'This is a dump' Kaja was staring at me with an exasperated look in her eyes, reserved only for those who managed to really get under her skin. 'I can't believe you bought the place!'
I found her sentiment deeply unfair. Well, certainly the old, brick buildings would need some repairs if we were to bring them to the quality of our old riding club, but they were good enough for a riding school that just started. You could feel they carried some history and soul and heart, unlike some modern, hulking cuboids made of plaster that people who wanted to own horses built nowadays. 'You make it sound worse than it really looks' I replied, matching her glare with my own. I squared my shoulders, prepared for what was about to come after I gave her another piece of information. 'And just wait until you see the horses, they really are-" 'And you bought horses!?' she cut me off. I took a deep breath - yup, here it goes. 'On your own?' Yup, okay, this one was fair. I couldn't even get angry at Kaja for this comment, it was a well-known fact that my eye wasn't particularly good when it came to horses. Or rather, it was prone to momentary blindness whenever it was subjected to a good story or a sad face. I was weak and I probably needed Kaja's no-bullshit attitude more than I liked to admit. 'Okay, okay, I'm sorry, but look, you'll like them when you see them, okay? By the way, I won't be alone in this endeavor, will I?'
'Yeah, right, you probably went and already hired some overpriced grooms and stablehands and-' 'Will you please calm down?' I lost my temper. Kaja was so difficult when she got irritated, like a goddamn child who was denied a lollipop so now the whole world was against them. 'I did not hire any grooms or whatever you imagined under this ginger mop. I wanted to offer you a job, you ass.' 'Oh.' was the only answer coming from shellshocked redhead, so I continued: 'But obviously you hate the place and deem it beneath your sport world standards so I will find some other instructor...' 'No, wait!' she finally came to and I couldn't help the smug smirk appearing on my face. 'No, no, I will take the job' Kaja cleared her throat and looked at the entrance to the stable. 'Someone has to keep you from even more ill-advised decisions.'
Now I was positively beaming at her. 'Yeah, yeah, stop this thing that you're doing with your face, whatever that is and show me around, will you?' the redhead marched into the building, stomping heavily in those heavy-duty boots of hers. 'It's called smilingand being happy!' I called after her. 'You should really try it sometimes!'
I stayed back, taking a look at the stable and a mass of an indoor arena across the yard. The lunging pen between us was probably the newest-looking thing here and it was carrying the signs of time passing as well - some chipped paint here and there - but I absolutely loved every inch of the property. This was to be my haven from now on, a place where I could spread the love for horses around. I already had four, currently strolling around in the back field, and I knew that whatever she was saying, Kaja would love them as well. I knew her well too, you don't call someone your best friend for nothing after all. 'NADIA!' a shout came from inside the building. 'WHY IS THERE A MOTHERFUCKING HOLE WHERE THE TACK ROOM'S WALL WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!?' 'Don't you worry, we'll fix it!' I replied cheerfully and jogged to where my redhead friend was apparently having a nervous breakdown.
Bonus picture: Kaja is in love with Tea even if she'll never admit it
The three girls appeared out of nowhere. Well, okay, not really - they called Kaja to set up the lesson, but the crazy redhead forgot to tell me about it until they showed up, dropped off in a silver Skoda Fabia owned by a parent of one of them. 'Your appointment, your lesson' I decided instantly and almost succeeded in going off to gather the horses from the pasture when Kaja stopped me. 'Actually' she said in a voice underlined with guilt, 'I'll need you to take one of them for a lunge ride. Kamila has been on a horse once before when she was nine years old and it was a pony ride at some fair.' 'Oh, okay then. I'll get her on Portia and see how it goes from there, just tell me which one of them is Kamila.' 'She's the one in a pink top. Also, the blond one is Natalia, she took a couple of lessons but is still pretty much a beginner, and the last one is Gabrysia. She was one of my English students, actually. She rode at that stable on the other side of Suwałki before it closed so she should be able not to fall down from the saddle.' 'So, what do you think? Krypta and Ripley for them? Or do you want to put Gabrysia on Tea?' 'I'd rather not, I want to see what she can do first,' Kaja answered and waved in the general direction of the girls who were just saying their goodbyes to the driver.
