City Secrets

City Secrets by Jessica Burkhart

Book: City Secrets by Jessica Burkhart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Burkhart
head down to try and grab a bite of grass. A couple of horses had been high-strung and one had shied at anything that moved.
    But Limitless wasn’t anything like those horses, and from what I’d seen from Cora, she wasn’t either. I gave the bay gelding more rein and let him move into a trot.He quickened his pace and moved smoothly around the arena. Hoofbeats quickened behind us as Heather let Cora trot after Limitless. The mare didn’t want to be left behind, and she stayed a few strides behind us without tailgaiting.
    As we made our way around the arena, I looked out one of the windows. In the arena that was in full view, half a dozen adult riders were putting horses through all different exercises. I was so used to seeing people my age in the arena that I almost wanted to stop and watch the adults ride.
    â€œSilver!” Heather yelled from behind me.
    â€œWhat?” I looked over at her as she let Cora get even with Limitless.
    â€œI know I said the windows were great, but you can’t stare out them forever,” Heather continued. “We’re supposed to be
practicing
.”
    â€œWe’re just warming up. And chill—I might learn something from watching them.”
    Heather rolled her eyes. “The warm-up’s about to be over and the only person you’d learn anything from watching is me.” She shifted in the saddle to look at me, a cocky smirk on her face.
    â€œOmigod,” I said, laughing. “Did you really just say that?”
    Heather stared at me as if my helmet was on fire or something.
    Heather let Cora into a canter, and the mare jumped in front of Limitless, swishing her tail. She was lanky, and her long legs carried her strides ahead of us. I stopped posting and sat in the saddle, giving Limitless rein and squeezing my legs against his sides. He transitioned from a trot to a canter in a few strides, and his canter was smooth enough that I had no trouble not bouncing in the saddle.
    We followed Cora and Heather around the arena twice at a canter before Heather eased her to a trot and guided her into the center of the arena.
    I pulled Limitless to a trot, then a walk, before stopping him next to Cora.
    â€œI assume you already have our entire workout planned,” I said.
    Heather nodded. “Down to the cooldown.”
    I looked at her, waiting. “I’m ready. Let’s go instead of just sitting here.”
    That made Heather smile. “Exactly what I wanted to hear. Let’s start by going through flatwork without stirrups, and after that, we’ll use the stirrups to work through a little dressage, and then give the horses a break for a few minutes.”
    â€œOh, yeah, we’ll totally be giving the
horses
a break,” I said.
    Heather waved a hand at me. “Puh-lease. You better not need a break by then or the rest of the workout is going to kill you.”
    I straightened in Limitless’s saddle. “As if. I’m ready, as I said, like, an hour ago.”
    â€œFine. Drop ’em,” Heather said, her eyes locked on mine.
    She kicked her feet out of the stirrups and I did the same. We crossed them over our saddles and I adjusted my legs to the right position.
    â€œI’ll give directions first, then you can,” Heather said. Cora pointed her ears forward and struck the ground with a foreleg. Her energy seemed to feed into Limitless, and he shifted beneath me, ready for whatever instruction I gave him.
    â€œDeal.”
    â€œWalk to the wall, then sitting trot,” Heather instructed. “And whoever is giving instructions has to ride behind the other rider and offer suggestions.”
    I knew what
that
meant. Suggestions meaning “you’re-the-worst-rider-ever-and-do-it-right-before-I-punch-you.” That’s what Heather meant by “suggestions.”
    But I let her and Cora drop behind Limitless and me. I gripped the saddle gently with my knees, wanting to keep

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