Writing...

Discussion in 'Blogs (Horse Forum)' started by Pony123, Jul 17, 2017 at 3:12 PM.

  1. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

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    I find I love to write about things I know...one of which is my mare I love and ride...so I tried for the first time to write something loosely based on her. It's called Queen and I and I might post some of it here and if any of you want to critique go ahead! I am a teenager and my style isn't developed yet and sounds rather childish but I think I need to just keep writing until I find a way that works for me. I have not yet gone through and done a first edit so ignore glaring faults...:p
    So here is the first chapter...

    Chapter 1 “Sarah!” a sharp voice turns me away from grooming Queen’s red coat.

    Its Meagan, my trainer, and she doesn’t look happy.

    “Yes?” I mutter quietly because I’m sure I know what this is about.

    “Queen’s tack is all in a disarray. Leasing a horse comes with responsibilities and owning a horse is just one of them.”

    Queen is my lease horse. Well, her real name is Saluut the Queen and she is out of a world famous show jumper, R Saluut II. For years at my barn I dreamed of riding her and eventually competing on the A circuit but it seemed as if I would never get there. It was a huge honor when I was invited to join the advanced team and offered a lease on Queen, my favorite mare. It had gone pretty well…until now at least.

    I turn back to Meagan, brushing my long black hair out of my eyes. “Yes m’am. I realize the responsibility. I guess I wasn’t thinking.” Earlier, after our flatwork session, I had been putting her saddle away when my best friend Talia had called me to see Pokey, the miniature pony do a trick and I had forgotten about the half covered saddle.

    Meagan smiles, “Well, just remember next time. Speaking of saddles, go grab your Pessoa and tack up for your jumping lesson. We are working on gymnastics and I want to work with you on your height!”

    I feel a rush of excitement pulse through me. I love jumping more than anything in the world. The feeling of flying over solid obstacles and the complicated courses is the best thing ever. Queen gives a snort too. She loves jumping…she was bred for it. I run into the tack room, almost tripping over a tack box and uncover my Pessoa jumping saddle. It was given to me for my 14th birthday party after I had just won my first pony jumper event and was offered to move up to the junior team which competed on horses instead of ponies. It is immaculately clean, the leather is supple and soft. I hoist it up onto my arm and walk through the aisles of stalls back to where Queen is cross tied.

    My barn, High Ridge Performance, is huge. I don’t mean to boast or anything, but you could get lost in the aisles. Meagan has a whole aisle for her young warmbloods that she is training. It’s incredible. Each stall is roomy, with ample bedding and sparkling clean feed bins. The pony riders have a section for their mounts and the juniors have half the barn. Queen is crosstied in her stall and has one leg lifted off the ground, and her eyes are drooping.

    “Queen!” I giggle and stroke her soft neck, “Wake up!” She jolts awake as I nestle the saddle on her back and tighten her girth. I gently push the bit into her mouth and tighten the pieces. We are ready!

    On the way out of the barn to the outdoor ring, I meet Jasmine and her Danish Warmblood, Finley. Jasmine doesn’t even turn a head as I walk past her. That’s the problem with being the only 15 year old on the team. No one notices you. Everyone else is 17 and 18 and about to age out of junior riding. Meagan says I’m cool because I’m just embarking on my journey through junior riding and am already better than they were at my age.

    The ring is a spacey enclosure with synthetic black footing. Colored schooling jumps set to 3’6” are set in an elaborate course throughout the ring. In the middle, a grid of four jumps looms in front of all of us. Right now it is set with the highest one only at three feet, but Meagan will usually move it up to four or five by the end of the lesson.

    I mount onto Queen and take hold of my reins. Meagan always pushes a strong warm up before intense lessons so I begin to do a long, stretchy walk. Jasmine is doing trot sets with Finley to improve his top line.

    After about fifteen minutes Meagan breaks the silence. “Alright. That’s enough! Come into the middle!”

    Each of us trots into the center and halts before Meagan. “Today we are working on our form by doing gymnastics. Grids like this will drastically help both you and your horse to have a cleaner jump. Jasmine rolls her eyes and makes a face at Lisa, her friend. She probably thinks she’s above this.

    “Alright, Lisa, you can go first.” Meagan gestures to the line of jumps, “These are set small to warm up our bodies and our horse’s so remember to adjust your two point to each height.

    Lisa trots Bella, her Hanoverian mare in a circle and adds pressure from her inside leg to ask for the canter. I watch, taking mental notes on their stellar position. They jump the grid, in and out…in and out, perfectly. Bella’s ears are flicked back, listening to Lisa’s cues. Lisa’s gentle riding never interferes with Bella’s style.

