Maggie jumped as the wild mare flashed out her hind leg in a vicious kick. She blinked, wishing her hat would shield her face from the dist, not just the sunlight.
She picked up her rope and drove the mare around her in another circle. Deemed too hard and wild to train, the dun mustang had been passed from farm to farm, trainer to trainer, until she had arrived at Too Tough Stables.
Maggie gathered her wits and relaxed. She had to concentrate. Letting her temper get a hold of her now was not an option. She threw her coiled lariat, letting it flick at the mare's haunches. She dove into a mad gallop, and Maggie drove her on.
Now, she stepped in the mare's path and spun her rope, turning her in the opposite direction. Now, she was watching. Gradually the mare slowed, until her gallop was a collected canter. Maggie watched as the mare's inside ear tipped towards her.
"Atta girl." Maggie said softly. Finally, she lowered her head and licked her lips. Maggie knew what to do next.
She dropped her arms and turned her back to the mustang. She listened as her steps slowed and stopped. Slowly but surely, the mare walked towards Maggie. She whuffled her lips over Maggie's shoulder, and Maggie stepped away a few feet. The mare followed. Slowly and keeping her eyes low, Maggie turned and faced the mare. Startled, the mare barged into Maggie's chest.
Stunned, Maggie was propelled sideways. She landed face-first into the round-pen footing.