Here’s an excerpt from the fourth book in the Free Rein series, Learning to Fall.
Hannah entered the classroom and sat down opposite Jacqui with a large grin.
“Guess what?” she asked excitedly.
“Is this about another party?” Jacqui asked, unsure.
“No! It’s about horses,” Hannah replied, waving impatiently to Geordie as she dawdled into the room.
Geordie continued slowly, taking her time to put her bag away and get to the table. Hannah frowned at her.
“You did that on purpose!” she accused her friend.
“Did what?” Geordie asked innocently, holding back an amused smile.
Jacqui wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to tell Geordie to be quiet. She wanted to hear Hannah’s news!
“So what’s your news?” she asked Hannah curiously, hoping her friend would share, now that Geordie was seated at their table.
“My Aunt Jan rang last night and asked when we’re next coming to visit her. Apparently she’s gotten a new pony, and she wants her three helpers to come and exercise her ponies over a weekend so that they all get worked. She said the spring grass has given them lots of energy and they need to be ridden instead of her giving them exercise by lunging them.”
“Can we visit her anytime soon?” Jacqui asked, surprised and pleased.
“Can I take Rose?” Geordie asked, talking about her mare.
“Yes and no,” Hannah responded to her friend’s questions, “she asked if we could come for a weekend very soon. I already asked Jan if we could bring our ponies and she said that wasn’t such a good idea.”
“Why not?” Geordie asked, surprised.
“Don’t you remember we talked about that last time we were there? Jan doesn’t have a lot of room for extra ponies, plus because they’ve been on a different property, she’d have to keep them separate from her ponies.”
“Just in case one of hers was sick and passed it onto Rose or Jasper,” Jacqui finished for Hannah, remembering the talk with Jan when they’d first visited.
“Oh yeah, I remember now. I’m not sure I want to go if I can’t take Rose.”
Jacqui suddenly felt disappointed. If Geordie didn’t want to go, maybe Hannah wouldn’t either… and she couldn’t possibly go by herself.
“If it’s just for a weekend, you could spend time with Rose during the week and as soon as we get back, Geordie,” Jacqui suggested, keen to go.
“Yeah, Jasper could do with a weekend off, I think! I’d love to ride some of Jan’s ponies again and see the new one she’s recently gotten,” Hannah said, causing Jacqui to smile in relief.
“Please, Geordie? I’d love to go back to Jan’s. We had so much fun last time.”
“I don’t know… I’ll think about it.”
Jacqui prayed her friend would do so, and change her mind about not wanting to go. She struggled to focus when the teacher had called the roll and started the day’s lesson. It suddenly seemed so important that the three girls went along to Jan’s for a weekend!