Keeping Peace

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Our short story, Keeping Peace, was published in the May/June 2010 issue of Young Rider.

 

An Excerpt From

Keeping Peace

Amy checked the strap on her helmet and leaned forward. After six months of riding Peace, she knew leaning forward slightly was all the urging the mare needed to break into a gallop.

In fact, lately Peace didn’t need even that much encouragement. Sometimes she just took off running.

Amy tried not to worry about Peace’s new behavior. The bay half-Arabian loved to run and Amy loved pretending to be a jockey.

As they raced around the arena, Amy bent low over the mare’s neck. She felt the sting of Peace’s black mane whipping against her face. In her mind, she heard the roar of the crowd and the announcer shouting, Peaceful Lady’s in the lead as the horses head into the homestretch!

But when Peace thundered past the gate, the only person Amy heard was her twin brother.

“Quit running her!” Vince yelled.

He was such a pain.

Amy sat up in the saddle and tugged on the reins.

Peace threw her head from side to side. Lather foamed on her neck and the scent of horse sweat was strong in the warm spring air.

For a second Amy was afraid the mare would refuse to stop.

Fighting off the spark of fear, she leaned back in the stirrups and kept a gentle pressure on the bit.

After a few tense moments, Peace slowed to a bouncy trot, then a prancing walk. Amy turned her toward the gate where Vince stood.

“That was totally stupid,” he said. “You’ve got to stop pretending she’s a racehorse.”

“Why?” Amy dismounted, becoming annoyed. “Because you fell off her last week?”

“I didn’t fall off. I jumped off when she wouldn’t stop.” Vince glared at her. “If you keep running her all over the place, one of these days she won’t stop for you, either.”

Amy didn’t want to tell Vince she was worried about the same thing.

***

YR Peace small