TEAM ZDAR TREK
Newbie: Connor G. Goldenweiser
His rage kept him warm at first – but it was only a temporary warmth. As the icy rain started to cool his temper as well as his body, Connor gradually started to reflect on what had just happened… whatever the Hell that had been all about. Since when had he ever let his temper run off with him like that? That was not his style at all.
Strejfer was breathing loudly from the long gallop and Connor slowed the gelding to a trot and then to a walk. The horse’s neck felt hot and wet from the rain and strain as he stroked it gently.
Truth be told, he wasn’t sure what happened now – this hadn’t exactly been part of the plan. Improvising had never been his strongest suit either. In retrospect he reckoned he would probably have been better off if he had sucked up his suffering for a few more days and then left at the check point in Austria. Right now he was lost in the middle of nowhere – he wasn’t even sure exactly where he was either; the direction he had picked had been no more accurate than ‘as far away from Kaisa as fast as possible’, but exactly how far or for how long he had ridden he wasn’t certain. Oh well. One thing he was sure of; he was not going to crawl back, so he would just have to pick his own way home from here. Surely that couldn’t be so difficult.
He checked the GPS on his phone – he wasn’t as far from civilization as he had thought. A few kilometers ahead was a road, and this road would eventually lead him to a village. From there he could find accommodation for the horse and himself, make the calls he needed, arrange for someone to come pick them up… it wasn’t an issue. He had ressources.
…but the shame. He would return home in disgrace; beaten by a bit of rain and mud only a few days into the trail. His sister had argued that completing the White December would be good for his ‘dressage brand’ (applying corporate terms to anything was her specialty); that it would paint a more nuanced image of him rather than the ‘just another privileged snob afraid of getting his hands dirty’ image most dedicated dressage riders had… well, in terms of ‘brand image’, quitting the trail a few days into the ordeal was way worse than never having tried, because it proved this image true.
He wasn’t even sure why that bothered him so much – he was what he was, right? A privileged city boy who had always been treated like a fancy glass vase; something fragile that couldn’t handle hardships. Someone who had ridden dressage competitions since the tender age of 6, but who had never dared to venture outside the ring to ride for fun. He had always thought ‘’ah, well, I was never given the chance because my family is overprotective’’, but now here the evidence was: he was never given the chance because they were right.
And on the subject of arrogance: the work Andy had done contacting the Mizerov State Stud and procuring three distinguished cavalry horses for the trail, including the one they called The King of Zlesdins? Forfeit. Because a little rain, mud and cold had sent him crawling back to the comforts of civilization. That was arrogance, plain and simple.
No rain, mud or snow had been as cold as Kaisa, however. She had promised to help, to guide and to mentor during this trail, but she had done neither. She had ridden in gloomy silence, speaking barely a word to him, except to let him know how much he sucked in the wilderness. However angry and disappointed he was with Kaisa, though – and he was - he knew she had been right.
He could have wallowed in his own self-pity and self-scrutiny for a long while yet, but he was brought back to reality with a shrill shriek from Strejfer. The horse, now no longer preoccupied with running, was starting to realize that he was entirely alone with no other horses in sight in this frozen landscape. The zlesdin called out again, louder this time, but still no other horses answered.
,,Eeeaaasy boy,” Connor said soothingly when the horse started to get agitated. Only now did he remember what Andy had said about Strejfer, that the horse was a nervous sort who did not like to be separated from the group. Well… they had that in common, at least.
Strejfer snorted, started spinning and backing up, getting increasingly nervous. Some cavalry horse this was, with nerves like this… maybe his owner had never been on solo missions either. Connor didn’t want the situation to escalate, but he wasn’t going to relent either. He kept the same pressure on the horse; didn’t fight him and didn’t give in either. Strejfer gradually stopped backing up and took a trying step forward. Then another one. Pressure released.
,,Theeere we go,” Connor said and stroked the gelding’s neck. The horse was still tense and taut like a bowstring, but he listened…
…then he bolted.
that's always so nice to see/read about. pull and release is a good technique-- although it sounds like he might need
to do a one rein stop where things are going-- :" D
there are too many people where I am that just "cowboy it" and are too rough making the situation worse.. :c
I seriously can't get over your backgrounds and skills I know this is like the 1000th time I mentioned it but I will keep saying it,
I LOVE IT! lol! :u
lovely expressions! i can see through the calm composure Connor is still a bit nervous (as I would be!) and Strejer is having
a border-line panic attack, poor babe!
it's okay con come to the sons of pitches-- the dorks will help you-- :' o
or at least catch your horse in case there's a WHOOPs
hbfjhs thank you so muuuch! I'm glad you think so! For some reason I find snowy/foggy backgrounds suuuuper fun to make
Mhmm yes, I think they might both be... on edge, to put it mildly ~
Baww, that's very kind! Too bad he's going in the wrong direction... for now, anyway. He might end up somewhere else :'D Go Sons of Pitches, awwyisss
First thing that I want to say is good for Connor for sticking to the tried and trusted method of controlling Strejfer without violence, he's just such a good rider. Your ground texture is on point Zoub, and also all the ice in the trees makes the cold so much more believable.
Both horse and rider look so scared and alone, (obviously for different reasons). It's all so beautiful.
what do you have planned next.. not sure I want to know
Oh yes, Connor may be useless in this setting, but at least he's a sensible rider... we can hope that will save him
I'm glad you think so; thank you! I had a ton of fun working on this c:
Hehehee, we shall see ~
tbh I'm quite happy I know Con won't get hurt that badly because we already know your future storyline xD ... in which he ends up hurt pretty badly but we're just gonna ignore that fact, aren't we?
Also... Strejfer's face is a gift to mankind xDDD headshape
Ffff yeah, poor Con is just postponing the inevitable... but yep, he won't get hurt... toooo badly this time around, hehe ~
Hehe, thaaaanks! His face is mighty fun to draw
Strejfer is such a cutie thing
Great piece hun, as usual
Zoub i love your style, always so convincing
Thank you so much; I'm glad you think so