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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is just a story I've been working on a whim, I'm board and have nothing else to do ;)
Criticism is encouraged!!!

Andria Wilden stood in the Big Barn entry way, her willowy frame slumped against the wooden door with a pitchfork in hand. It was four O'clock on a Saturday afternoon and Andria had been working at Wild River Farm since noon. Her instructor's jacked up pick up and five horse trailer was due to pull in at any moment, carrying a few new arrivals from a farm about an hour's drive north. Andria had wanted to come, but Amberly had made it clear she needed extra help at the farm. A potential new student was coming out for a tour at 4:15 and Amberly wanted Andria at the farm if she was late and the student arrived. Andria raised a sticky, hot arm to her perspiring forehead, wiping across it in attempt to clear the sweat away. It was a brutally hot September 7th, and Andria hoped that the heat wouldn't last long.
As if on cue to her prompt thoughts, the rumble of Amberly's black pickup truck pulling down the driveway shook Andria out of her slight daze. She regripped her pitchfork and turned around to go hang it in it's proper place on the wall next to the tack room. By the time she had arrived back to the barn entrance, Amberly had the truck in park and was stepping out. Her tanned, tall body was in blinged out blue jeans, cowgirl boots, and a white tank top. "Andria, Come here." Amberly said, making her way to the trailer. Andria nodded eagerly, and walked swiftly to join her instructor. "How did it go?" she asked, looking up at the tall woman. Amberly sighed out a short, sharp breath through her nose, an undecided expression on her pursed lips. "Better than expected, but some of those geldings were hellions. You can help unload," Amberly said in that imposing way of hers, deftly unbolting the latch and swinging the door open. Andria felt excitement surge up her throat. Amberly was intimidating, Andria still thought that even after eight years of being around her. If she thought that Andria could handle 'hellion' horses, well just the thought of it made Andria happier than a clam. "Take the pinto and the bay." Amberly ordered with a light gesture to the trailer, standing off to the side with a slender arm resting on a cocked hip. Andria acknowledged her instructor with a happy nod.
Walking up the ramp, Andria did a double take at the sight of the pinto. He was a gorgeous black and white with a wavy, long mane and spirited, dark brown eyes that peered at her through a tangled black forelock. He whickered softly, his feathery ears pricked towards her. Sweat, from the heat presumably, shone slick on his neck and shoulders. Andria offered a hand to the gelding. "Hiya handsome," she murmured, combing her fingers slowly through the gelding's messy forelock once he had finished brushing his whiskery muzzle across her palm, seemingly fine with Andria touching him. "Aren't you a looker?" she sweet talked him, undoing the red lead rope that was tied in a quick-release knot. His ear flickered towards her, throwing his head reasonably. "And you know it, too!" Andria laughed, gently cuing him to back up once the lead rope was undone. The gelding backed up perfectly, not skipping a beat as his hooves skid slightly down the ramp. "Amberly! Who is this!?" Andria fantasized, leading the gelding in a leisure circle. Amberly chuckled slightly. "You'll love his name," she said, glancing at the gelding thoughtfully. "It's Jeffry."
"Jeffry!?! Who names a horse that!?! Amberly, please don't make this poor horse have to put up with being called Jeffry for the rest of his life!!!" Andria protested, patting Jeffry's neck protectively as she walked him in a few more circles, carefully aware of the horse next to her. The gelding - Andria decidedly refused to call him Jeffry - was prancy and curious, his elegant head swinging right and left and his long legs skitting around. This brought an even more genuine laugh from Amberly, something that wasn't an everyday sight. "Well, he's only four. According to Vince Shaw, he's only been under saddle for six months. He couldn't have been 'abused' long. If you can come up with a better name for him, then you can put poor Jeffry out of his misery," Amberly proposed, an amused expression on her tanned face. Andria beamed. "Thank you, Amberly-" the rest of Andria's sentence was cut off by a car purring down the gravel driveway. The second it was in park, a tall blond girl stepped out of the passenger seat and slammed the door behind her, causing the gelding to spook. Andria didn't even have time to scowl at the girl before Jeffry reared, the whites of his eyes rolling. "Woah!!! Easy, easy boy, Shhhhhh," Andria soothed, immediately giving the rope slack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Andria was about to give the girl a piece of her mind when she saw the look on the newcomers face. "I-I'm so sorry," she stuttered out an apology, her huge green eyes slanted down to her boots. The girl's mother, who had closed her door much quieter, rested a hand briefly on the girl's shoulder. Andria soothed the gelding down enough to tie him to the hitching post, pulling a dusty carrot chunk out of her crammed pocket and offering it to the pinto.

He lipped it up from her palm, his soft brown eyes holding a child-like indifference. Her strained expression breaking up, Andria smiled at the horse before turning to fetch the bay. The girl and her mother had reached Amberly and were already in conversation. Keeping her head ducked, Andria swiftly walked back up the trailer ramp and fixed her gaze on a tiny bay mare. She couldn't have been more than fifteen hands, but had a very attractive head and a well proportioned body. Her mane and tail had seen better days, though, and were tangled in burrs, clumped in knots, and thick with dirt. "Hi girly," Andria greeted the horse. The mare shied slightly, her nostrils immediately flaring and her eyes rolling dramatically. "Shhhh, it's okay. Lets just get you out of here." Andria stated in a sweet, low voice, extending a hand in hopes of the mare accepting it.
 

