It took a couple of days, but I findly wrapped up some heavy revisions on Chapter 5 of TRR. Five out of twenty chapters. That’s 25 percent complete with the first round of edits. 🙂 I added some exciting equestrian riding scenes that literally had my heart racing. Writing this book is making me miss my days at the barn so badly. I’m aching to get back in the saddle. Here’s a small glimpse at one of the freshly written scenes. Still in its raw form, so forgive any errors. I haven’t ran a comb of edits through it yet, but I’m just itching to share. This will give you a small peek into the heart of this book, which is the bond between horse and Rahee:
…Milo inspected Melee’s hoof to make sure nothing looked aggrevated. “How was she on the way here?”
“Sound as can be,” Levee beamed.
“Good.” The Sarrokian approached Levee, cupping her face in his big, tan paws as that seriousness returned. “You be careful out there, ya hear?”
She hugged him so tight it nearly knocked the wind out of the tough farmer. “I will,” Levee promised. Milo wrapped a pair of strong arms around her, his chin rested on the top of her head. Glancing at the palomino pony, he whispered, “Keep your footing, Mare.”
Melee nosed the Sarrokian’s tan cheek and he let Levee go. “Go get’em, Princess,” he said, tweaking her nose. “I’ll be cheerin’ you on.”
Levee gave him a thumbs up. “Try not to get too close. I’ll be kicking up dust.”
He laughed and said goodbye, leaving Melee and Levee by themselves. She rested her head against her mare’s muzzle and they stared at each other. “You ready for this, Melee?”
The pony breathed against her vest and Levee could feel the adrenaline flowing through her veins. This was her element. Levee’s blood ran thick with equine spirit. She and Melee were bonded so tightly that Levee knew where her mare’s hooves would fall before they left the ground. Her horse knew it. They were one.
And they would win.
“Levee, it’s time,” one of the competition directors called. She nodded and led her mare toward the wide double doors that opened into the arena. Pulling down her stirrups, she mounted effortlessly. Her hands took firm hold of the reins and Melee trotted forward, pausing at the gates. Their hearts pounded in adrenaline as the palomino danced in place.
“Steady, whoa,” she coaxed, one hand gripping the pommel of her saddle. Around them the wooden stands were packed tight. It wasn’t just Rahee surrounding her this time. With the Trade Faire in town, there were all sorts of strange faces eager to catch a peek at just how brilliant these people were on horseback. Their eyes ranged from curious to scrutinizing. The announcer seemed to take forever, hollering out her name and accomplishments along with the times of the past three competitors. Levee, the returning champion, had to beat fourteen seconds to keep her title. She glanced up at the box that stood above the bleachers. In the window she could see the faces of her horsemistress and the General. But the Prince himself was standing, his hands rested on the rail as he watched attentively. Levee took a deep breath and tried to focus on the barrel ahead and the hooves beneath her. “Long legs, Melee. Show them how fast you can really go.”
The palomino turned her head once, her chestnut eye telling Levee she understood. Scraping the dirt with her hoof, she pulled some length in the reins. She was ready.
“GO!” the announcer howled and Melee shot into the arena like a loosed arrow. Her legs were a blur beneath them as she wrapped around the first barrel and slingshot toward the next. Levee leaned over the mare’s neck, allowing her a full stride. She made staying in the saddle look easy as they whipped tightly around the second barrel and again at the last, her foot nearly touching the ground each time. Then it was a free bolt out the gate. Just as quick as race had started, it was over.
Levee threw her arms in the air and let out a whoop as Melee slowed down. The crowd roared loudly. Milo met her at the finish, taking the mare’s reins while Levee sprawled across Melee’s back and hugged her neck. Up in the booth Jaycent clapped, his mind processing what he just saw. In spite of the Prince’s earlier remark about ‘running in circles’, he knew just how dangerous the sport really was. One wrong move could leave the rider trampled or crushed. Yet this girl and her pony made it look effortless.
“Perhaps you were right, Arelee,” the Prince remarked.
“I told you, Prince. She’s good.”
“Better than good,” he muttered.
“You can thank me any time now,” the horsemistress said as she joined him on the railing.
One side of Jaycent’s mouth curved upward. “I’ll thank you if she makes it through training.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
The Prince returned to his cushion seat, watching as Levee received recognition. “It means we shall see, Miss Denicarli. We shall see.”
(Not familiar with barrel racing? Check out some clips of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsUOW4mljfg)