    Of course to Meagan, nothing is perfect. “You had too much leg to the first one. If Bella wasn’t so well trained you might have gotten a chip. Don’t release so much over these little ones, they’re only two or three feet. Your leg was good but don’t jump ahead on the first one, wait for your horse.” She turns to me, “Sarah”

    Queen shakes her head; she hates the warm up rounds. She always wants something bigger. I check her with a half halt, reminding her to listen to me. She picks up the canter and pops over the first fence easy as can be. The next two are the same and the last one is even smoother.

    I hear Meagan bark, “You let Queen ride the whole thing, you were a passenger!” I cringe and wait for the next section. “You stayed with her but your lower leg was flying away! Turn around and do that again!”

    I trot Queen around, tears breaking through my eyes. I can’t let Meagan get to me though. It’s not personal. She wants me to become the best rider I can be. Queen picks up her canter again and we jump the short grid again. This time I focus on pressing my heels down and asking Queen to slow down her canter.

    Meagan nods, “Good. We’ll do it again with a higher fence” I turn around and face the 4 foot fence looming in front of me.
     
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  2. tpike911

    tpike911 Senior Member

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    And.. I get left hanging..
     
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  3. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

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    Yeah there's another chapter but its all a work in progress. Maybe next week I'll try that one. :p
     
  4. apndi

    apndi Senior Member

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    BUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE 4 FOOT FENCE????

    Just kidding. You're a good writer, I felt like I was there with you guys! What kind of horse is Queen? I think you mentioned her bloodlines but not her breed.

    I love writing (when it's my imagination--not papers for school, bleh). I wrote a few stories, not about horses though. They're still on a flash drive in my room somewhere. I never showed anyone or told anyone about them, I was embarrassed. But one, I got very far, I created this whole world and got it so detailed, but I stopped when I went off to college because I didn't have time to write stories anymore. It's been a few years since I wrote and I still think about returning to that story. Maybe I will. I'd say that writing would be my dream profession!

    I'm looking forward to what happens with Lisa and jasmine. They sound like snobs. Are they based on real people?
     
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  5. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

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    Haha nothing actually happens with the four foot fence...I'm just terrible at writing endings to chapters. I will definitely add in her breed/ type in there.
     
  6. RelaxMax

    RelaxMax Senior Member

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    Apparently my post got cut in half the first time I posted, so hopefully this isn't edited weird. Anyway, corrections are in red.

    “Sarah!” A sharp voice turns me away from grooming Queen’s red coat.

    Its Meagan, my trainer, and she doesn’t look happy. Instead of telling us it's Meagan, make it more natural. "I look for the voice to see find Meagan, my trainer, and she doesn't look happy."

    “Yes?” I mutter quietly because I’m sure I know what this is about. Avoid adverbs as descriptors for speech. Also, Meagan seems like she's a bit far away, so muttering might not be heard. Instead try: "Yes?" I call back, even though I have a feeling I already know what it's about.

    “Queen’s tack is all in a disarray. Leasing a horse comes with responsibilities and owning a horse is just one of them.” Owning is all-encompassing. Try something more direct like "riding"

    Queen is my lease horse. Well,drop Her real name is Saluut the Queen, and she is out of a world famous show jumper, R Saluut II. (I knew him personally! Yay!) For years at my barn I dreamed of riding her and eventually competing on the A-circuit, but it seemed as if I would never get there. It was a huge honor when I was invited to join the advanced team and simultaneously offered a lease on Queen, my favorite mare. It had gone pretty well. Until now, at least.

    I turn back to Meagan, brushing my long black hair out of my eyes. “Yes ma’am. I realize the responsibility. I guess I wasn’t thinking.” Earlier, after our flatwork session, I had been putting her saddle away when my best friend, Talia, had called me to see Pokey, the miniature pony, do a trick. I had forgotten about the half-covered saddle.

    Meagan smiles, “Well, just remember next time. Speaking of saddles, go grab your Pessoa and tack up for your jumping lesson. We are working on gymnastics and I want to work with you on your height!”

    I feel a rush of excitement pulse through me. I love jumping more than anything in the world. The feeling of flying over solid obstacles and the complicated courses is the best thing ever. Queen gives a snort too. She loves jumping. She was bred for it. I run into the tack room, almost tripping over a tack box, and uncover my Pessoa jumping saddle. It was given to me for my 14th birthday party. I had just won my first pony jumper event and was offered to move up to the junior team, which competes on horses instead of ponies. It is immaculately clean, the leather is supple and soft. I hoist it up onto my arm and walk through the aisles of stalls back to where Queen is cross-tied.

