I had him.
His short silky coat gleamed as he trotted around on the longe line. His ribs were just a shadow under the glossy hide and his pointy little butt was beginning to get some muscle. Cupcake tossed his head and struck out a foot in play.
He flicked an ear at me, which was all I needed, I didn't snark at him for goofing. It was a nice day anyway, I felt like playing too.
Cupcake stood quiet as I saddled him. I hauled around on the saddle some and patted him on the butt before I stepped up into my stirrup.
He stood quiet while I got my feet in the stirrups. I kept my reins loose and jostled around in the saddle. He didn't shift a foot. There was no sign I was annoying him except for a slight swat of the tail.
Cupcake stepped out in his long strided walk. He looked out over the pasture and raised his head in the air as a couple of broodmares took off at a run. He squeaked and shook his head. His front end got light.
"Hey!" I told him and took a hold of his sides and his face. He snorted and rattled his bit, but his ribs gave and he moved his hips over with a light, pleasing swing.
"You need to blow off some steam," I told him, loosened the reins and goosed him into a trot.
The bright little sorrel moved out with his big bouncy trot and I posted along with an easy rhythm.
The boss led her buckskin filly into the arena and led her to the center. She sent her around her at the end of the rein and pulled her back in when she was satisfied there wasn't going to be any buck. She stepped onto her horse and sat for a minute, watching as I started to serpentine Cupcake across the arena.
"He's sure moving around nice," she commented.
"I'm pretty tickled with him," I told her and gave the colt a scritch at the base of his neck.
"He sure packs you around, it's like he doesn't know how scrawny he is," she added.
"Now don't go hurting his feelings, we say he's "refined." I told her.
She kicked her horse up into a trot opposite of us. As she passed she said, "dinky."
"Elegant." I muttered as we passed again.
I asked Cupcake to stop and he tucked in nice as could be. I looked behind me at his foot long slide track.
"Check it out!" I grinned. "A perfect eleven!"
The boss laughed, "Good boy!"
She stopped next to me. Cupcake was standing quiet, catching his air while he could. He pricked his ears and went to nuzzle the boss' filly. I reached up with my foot and nudged his neck. With a resigned sigh he turned away and kept his face pointed straight ahead.
"Push him a little," I said.
The boss stepped the buckskin's hip into Cupcakes shoulder. She stomped her foot and pinned her ears in irritation.
I pushed Cupcake up into my hands and we side passed a few steps away. I relaxed my reins and he stopped. He eyed the filly for a second and then dropped his head.
"You ready for him to go home?" she asked me.
"Yeah, I filled his stall. If she feeds him and keeps him outside he'll grow up into a nice little horse," I said.
"Well, I hope she gets it."
"What do you mean gets it?"
Her brows crowded each other and her lips thinned. She pulled off her battered, blackened glove and rubbed her eyes."She keeps cornering me at work and asking if he's sliding yet. Or how well he spins."
"Ah geez," I slapped my leg with the end of my rein and the red colt skittered a few steps. "I should have known. She's worked with trainers before, she knows whats involved here."
We sat in silence for a few more minutes.
"Well, we better get loping, every time I look at the tie rail I'd swear there were three more horses tied." I sighed deep and tried to shake off the darkness that had settled on my shoulders.
Cupcake trotted off straight and strong and found his lead at the first try.