As promised, here’s the second half of the first chapter of the next Free Rein book, Contagious!
That was all it took for the three girls to race out the front door, put their boots on and grab their head collars. They’d been keen to organise the flyer so that it was ready for when Kara agreed to their idea – if she did! The flyer had only happened so quickly because they’d been forced inside by a spring storm.
Now that it had cleared, the girls were eager to get some riding in. Luckily the paddocks they rode in were covered in grass and didn’t get really muddy unless there was a lot of rain, consistently.
Within twenty minutes the girls had brought their ponies in, brushed them down and picked out their feet and then tacked them up. With bridles on and girth tightness checked, they each mounted and headed out to the arena paddock.
This was where they had their riding club. A 60 by 20 metre arena was set out in one area, its perimeter marked by old railway sleepers. The letters of the arena were found around the edge.
Each of the girls warmed up at a walk, trot and canter before practicing their dressage tests individually. They wanted to make sure they knew them by heart before their riding lesson with Kara.
Jacqui had initially struggled to remember where she should do everything, but Geordie and Hannah had taught her a funny little saying about the letters in the arena: A Fat Black Mother Cat Had Eight Kittens. Now she knew where the letters A, F, B, M, C, H, E and K were found in the arena. She also knew that X was in the middle. This was where she needed to halt and salute the judges before going through her test.
Once the girls had each gone through their tests, they took the time to cool their ponies down in a game of follow the leader at a walk. As they walked, they talked about things that were going on at school.
They had a project due in the following day. In typical fashion, Jacqui had finished hers the week before, Hannah had just recently finished hers and Geordie was going to need to put in a long night tonight to get it done on time.
The girls met together after school every Wednesday and worked hard to keep on top of their schoolwork. This was the main thing that helped Geordie convince her parents she was ready for the responsibility of a pony. Although she did work on Wednesdays, she needed a lot of encouragement to be as conscientious on other school nights.
The girls finished brushing down their horses and put them out into the freeway paddock as the evening light was disappearing. Shortly after, Geordie’s parents arrived to pick up Geordie and Hannah. Jacqui headed inside quickly after, knowing that dinner would soon be ready.
She took in an appreciative breath as she closed the front door behind her. Hungry instantly she washed her hands in the bathroom before heading back to the kitchen.
“Smells great, mum! What are we having?”
Kate grinned from where she was dishing up food onto plates set out on the kitchen bench.
“Chicken stirfry! Most of the vegetables are from our garden. I love that we don’t have to do as much food shopping these days. I can’t wait until we can bless more people with our other veggie garden, too.”
Jacqui nodded and sat down at the kitchen table. The Kings’ had their own vegetable garden that they used to cut costs. As they saw the need of many families in their local area, Kate put forward the idea to her pastor of growing fresh food that could be gifted to struggling families. Being early spring, she was starting to harvest their first crops.
A young boy named Jared had started to help Kate with the planting and weeding. His family was one that benefited from the food and he felt better making a contribution to the work that went into growing it. Under her pastor’s urging, Kate had encouraged the boy’s help and was rewarded with seeing him at church on Sundays, too.
Jacqui forgot about all of this as the food was placed on the table before her. She was relieved when Ross came down the hallway and her father Tony came in the door in time to say grace and enjoy the meal together. Jacqui was ready to eat!
Keep a look out for updates regarding the release of this book and remember you can purchase the previous 5 books on Amazon!