Show Strides - Book 4: Testing Friendships
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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 4:
As an eventful summer draws to a close, the Oaks riders focus on their goals for the fall. Tally gets the ride on her first project horse, Mac looks to build on her success from Pony Finals, and newcomer Maggie joins Ryan’s Field Ridge team as she looks for a horse or pony of her own. But one moment of carelessness in the ring will change everything for all three girls.
When Tally was little, her parents had a cat named Frankie who liked to watch everything Tally did. And when he was in the mood, he’d rub his head on her leg and relish whatever pets and cuddles she’d give him. Obie immediately reminded her of that cat.
All three sets of cross ties were occupied, so Tally got started grooming Obie in his stall. As she worked some mud out of his right front hoof with her hoof pick, Obie rested his chin gently on her back. Instantly, Tally was reminded of Goose doing the same thing. It had startled her the first time he did it, but with Obie it felt like a sweet, familiar gesture. She took her time picking out Obie’s right front hoof, enjoying the closeness of the horse’s company.
Not knowing whether this new horse would enjoy a good curry, Tally selected her softer grooming gloves and went over Obie’s coat slowly to start. He barely blinked as she did, so she applied more pressure and he turned to watch her again. There was something so kind and gentle in his expression.
“I’m riding Obie, the new project horse that Ryan brought in,” Tally said, falling in step next to Maggie and Mac. “We’re getting him back in shape after being turned out for a few months. He was a schoolie at another barn but it wasn’t the right job for him. We’re trying to figure out what would be a better fit.”
“Tally, you are so cool,” Maggie said as they reached the wash stalls.
“What do you mean?”
“She means you just get on anything and you ride them all so well,” Mac said. Maggie nodded. “I want to ride like that,” added Mac. Tally felt her face turn several shades of red. She’d admired Mac’s riding since the day they met. It was one of the nicest compliments she’d ever received.
Maggie entered the ring and Ryan stepped up to the in-gate and crossed his arms—his usual in-gate pose, Tally noticed.
Maggie was a little slow to the first jump. “Come on, come on, stop pulling,” Tally heard Ryan say softly. “Pick it up,” he said a little louder as Maggie approached the in-gate before turning toward the judge’s line. “Relax your elbows and let him canter on.”
Maggie and Joey jumped the judge’s line much better than the first jump and by the time they turned for the diagonal line, Joey was fully in show mode, flowing down the seven strides. They turned for the last line.
“Good, Maggie, just keep that canter,” Ryan said as they passed by again.
They jumped the outside line well and turned for the final oxer. It was a bit of a chip, but nothing terrible, and when they cantered their closing circle, you could see Maggie’s smile from two rings over.