'Remember to keep your back straight! And don't keep your hands so high, lower them a bit!" I heard Kaja administering instructions to the two girls in the riding arena. I, myself, was stuck inside the stable with a pouty seventeen-year-old who was looking at Portia with poorly hidden reserve. 'So, today you'll be riding this mare here. Her name is Portia and she's really calm and gentle' I explained, hoping to lessen her hesitance. 'She'll take really good care of you.' 'She looks... old,' Kamila grimaced. 'Why can't I ride that horse?' she pointed to Tea, who was happily munching on her hay two stalls away. 'Because Tea would dump your butt quicker than you'd blink,' I felt the sudden need to massage my temple, but kept the pleasant smile on my face. My opinion on Kamila so far wasn't good - she clearly didn't want to be here and probably would rather hang out with her friends or whatever teens did these days if it wasn't for her younger sister, which Natalia turned out to be. 'Trust me, you WANT to ride Portia. And who knows, maybe if you actually get good you'll get on Tea as well.' 'Whatever' the kid had the audacity to roll her eyes at me. I hated teens. I really, really hated teens. Kaja owed me big time. 'Great. Come, I'll show you where her brushes are.'
I led her to an empty stall that was currently used as a tack-and-feed room. The matter of the hole in our proper tackroom wall still wasn't resolved so it had to do for now. 'Okay, here are her brushes, and this is the saddle and bridle we're gonna use. I don't suppose you ever saddled a horse?' 'Nope. Natka's the horsey type. I was made to come here by mom. Apparently it's gonna make us get along better or whatever. She's going to volleyball trainings with me.' I turned to pick up Portia's saddle and to hide my snicker. Yup, Kamila was a headache already but she was in for a treat of sorts. For someone not so keen on horses riding lessons twice a week were going to be a tough ride.
The last half an hour were painful. To say that Kamila was hard to get to was an understatement, but she managed to relax a bit after doing a series of excercises on Portia's back, enough so that I let her walk in a line behind Natalia and Gabrysia. To be honest, I trusted Portia more than I trusted her rider - she was happy to follow behind Krypta's tail. I left my student at Kaja's mercy (the redhead was fierce teacher with no-bullcrap attitude) and focused on observing the other two girls. Gabrysia certainly showed some potential - it was raw and unrefined, but she had talent. Natalia wasn't so bad herself either, maybe still a bit messy with the signals she was giving Krypta (the mare was dragging on at a snail pace despite Kaja's attempts at hurrying her rider up), but that was to be expected with a new rider. I wonder, how far will those girls go?
Post by Nadia Kilian on Apr 15, 2020 7:51:58 GMT -6
Responses: Shagaia Nedjari Thank you, I am rediscovering my love for writing Krypta is a very important part of our stable-family and she'll be making more appearances for sure Claire Hohenfeld I'm glad to hear that, as the "trainee days" is the theme I was aiming for with this whole blog . I love my Sims dearly and I'm very proud of how they turned out Unfortunately, I forgot to save file for Kaja, so I had to remake her
Kamelia (SAS's Camellia) is a Belgian Warmblood filly I won in lunasmit 's Easter raffle. From day one she's been full of energy and curiosity, seemingly with no fear whatsoever. Her personality makes her, unfortunately, easily distracted - something we'll have to work on in the future. For now we focus on teaching her how to act - and NOT to act - when handled and groomed and it's going... Well. It's going. Did I mention she wasn't easy to get focused?
It's funny, I never ever imagined to have a horse so young in our stable - I aimed mostly at older, trustworthy mounts for children and beginner or intermediate riders - but from the first moment I saw Kamelia I was gone. This little girl is the funniest view ever, doing her weird jumps and skips on the pasture and generally just playing around. I think Portia share's my love for the filly - she basically adopted her, I think? It doesn't matter that the foal is already weaned, Portia took her under her wing and if anyone tries to give Kamelia hard time (it happened only once or twice, our horses are generally pretty friendly) they have to deal with a very irritated older mare.
