The sun was low, casting the outdoor arena in cool shadows. The bluestone footing made a soft shush-shush noise as Vee led the horse in and adjusted the tack one more time. She turned to Cory and handed her a helmet.
“This is Pressman. Want a leg up?” Vee laced her fingers and held them out like a sacred offering. “Part of your compensation package—free riding lessons.” She smiled up at Cory from her crouched position.
Without a word, Cory shoved the helmet down onto her head and attached the chinstrap. She could smell the horse as she approached—so familiar, so comforting. Her heart started a tap dance against her breastbone as she bent her knee and placed her shin into Vee’s laced fingers. In an instant, she was lofted up into the air and onto the back of the horse. Her feet easily found the stirrups as she lifted the reins. From the saddle, he seemed even taller, so different from the small, dullish horses she had ridden in her lessons back home. Her legs draped around his barrel as he stepped off with an enormous stride. Cory figured she must look like a grinning idiot, but it felt so good to be back on a horse.
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