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Not bad, but you do tend to bounce a bit which can get distracting.
 

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I like it! Roadyy is right, it was sometimes hard to focus as a reader when you bounce from one thing to another. Look over your story and try to pick out and fix those parts. However, I like the storyline and the description of 'Jeffry' and Amberly, and I'm looking forward to more. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mmmkay, thank you both!!! I'll keep the jumping-around-too-much thing in mind as the story progresses. I was a little nervous that maybe people would be like "boo!!! Stop writing this is terrible!!" then maybe they'd pretend to throw tomatoes at me...lol nevermind.

Andria coaxed the thin, dirty mare down the trailer ramp, a constant flow of gentle murmur coming out of her mouth as she slowly lead the mare to the hitching post where The Gelding stood, appearing completely relaxed as if his little spooking incident never even happened. Turning her attention back to the flighty mare, Andria eventually managed to bring the little bay over next to her trailer mate, deftly tying the faded pink lead rope in a slip knot around the oak hitching rail. She glanced vaguely over at her instructor and the new folks, not sure if Amberly would need any more of her help or not. What Andria was sure on was that she was definitely not interrupting Amberly's conversation. That was a deathwish. Weighing her options, Andria quickly decided to hang out with The Gelding for a little bit. Maybe ponder a different - better - name for him. She walked around the horses' rumps, giving them a wide berth as she came around to The Gelding's left side. "Hi boy," she cooed quietly, a smile on her dirty, irritatingly hot face at the pinto's sleepy expression. His air-plane ears straightened up at her greeting, and his half shut eyelids flared open. His drooped lip stayed hanging, though, and intrigued Andria enough to the point where she bent down and examined it more closely. "Your pretty silly," Andria babbled, using a soft, quiet voice. His large, colt-like nostrils quivered in a deep, throaty nicker, but instead of replying to Andria's statement The Gelding was responding to a muffled whinny from a horse still inside the trailer. The sound of boots on gravel had Andria glance over her shoulder as Amberly strode towards the barn, the new girl and her mother trailing behind. "Andria, if your up for it you could take the chestnut out. Leave the black, though, he's a bit nasty." Amberly spoke without skipping a beat, flashing a brief, pink lipped smile before returning her train of focus back to the mother and daughter as they made their way into the barn. Andria nodded several times, before patting The Gelding on his firmly muscled neck. "We'll continue our conversation later," she promised before turning on her heel and walking back to the trailer with a positive swagger in her leggy step.

So, the only thing I'm a bit nervous/worried about is that I'm unknowingly bouncing around to much, amongst other things...thoughts?
Sorry, I know it's short :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, at least it's an improvement. Thanks again for the criticism!! I certainly wouldn't become better without it, and it's nice hearing what others think about the story :). I reeeeeelly find it helpful when you guys tell me about my jumping around issue!!

Andria walked up the trailer ramp, squinting into the dimness of the trailer as she picked out the chestnut. You didn't have to be a horse person to tell that this horse was worked up- he was windsucking relentlessly and soaked in a nervous sweat. "Hi boy," Andria muttered sweetly, her quiet voice calm and at ease. She slowly untied the gelding's lead rope, and tried the act-like-nothing's-wrong tactic, which only worked to a certain extent. Now that the bay and The Gelding were out, Andria had enough room to turn the chestnut around and walk him down the ramp. Blowing exaggeratedly, the Chestnut moved with choppy, short strides, giving the impression that he would explode at any second. Andria started humming her undeniably favorite nursery rhyme, All The Pretty Little Ponies. She lead the Chestnut into a loose right hand circle, waiting for him to gather himself somewhat before leading him over to the other horseless hitching post. She decided to use one of the safety rings to tie the lead rope to, convinced that if she simply tied the gelding to the post itself, he would pull back and either break his halter or break the rail. Quickly tying the chestnut up with a weary caution, Andria shook her head when the horse immediately started weaving. "I wonder where you picked up all these lovely vices?" Andria asked the horse, cocking her head for a minute before shrugging to herself and leaving to go finish the last stall Amberly had assigned her to clean. She didn't want to leave The Gelding, but she could still see him from the stall and knew Amberly wouldn't be pleased if Andria put hanging out with a horse before finishing her work.


So...I feel like things could get a little mixed up between the Chestnut and Jeffry, but I'm kind of at a loss for how to fix it :( I also felt like I kind of petered out at the ending, and I'm pretty sure it was dragged out. Is there anything you guys think I could do to maybe fix or improve for those things?? Or maybe you have your own problems to nitpick about??
 

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Please keep going! I liked the end, and the story is really good. Maybe you could describe the barn and yard a bit more? Other than that, it's really great! :)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay!!! Thanks again guys!!! Yayy!!!