She also might have caught an eye of one pretty reluctant student, but you'll have to wait for the story chapter to find out more about it...
I really like your blog, I loved reading the little chapters so far! Once again I'm really happy to see that the wheel of chance chose a good home for my baby. Its also nice to see that she has made a friend already
Running a stable usually means an early start for all of us - something that was expected, really, but still needed some getting used to. Fortunately, both me and Kamila have found our rythem working with the horses we had. True, Kamelia's showing up was unexpected, but she turned out to fit pretty well with our old and tested warmbloods. Which is exactly why Kaja almost threw a fit when she found out about my newest purchase. 'What on earth posessed you to buy another horse!?' she demanded right after we let the horses go onto the pasture. It was 6 AM. I had absolutely no intention of having this conversation at this hour - or never, to be honest. My redhead friend was, however, unrelentless. 'Weren't we supposed to be partners?' 'I know, okay? I just saw him and figured he would be perfect for the students. We can't let Kamila ride Portia forever, the time for the grandma to retire completely is getting nearer and nearer.' I heard Kaja grumble something along the lines of "How is that our problem" but I ignored that and continued: 'Besides, Natalia and Gabrysia are getting better and better - what if they will want to start jumping? We both know Portia's joints are not up for it and Tea's not a jumping horse. That leaves Ripley, which is fine, honestly and Krypta, who's not really that much into jumping either. And don't even mention Kamelia, because that horse has a few good years before she starts any kind of sport.' Kaja grew silent. I did it - I had a last word with her. Thank you for small miracles. 'So, what's this horse you bought?' she asked again while we were mucking out. 'Well, he's a 4-year-old gelding - don't make that face, I know he'll take some work, but I'll take care of it - named Smolnik. Very nice and calm personality, very appropriate for students, beautiful buckskin coat. One of us will have to go to the Lithuanian border and pick him up.' 'What? Why?' 'Oh, he comes in from Sweden.' 'WHAT.'
Next day, Kaja took our old trailer and went on North to pick up our new gelding at the border. The girls were coming in for a lesson later today, but I was fairly sure my friend would make it - or at least cut it close enough that I wouldn't have to somehow balance a lunge lesson with Kamila (one of the last ones, to be honest - she still wasn't as eager as I'd like her to be, but she seemed to like horses a bit more every time she came in) and a regular lesson with two over-exited fifteen-year-olds. There was only a certain amount of multitasking a girl could do and that kind of scenario was well beyond that limit. Due to Kaja's trip, I was left alone to deal with another problem that appeared seemingly out of nowhere, but really, it was something I could have predicted - The Wall Situation (which deserved a capitalised name after months of not being delt with) remained unresolved, despite my attempts to reach an understanding with a construction team we hired. The money was almost literally pouring through the hole in the tack room wall and I had just about enough. Confronting Mr. Mietek, the boss of the group, was long time coming and although Kaja was generally better at dealing with that sort of stuff, I was the one that had to do it this time.
Needless to say, I recieved no new information - due to the weather, the work was prolonged and there was nothing anyone could do about it, really. It didn't help that I had an open house in mind - an event to bring new customers to the riding school - and wanted to have everything ready for the occassion. I lost all the hope to host the event in the Summer, Autumn looked just as bleak and to be honest I didn't think anyone would show up to an open house in the Winter - maybe if we had some horses that could pull a sleigh, but none of my warmbloods would be up for the task. I decided on Spring, mostly because I was really out of options, and had to lay down the law to Mr. Mietek. Let's just say, he was not amused, but promised to try his best to finish up with the tackroom before the first snow and start working on the attic floor, which, right now, was a safety hazard and definitely not a good look in the eyes of the parents of potential students.
