Fort's Forests ~~ Fort Weyr - Pleasant Pastures

Rolling hills of grass extends as far as the eye can see. There is a division of pasture though in several sections, with fenceline cutting through to help keep herd populations seperated by gender. Dotting the pasture are several small runner beast shelters to give the animals a roof when bad storms roll in. Otherwise, large hay stacks are often piled in various places to keep the herd well fed.

It's overcast and cool, but not so cold that being outside is any sort of discomfort. At least not for Carlyn, who's outside in her typical work clothes. She's currently in an empty paddock, with an untacked runner tied to the rail, saddle and bridle sitting near. There's a bucket of runner stuff nearby, brushes and what-not, but for the moment she's simply standing there. She might even be talking to the poor creature, who looks more asleep than interested.

The weather does little to damper cheerful moods of the hunter as she's walking out to the pasture dressed to reflect the fact that she'll be doing some work - clearly not expecting to remain upright on the runner for long periods of time - and the weather also adds to the fact that she is dressed a little more heavily. Carlyn is spotted and Deitra makes her way over towards the stablehand and the runner, careful and mindful of how she moves so not to spook either of them. So no greeting is called until she is near, and even then it isn't so much called out as spoken. "Hey Lyn."

Careful or not, Deitra manages to startle the stablehand, though the runner couldn't care less. Carlyn jumps a little, but recovers quickly, and spins around to flash a wide, delighted smile at the hunter. "Hey! Great, you made it!" She takes a half step to the side, and pops her hand into the air in an introductory sort of way. "Deitra, this is Rusty. Rusty, Deitra." The runner, obviously named for his red coloring, flicks an ear, but otherwise does nothing. Clearly, he's of the 'old and reliable' type. "Morning chores are done, so we can do the riding part first and then, if you have time, you can help me finish before dinner."

Deitra can't help the little snicker that slips forth when the other woman jumps before she's grinning widely. "Yep. Wouldn't miss it." She steps in closer towards the runner and stablehand, giving Rusty a curious little look before she's holding a hand out in offering of a sort of greeting to the runner. "How do you shake hands with a runner? Canines are easy, they just like sniffin' yer hand. Also want a canine one day, one of my own." The drops her hand after a moment and tucks her hands into her pockets. "All free for the evenin', so I can help out and learn what I need ta. I'll be sure ta stop in and help more, when free. Evenin's tend to be easier than mornin'."

Carlyn giggles a little, clearly feeling a bit giddy. Maybe it's the weather? "Oh, getting a canine should be easy enough. There's always a litter being born 'round. Depends on if you have a certain type in mind. Don't know as much about puppies, though." As for shaking hands with runners? "Like this," and Lyn gently takes the side of the runner's halter to pull his head around to face her, leans in, and blows gently on his nose. Rusty's ears perk forward, and he bumps his nose gently against Lyn's before he's going back to half-asleep mode. Lyn stands up straight and grins again. "Or you can just give him a little scratch on the shoulder. Rusty's really easy going." She releases the halter and rubs her hands against her pants. "Alright, so, first order of business: grooming."

"I guess so. But, ain't all of them are cut out for huntin'. Some get the traits from their parents, really odd thing it is. Figure I'll have ta wait until one of the huntin' ones are bred and train it myself." She clicks her tongue and then watches Lyn as she shows how to give a handshake with the runner. Brows lift high in consideration before she's chuckling softly. "That looked interestin'. He seems real gentle." Is that some disappointment in her tone? Naaah. Dei doesn't lean in to give him a scritch, through, as business is being spoken about. "Groomin'."

With a business-like nod of her head, Lyn turns and kneels beside the bucket. "Here ya go," she says, offering up a stiff-bristled brush to Deitra. She grabs another for herself and stands. "I've already brushed him a bit. This is just for practice." Practice? Sure. "Just brush all down his neck, back, and haunches in short, flicking motions." She'll demonstrate a few before standing back. "You take this side, I'll take the other, and when we're done, we'll saddle." And, with a little skip in her step, she slips around to the other side of Rusty and gets to work. The runner, for his part in things, is content to take the weight off one foot, hang his head, and take a nap. "Of /course/ he's gentle!" she exclaims. "I wouldn't put you on a mean one." Yet.

Deitra takes the offered brush and considers it before attention resettles upon Lyn. "Alright. Practice makes perfect and all that." She nods as she listens to the other, watching the demonstration and mimicking in the air before she's nodding once more - in agreement, this time - to the other before moving to the side indicated and setting to work. Though her motions are slow and careful, mindful of how she does it before settling into a quicker pace. "Yeah. I guess it is better ta start off gentle before goin' ta something more wild and asking ta be tamed. But, that's just me plannin' some wild adventure."

