“Dismount,” shouted the Commander.
Jane brought Star to a halt and swung her right leg over the back of the saddle, landing on the ground with both feet. She stood beside her horse and waited for the next instruction. Star stood beside her, breathing heavily.
The Commander bypassed the other riders and stepped up to Jane. “What is your name, Sand Pounder?”
“Ja . . .” Jane swallowed and felt a shiver run down her spine. “John Morris, Sir.” She looked straight ahead, avoiding eye contact.
“Well, John Morris, I must say I’m impressed with your riding skills. Where did you learn to ride like that?” the Commander asked, his demeanor and posture softening.
“I’ve ridden all my life, sir,” Jane said.
“We have a shipment of a dozen horses coming by horse van tomorrow. They’ve been bred and trained at Fort Robinson, an army facility in Nebraska. I would like you to meet the van and, after providing for their needs and assessing their overall health, begin working with them.”
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