12-21-2010, 05:40 PM
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She gazed longingly across the pasture, watching the group of riders disappear over the horizon. She’d love to climb aboard a horse and let it run. Just close her eyes and let it run. Standing there with her nose turned toward the sky she could almost feel the wind against her face. With a sigh she turned her attention back to the lesson in front of her she found herself intrigued by the gentleness and the ease to which Jake controlled the stocky horse beneath him. He’d pulled his baseball cap down low but she could still see wisps of brown hair across his forehead. He spun the glistening bay several times in one direction and then with almost invisible commands halted the horse. Sitting for a moment he caressed the horses mane and spoke silent praises. Suddenly the horse spun in the opposite direction several times before circling at a slow lope that gained speed as the circles widened. It was as if the two were dancing in a world of their own to music that only the horse and rider could hear. It was amazing.
Lacey was surprised to feel her heart skip a beat when the elder Cutter boy removed his hat to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Maybe it was because the two brothers looked so much alike. She certainly had nothing in common with the Jake. Not only was he nearly two years older than her, he was already out of high school. He had rushed to graduate two semesters early his senior year so that he could take time off to prepare for the National Youth Reining Championships. This would be his last year to show in that age category and he had dreams of becoming a professional trainer. He was attending the community college in hopes to someday run his own business and to make a name for himself in the horse world. Lacey had dreams of just riding a horse in the warm-up ring at a breed show, and maybe someday riding in just one class and maybe even placing. They were completely different people. She shook her head, she wasn’t interested in a man residing in a boys body. She wanted danger and excitement; she wanted a guy like Chase Cutter. Wild and untamed. And madly in love with her.
But more than that, she wanted a horse of her own. With a sigh she climbed down from her perch on the fence and headed towards the training barn. There was a liver chestnut filly that had been brought in from the fields a few weeks earlier to begin her training. The plan had been to enter her in a reining Futurity but she had grown too tall and lanky over the winter. She was built like a western pleasure horse and didn’t have the agility she would need for a career in reining. She had over hear Mr. Cutter and Hank talking about her last week. They had been discussing options, sell her now, put a few hours into her, use her for lessons, in the end Hank had talked Mr. Cutter into training her as an all-arounder. He felt she had the mind and the movement to excel in trail, equitation, hunter under saddle, and western pleasure. It amazed Lacey how a man could look into the eyes of a horse, watch her play in a pasture for a few minutes, and come to such a conclusion, but Hank rarely made a mistake. He’d been known to bring home some of the ugliest animals from auctions and backyard farms. People used to laugh when he unloaded horses, now they just wait to see the beauty that he always found within them.
The little red mare nickered when she neared her stall. She had learned the sound of her steps and knew there would soon be a peppermint treat.