Goodness I'm alive on the Internet once again! I promise not to leave this story unfinished. Just, give me a bit more time and updates will become a bit steadier!! Thanks again to Elecktrum for her amazing Beta skills!
"You missed a spot."
"So. Right there, behind the buckle on the girth strap to your left."
Edmund turned the saddle around, only to find he had, in fact, missed a spot in cleanin. Grumbling he took the saddle soap to it with more force than really necessary. He had been 'training' with this odd Horse for close two weeks now, and all he had done it seemed was learn how to clean, both Horse and saddle and tack alike.
Phillip smiled, seeing the growing annoyance on Edmund's face. He knew he was starting slowly, but he was buying time till the boy's broken bone was closer to healed than hurt.
For any beast of burden, any broken limb is not something to take lightly, it meant pain, and most often than not, death. Something Phillip knew all too well…
Plus, the Horse took enjoyment out of getting his king so riled. Phillip saw the spark in the boy's eyes, and the boy was altogether too quite and shy otherwise. Also, though he'd never say it, Edmund looked rather…adorable when so flustered. No wonder the boy's older brother enjoyed teasing him so much.
Phillip shook his mane, back to business.
"Now that most of the saddle is cleaned, Do you notice its shape?"
"What about it?" Edmund asked hotly.
"Ever wonder why it looks like that?"
"No. What does it matter? It's just to sit easier on the Horse's back."
Phillip replied in too sweet a tone, "Oh, did you say, 'No Phillip, I never wondered, but I'm sure there is a very interesting reason, and great history lesson behind it. Would you be so kind and tell me about it.'" The Horse said in a poorly-mimicked imitation of the boy, and then continued normally. "Because, that's what I thought I heard. And of course I'd reply, 'Why yes I'd love to tell you!'"
Edmund felt his face go red as the Horse looked at him sternly. "So what was it you said?"
The boy sighed. "I said, No Phillip, please explain to me why our saddle is shaped this way. I'm sure it's fascinating."
"Nope, nothing fascinating about it at all."
"What?" Annoyance coming back with avengance after being so chastised.
"Practical, but not fascinating."
"Then why make me ask?" Edmund almost yelled.
"What, do I have an echo in here? Yes manners. Even if you don't see a the method to my madness yet, I'm still your instructor and I require at least some respect."
Edmund letting his temper get the better of him, threw the cleaning supplies to the ground and shouted. "Why? All you've done is have me be your maid for the past two weeks! Your making me do all these menial tasks with no explanations or care! Your supposed to instruct me to ride and I've yet to even sit in a saddle not to mention a Horse! This is ridiculous!"
Phillip took in his kings drawn face and the deep breaths the boy was taking to control his anger.
"Feel better?" the Horse asked in a non-chalant voice.
"I didn't think so. But as it stands, you're still injured. Riding is all about control, you have to use your entire body, including legs, I'm not going to show you anything until the cast is off and you have full movement of your leg. I refuse to show anyone anything, unless it's shown correctly!"
Seething, Edmund replied. "As it is, you still haven't shown me anything at all! You chastise me about these stupid saddles and you've yet to even tell me the 'ohh so interesting' knowledge about them!"
"I was getting there!" Phillip responded, getting defensive.
"Not from where I'm standing."
Phillip huffed in annoyance. He was trying to get the boy to open up, not get riled himself.
"Fine. Narnian saddles are set up for convenience, durability, speed, and function. Made of lightweight wood and leather, they sit higher on the horse's shoulder compared to the saddles from Archenland, making the rider's center of balance where it can be distributed evenly through out the horse, making it easier for both rider and animal to communicate. The slightly curved leather in front of the fender is called the poley and is unique to Narnia. This gives the rider safety when in full armor, and it gives the thighs and legs a brace of sorts. Though apparently they're not fool proof or you wouldn't be here."
The Horse finished his disposition with a stomp of a back hoof for finality.
Looking at the Edmund, the boy was lost in deep thought, studying the saddle. Finally he looked to the Horse and said with a calm determination,
"See, you where wrong again."
"What, your telling a Horse he doesn't know saddles?' Phillip cried with indignation. "Even though we don't wear them, we make it a point to know of such things!"
"I wasn't talking about that. What I meant was, that was fascinating and I want to know more… please."
Phillip rolled his eyes and sighed in defeat. "Apparently you and I need to find middle ground."
Edmund laughed and loosened up a bit. "I thought that's what this was."
"No, this is you getting me frustrated, actually."
The bay horse turned and looked at the sun as it slowly rose higher in the sky. "Well, regardless who steped in the cowpie first, our time is up for the day. Your sisters, remember, have strict orders for you to return to palace and rest your leg at least an hour before your other duties."
Red started to come to Edmund cheeks for the second time. Was the Horse teasing him… again?
"And what is that to you, sir?"
"Nothing, just pointing out a fact. It seems they have you well trained," The bay spoke with a hearty laugh, knowing himself, how well his own sister and mother kept a short lead rope on him.
Edmund, taking the Horse's tone (and subsiquential laugh) as a slight against himself, glared at his instructor with a look that his brother said could freeze fire and replied, "One can be so lucky to be as uninhibited as you." And with that, he grabbed his crutch and stormed out of the stable yard.
A/N" Hello again! Now my description of a saddle should be relatively obvious for my fellow riding fans. I chose the Australian Saddle as Narnias saddle of choice. Mainly because of it's wide range of versatility. Also, on a more personal note, it's my saddle of choice .(I also use a reining saddle, but that's another story…) Archenland I'm going to combine both English and Western elements as I deem necessary (because I can do that in fiction)
Also, yes, Phillip is being a jerk. I want to make sure he grows too, or this would be boring for me! Plus, how many stallions have you met that aren't stubborn? Exactly. Much reining of tempers are coming.