It wasn't long before Andria could here the lazy yet authoritative click of Amberly's cowgirl boots coming down the isle, two more sets trailing behind her. Andria, still working, picked up part of Amberly's conversation. "...Today was a good day to come out. Most of my students and boarders are at a popular show a few hours north, and I don't have anything lined up. Thank you for coming out," Amberly said, her voice getting louder as she neared. The new girl's mother replied. "Thank you for having us. Savannah's excited to bring her horse here." Andria cocked an eyebrow to herself. A new boarder, huh? Scooping up the last pile of manure, Andria dumped it into the wheel barrow. She set the manure rake - affectionately known as the pooper scooper by many - on the ouside of the stall and pushed the filled barrow out into the isle. Steering it out of the barn, a tired Andria made her way to the compost pile behind the barn and dumped the wheelbarrow out. Wheeling it around, she pushed the now empty barrow down the side of the long red barn, coming around to the front and parking it by the last empty hitching post. Amberly was still busy with the new folks, but they were already situated in their car, with Amberly chatting gracefully with the mom through a rolled down window. Wiping her grimy hands on her jeans for what felt like the millionth time, Andria strolled across the level gravel ground of the yard and walked into the barn, in search of some extra carrots.
While she was rustling through her various bags in the tack room, Amberly stepped up and grabbed a lounge whip. "That was interesting," Amberly stated thoughtfully, untangling a knot in the whip. Andria tilted her head, finally grasping a sticky candy cane. "Yeah? What was the girl like?" She replied, closing the box she found the candy cane in. Amberly turned around, glancing at Andria with pursed, pale pink lips. "Quiet. Very quiet. But I like her." Amberly paused, before gesturing for Andria to follow her and walking out the door. After Andria performed a double-take - Amberly *never* gave out compliments as easy as that - she ran to catch up with her instructor. "She's coming here with her mare in two weeks. Help me with the new guys?" Amberly asked, smiling at Andria. Andria nodded eagerly. "Yep!!! I mean Yes!!! Yes please!!!" Andria shrilled, a happy grin curled up on her lips. Today was a good day. It always was whenever Andria went to the barn, but today was just unusually good. She practically had the barn to herself, but meeting The Gelding really made Andria's day. Amberly gestured to the chestnut. "Can you put him in the round pen while I get hotshot jones over here unloaded??"

Again, critique critique critique!!!! I really want to improve as much as possible, so I want what you all think. Still jumping around to much? Bad grammar?? Going to slow???
 

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Try to fill in the conversation Amberly has with hew characters. It will help add to the story line later when they become more common. If you would have given more of the conversation between them before coming back to Andria then it wouldn't have that bounce feel to it. What was the girl's name or even the mother's name? What kind of horse is the mare they are bringing? These are things that could have carried on to solidify the characters.

I like the story line and think it will get better the more you work it.
 

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I would say it is going a bit slow, and I would check your spelling (the one that stuck out to me was "here" instead of "hear").
Also, there is not need to describe EVERYTHING, like the dumping/wheelbarrow scene really didn't seem necessary. This will help the flow of the piece.

Overall, not bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do tend to explain every little detail while writing...I'll keep that in mind :)

Andria sighed slowly at the chestnut, shaking her head helplessly at his restless weaving. "Hey. Dude. Hellooooo?" Andria muttered in a soft, quiet voice, leaning up against his hitching post and uncurling her fist to reveal a sticky candy cane. The chestnut paused for a brief moment, and after giving the hard candy a firm stare down, lipped it up with his whiskery, moose-like lips. "Your kinda funny, aren't you boy?" Andria decided, sweeping a section of his copper colored forelock out of his eyes and down the middle of his broad forehead. The horse, in response, gave her a skeptical glance and blew out a long, slow breath through his large nostrils. Andria smiled and quickly untied his lead rope. She lead the Chestnut to the round pen without having much trouble - although that pink halter that was tied on one of the round pen rails looked pretty suspicious. Leading him into the circular enclosure, Andria turned him around and carefully slid his faded nylon halter off. She assumed Amberly would be doing some work with him and merely bucked the throatlatch around the gate post as she let herself out. Her attention was diverted to Amberly when she heard a racket coming from the trailer. Leaning back against the round pen fence, Andria watched as Amberly lead the last horse out. He was a looker, that was for sure. A hell raiser too. His dusty hooves never seemed to stay on the ramp for more than a second at a time and he clearly did not know the meaning of personal space. Amberly handled him firmly yet gently, having him back up once he was off of the ramp. His velvet black coat rippled when he moved, the kind of horse Andria would call a beefcake. Amberly put up with his who's-the-leader tests quietly until he spooked at some unknown object and practically stepped into her. "That's *Enough*." Amberly snapped, stepping right back into the horse's space and making him move. The black rolled his eyes in mock terror and shuddered, submissively ducking his head. "Thank you," Amberly sighed after a moment, before leading him to the side of the trailer and deftly tying him up to the side hitch on it. She flexed her shoulders back, rolling her neck briefly before walking over to the round pen. "Okay. I'm going to lunge Flame, you evaluate. Sounds good?" Amberly proposed, letting herself into the round pen with the buggy whip in hand.
 
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