    My barn, High Ridge Performance, is huge. I don’t mean to boast or anything, but you could get lost in the aisles. Meagan has a whole aisle for her young warmbloods that she is training. It’s incredible. Each stall is roomy, with ample bedding and sparkling clean feed bins. The pony riders have a section for their mounts and the juniors have half the barn. Queen is cross-tied in her stall and has one leg lifted off the ground. Her eyes are drooping.

    “Queen!” I giggle and stroke her soft neck. “Wake up!” newparagraph

    She jolts awake as I nestle the saddle on her back and tighten her girth. I gently push the bit into her mouth and latch the pieces. We are ready!

    On the way out of the barn to the outdoor ring, I meet Jasmine and her Danish Warmblood, Finley. Jasmine doesn’t even turn a head as I walk past her. That’s the problem with being the only 15 year old on the team. No one notices you. Everyone else is 17 and 18 and about to age out of junior riding. Meagan says I’m cool because I’m just embarking on my journey through junior riding and am already better than they were at my age. awesome

    The ring is a spacey enclosure with synthetic black footing. Colored schooling jumps set to 3’6” are set in an elaborate course throughout the ring. In the middle, a grid of four jumps looms in front of all of us. Right now it is set with the highest one only at three feet, but Meagan will usually move it up to four or five by the end of the lesson. awesome

    I mount onto Queen and take hold of my reins. Meagan always pushes a strong warm-up before intense lessons so I begin to do a long, stretchy walk. Jasmine is doing trot sets with Finley to improve his top line.

    After about 15 minutes, Meagan breaks the silence. “Alright. That’s enough! Come into the middle!”

    Each of us trots into the center and halts before Meagan. “Today we are working on our form by doing gymnastics. Grids like this will drastically help both you and your horse to have a cleaner jump." (forgot to close this guy) -> new paragraph

    Jasmine rolls her eyes and makes a face at Lisa, her friend. She probably thinks she’s above this.

    “Alright, Lisa, you can go first.” Meagan gestures to the line of jumps. “These are set small to warm up our bodies and our horses, so remember to adjust your two-point to each height.

    Lisa trots Bella, her Hanoverian mare, in a circle and adds pressure from her inside leg to ask for the canter. I watch, taking mental notes on their stellar position. They jump the grid, in and out, in and out, perfectly. Bella’s ears are flicked back, listening to Lisa’s cues. Lisa’s gentle riding never interferes with Bella’s style.

    Of course to Meagan, nothing is perfect. “You had too much leg to the first one. If Bella wasn’t so well trained you might have gotten a chip. Don’t release so much over these little ones, they’re only two or three feet. Your leg was good but don’t jump ahead on the first one, wait for your horse.” She turns to me. “Sarah”

    Queen shakes her head. She hates the warm up rounds. She always wants something bigger. I check her with a half-halt, reminding her to listen to me. She picks up the canter and pops over the first fence easy as can be. The next two are the same and the last one is even smoother.

    I hear Meagan bark, “You let Queen ride the whole thing, you were a passenger!” I cringe and wait for the next section. “You stayed with her but your lower leg was flying away! Turn around and do that again!”

    I trot Queen around, tears breaking through my eyes. I can’t let Meagan get to me, though. It’s not personal. She wants me to become the best rider I can be. Queen picks up her canter again and we jump the short grid again. This time I focus on pressing my heels down and asking Queen to slow down her canter.

    Meagan nods. “Good. We’ll do it again with a higher fence.newparagraph

    I turn around and face the four foot fence looming in front of me.[/QUOTE]

    How old are you? If you're actually 14/15, this writing is outstanding. Your description of the barn is perfect and you've already encompassed the personality of each character in the short time you've even written about them.

    Writing in present tense is difficult, but you're doing well and haven't changed tenses at all. Good job.

    Only use commas introducing quotations when you have a direct action like said, asked, retorted, etc. So it would look like this:

    Meagan laughed. "Good job."
    Meagan laughed and said, "Good job."
    or -->
    "Good job," Meagan said, laughing.
    "Good job." Meagan laughed.

    Try to throw cliffhangers on a line of their own. More impactful that way. Oh, and make sure you hit your commas -- try reading stuff out loud and see where the natural pause is, then throw a comma in where you pause. It'll start coming more naturally after that. No ellipses! They're the mark of an amateur.

    Dang. Killin' it. This reminds me of those old Riding Academy/Saddle Club books.

    And it's cool that Queen is by R Saluut II! I knew him/worked with him a bit when he was in living in Northern Virginia, when Dr. Ley had him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 5:39 PM
  7. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

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    Omigosh RelaxMax thank you so much for that!! I will definitely add that in!
    Yes, my mare that I ride now is by R Saluut II and is an awesome girl although she can have her redhead moments. I would have loved to meet him although my trainer saw him.
     

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