Later this afternoon, Kaja arrived with a buckskin gelding who started looking around the stable immidiately upon exiting the trailer. He had an energetic spring in his step and he was visibly young and excited about his new surroundings. 'So?' I asked, doing a pretty good job hiding my smirk. The horse was beautiful and worth all the fuss and I knew that Kaja saw it too. 'How do you like our new boy?' 'He's pretty cool, I'll give you that,' she smiled and scratched his neck. 'And he behaved himself pretty well on the road so there's that. I'd have to see him under saddle before I'll give you any more opinions.' 'Sure thing, I was hoping to give him a couple of days to get used to living here and then I'll start riding him over some poles and maybe start jumping him over some low cross-rails? Wanna help with that?' 'I'm pretty curious, so sure. I'm gonna take Tea for a ride after my lesson today, wanna join me?' 'Actually, I was going to work with Kamelia some more. She's coming along nicely, but still tenses up during grooming.' 'Well, she's basically a child, what did you expect?' Kaja rolled eyes at me. 'You sure taking on a freshly weaned foal was a good idea?' 'Hey, I love her and so do you!' I nudged my friend with an elbow. Our discussion was cut short by a car rolling into our parking lot. The girls arrived for their lesson. 'Go and get your students ready, I'm gonna get this guy settled in.' I took Smolnik's leadrope from the ginger and tied him to a post to remove his travel boots. The gelding seemed to be generally in a good health and after a quick once over I lead him to his new stall. We really should get the renovations in the main part of the stable going - at this rate, we had six out of nine stalls occupied already, and one of the free ones was currently used as a tack/feed room. I really wanted to expand but at the same time really didn't want to move any of the animals into the part of the building with all the work going on in there. Making them spend the winter in the paddocks also wasn't a viable idea in my opinion - the amount of snow we could get here was pretty much daunting sometimes.
Kaja took Natalia and Gabrysia to ride in the arena and I continued to work with Kamila in the round pen. I felt pride, looking at the previously reluctant girl now rise and fall pretty much in rhyme with Portia's trot. I decided that one or two more lessons and she would be ready to join her sister and their friend in the arena. After the lesson I helped her remove the tack from the older mare (or rather, I supervised as she handled it pretty well) and asked Kamila to turn Portia out in the paddock in which Kamelia already happily chomped on some grass. 'Just watch out to not let Kamelia out, she can be a handful and if she gets loose we'll probably spend the next three hours chasing her around the property. Nothing fun, let me tell you.' I sighed. I made this mistake once, was too generous with the gate when I was letting the filly out and she bolted not into the paddock but straight in the opposite direction. I found her later somewhere in the pasture nearby an old breeding facility that was standing across the field from the school. Granted, it was still on my property but I had no use for this amount of space right now so I let it stand abandoned for the time being. 'Sure, I'll keep an eye on her,' Kamila nodded and walked out of the stable with Portia in tow. With a corner of my eye I saw that Kaja's students were already dismounting so I rushed over to help with the horses.
Some bonus pictures for you:
Left: Kamila saw Kamelia for the first time. The feeling of instant love was clearly mutual. Right: Kaja and Tea are a great team! Not competing, just chilling in the arena.
Looking at this duet is a wonderful experience - they're really in sync with each other, there is an understanding here that is really amazing to watch!
It's easy to forget that Tea was once a high level dressage horse. She quickly reminds you, however, when you watch her move.
The next update can be a bit late - the PC has some problems with the cooling system and you never know what temperature the CPU will have on start... I'd prefer not to launch a game while it's hot af, thank you very much . I will, however, tell you there's some work awaiting me - Camellia has become a yearling and Portia had her 22nd birthday, which means less workload for her and in consequence, some changes in horses assigned to our riders. Also, as the current Cav season is Winter, expect some winter-y photos
Thanks for your patience and as always - all the comments are welcome !
I really love how your story has turned out so far. Students can be such a handful, but I am glad to see Kamila is improving. Kaja and Tea are getting along so well, they look great! Also, the new buckskin is adorable <3