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Wed Feb 21, 2007 09:27 (XFF:

Satisfied with her the progress her students had made so far, Tsuga finally decided to meander their way back to the Tower stables. When they had at last all made it safe and sound, she turned her horse around and called a halt.

“Very good – you’ve all managed not to get yourselves killed. I think you could manage the same the next time you ride. Like anything else, horsemanship is improved through practice and patience. The last part of our lesson is back to grooming, so everyone dismount and I’ll show you what to do.”

When they had followed her instructions, Tsuga swung down herself and demonstrated how to cool a horse after a workout.

“I know it seems a little ridiculous, since we’ve been walking for the last couple of hours, but it’s always better to be cautious. Never leave the horse at a standstill after it’s been working – by doing that, you risk colic and foundering. Now, for proper cooling if your horse has just undergone a brutal workout – for example, if you’ve just ridden into the Tower after fleeing from Trollocs – you loop your stirrups over the seat, like this, and loosen the girth so that the horse can breathe.” She demonstrated as she spoke, and then began walking, leading her horse around in a big circle.

“You’re just walking them until their breathing returns to normal and they are no longer coated in sweat. If it had been raining, we would not be able to give them a proper walk like this, so we would take them inside, dry them off, and give them a warm rub-down followed by a hot meal. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about that today. Since the horses have already been walking for a while, it is not necessary to keep them moving for very long.”

When they had done this task to her satisfaction, Tsuga nodded to herself and called them inside. “Clip your horse back in the crossties, as they were before, and follow essentially the same proceedure you used to tack them, but in reverse. Start by removing their bridal from around their head and leave it looped around their neck just for security. Fasten the halter on them, remove the bridal, and do the same with the saddle. Brush your horse, clean its hooves, and return it to the stall. When you are done, oil the saddle and bridal and then replace them where they came from. When you have finished to my satisfaction, you are dismissed.”

Tsuga, not one to stint her own duties, did as she was telling them to, making a point of showing that she was not being hypocritical in her high standards for them. One by one, they presented horses and tack for her inspection, and one by one they were passed or told to do it better, and finally, the stables emptied of her little class, leaving the Sei’Tar alone. After putting the finishing touches on the tack she had used, she replaced them and left, ready to clean off the muck, sweat, and horse smell.

OOC: Finish the lesson, guys. Come on - it's easy. I'll give you a week or so to get it together.

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