Show Strides - Book 2: Confidence Comeback
Aimed at both young readers and horse lovers of all ages, Show Strides is a series of novels about riding, horse shows, and what it takes to succeed in the sport we all love, written by The Plaid Horse publisher, Piper Klemm, and Rennie Dyball, an author, equestrian, and editorial coordinator for The Plaid Horse.
Description of Book 2:
Tally Hart just went to her first A-rated show with the new trainer at her barn, Quince Oaks—and it was a competition she’ll never forget. But back at home, the working student and newly-minted catch rider faces an uncertain future. Will she get to keep riding sales ponies? Go back to lessons on the barn’s school horses? Meanwhile, her good friend Mac Bennett is finding her own footing in the medium pony hunter division and working toward the biggest show goal either rider could imagine.
He gave her a thumbs-up before asking her to start trotting around, working on some circles with the pony as he finished setting jumps. For the flatwork part of their lesson, Tally worked on lengthening and shortening Goose’s stride at the trot and canter. It took a lot of leg to keep him moving in the gait that she wanted while maintaining the collection. The answer to most questions while riding, it seemed, was to add leg.
“Oh my gosh, Goose, you are gorgeous!” Tally whispered. The pony perked his ears and took a couple of tentative steps toward her. He was a dark dapple gray—gray horses and ponies got lighter in color as they aged; Goose was obviously quite young, with a neatly pulled, silvery mane and the most adorable dished face. He had a pink muzzle and looked cozy in his plaid blanket. Meeting him reminded Tally of opening model horses on Christmas morning and marveling over just how perfect they looked.
“Outside, diagonal, outside, single. Go!” Mac said, taking off at the human version of the canter toward the first jump. Tally followed her, laughing as they counted their own strides down what would be a five-stride line for horses. Mac got twelve and Tally got eleven.
“Don’t cut your turn!” Mac yelled as Tally cantered ahead of her down the short side of the ring toward their next line.
“If I stay out, this … will take all day,” Tally shouted back between gulps of air, her stomach muscles tight from the effort and from laughing. They lost count down the diagonal line and Tally broke to a trot in front of the outside line, breathing hard.
“Automatic 55!” Mac shouted as the girls bumbled down their last jumps.
Panting and still laughing at the end of their course, Tally and Mac ambled out of the ring and down to the barn, fishing change out of their pockets for the soda machine.
About Rennie Dyball
Rennie Dyball is the creator and co-author of SHOW STRIDES, a middle-grade equestrian series published by The Plaid Horse. Her picture book debut, B IS FOR BELLIES, will be published by Clarion (Spring 2023). She has also ghostwritten and co-authored several memoirs.