes to unbuckling the girths.

Merdia makes short work of Sunset's tack, carefully replacing each item to its peg, then getting out a pair of stiff brushes. She hands one to Alexander. "You mean today?" she teases. "Nah. It can wait until morning." She starts brushing Sunset's sweaty coat.

Alexander drops the brush on the floor because his hands are full, and sort of shoves the bridle, bit, and saddle onto their pegs. Picking up the brush on the floor, he goes up to Whisper, whistles off the blanket, and folds it into a corner, then returns to Whisper. "Who knew I'd be here brushing hair like a *girl*?"

Merdia chuckles. "It's all part of the job, Alex," she remarks. "Hang around, there's more." Finished brushing, she leads Sunset into a clean stall and closes the door.

Alexander leans against the stall and peers over the gate, trying to see. "What're you doing? Curling her hair?"

Merdia grins up at Alexander. "Um, Sunset's a /gelding/," she points out. "And no, just brushing the dirt and sweat off of him. Otherwise he might catch a chill." She stands, and goes to check Whisper. "How'd you make out over here?"

Alexander is totally mortified. "We're *not* making out!" he calls. "I don't like her that way." He begins brushing down whisper grumpily. "He, she, whatever.."

Merdia blinks. "Okay... right. Look, when you're finished, the brush goes back on that hook," she says, pointing. "Take your time, or you'll hear about it from Daneily if she takes sick." A stern look implies that she'll see to it herself if necessary. "I'm going to dinner." As she leaves, she looks back with a quick grin. "Good first lesson."

Alexander flashes a grin to Merdia, continuing his runner hygiene wonders. "Thanks. Have fun.. and wash your hands."