Carlyn giggles a little from the other side of Rusty. She's methodical and practiced in her motions; she could probably do this in her sleep. "Well, and most of the wilder Runners are only 'wild' because they're young, and it's a really bad idea to put a novice rider on a novice Runner. It would be like… like someone trying to teach you to paint, but making you wear a blindfold. Impossible." She peeks over Rusty's back - he's not a very tall Runner - and grins at the hunter. "Adventure can come later. 'Sides. I thought you got plenty of adventure out in the woods, hunting… well, whatever it is you hunt."

Deitra's movements continue to be slower as she makes sure she's doing it right. "Yeah. That's true. Maybe one day after 'm good 'nough, I'll get a young wild runner and have some interestin' stories ta tell 'bout him. But, doin' that right now would just be stupid." A bit of laughter and she's grinning widely at Carlyn. "Adventure later, yeah. Yer never really full up on adventure, there's always more ta be had. We hunt a bit of everything, really. When it is just me and Chy, though, we stick ta the smaller stuff. The group handles the bigger things. I want ta hunt a feline, but they're only in the Southern parts of Pern. One day, though, 'm going ta have a buncha feline pelts that I hunted."

"Felines?" asks Carlyn, shocked. She pauses in her grooming, and peers over at Deitra. "You really want to hunt those things?" Definitely skeptical. "I heard they're really dangerous." Her voice takes on a softer tone as she gets back to brushing Rusty. "'Sides. You can't eat 'em. Poor things. Ought to just leave 'em be."

"Yeah." Deitra peers right back at the stablehand. "I do. Their pelts are warm and soft, good for winter or for a bed. I figure I should save that until I get my own room or somethin'." The hunter shrugs and continues her grooming. "'course they're dangerous, that's why they're the ultimate hunt, y'know? Sure, they ain't good for eatin'. I guess you could if you don't mind the taste of their meat. It ain't the best cause they eat meat, too. Still, depends on if yer wantin' to explore that or not… The point is, their fur is the best beddin'. Ain't really poor things, neither, they kill people."

Carlyn shrugs. "I guess." She finishes up her side of Rusty and tosses the brush back into the bucket. "How would you go about it, anyways?" she wonders. "I mean, what would you use?" But she just kinda shrugs it off a little. "Well, plenty of time to figure it out I guess." She points at the saddle. "Ready?"

"Hm. I don't know… But you want to make it a clean kill. It's hard ta get felines off a cliff and have 'em be clean. Pit traps won't work that well, either… That'll put holes in the pelt. Will have ta ask someone." Deitra continues, thoughtful as she finishes her grooming and then peeks at Carlyn. "Yeah. Lot of time before then." The saddle earns her attention and she peeks at Lyn once more. "So, we gotta lift it up onta him?"

Carlyn's nose wrinkles, and she shakes her head a little. "Sounds messy," she decides. But really, she's trying hard not to think too much about hides, and how you get 'em off the animals. Shudder. Back to Runners. "Yup! But it's not that heavy, really. And I'll do it this time, so you can get to the 'riding part." She grins, slips back around Rusty to the same side as Deitra, and grabs the saddle blanket. "This first, just before the shoulders," and she quickly tosses it on and reaches for the saddle. "And then the saddle." She grabs it with both hands, takes a deep breath, and heaves it over Rusty's back and settles it on the blanket. It's a large saddle, made for comfortable, lengthy travel. "And then slide it back a little," she says, almost to herself. She settles saddle and pad in their proper places, and drops the girth down the off-side of the runner.

"Huntin' ain't clean. Part of why I like it so much, getting' dirty and being out in the wild." Deitra laughs and then nods as she explains about the saddle. She's taking a step back so to watch the other put on the saddle blanket, taking mental notes of what she must do for the next time. "Right. Got it." She nods her head and then continues to watch Carlyn work with full attention on the work she does.

"I didn't mean the dirt," says Carlyn, flashing Deitra a quick look. "You know I have no problem with dirt. I was thinking… about the blood," she explains as she turns back to Rusty. His girth is fastened quickly, tightened, and she steps back to take a look. "Well, he's saddled. Bridle next. Easy enough too," and with a few quick moves, she's got the leather over his head, the bit in his mouth, and the reins in her hand. "All set! Last chance to back out," she teases.

Deitra chuckles a bit, "I know. I know, was just teasin' a bit. Animals are bloody, though. If I ever get you ta come huntin' with us, you can stay in the tent when we're actually killin' the things and everything else so you don't have ta see it. Told Hanild she could stay in the tent, as well." The hunter leans in to watch a little more, before straightening. "Bridle, right." She's watching this being settled onto the runner as well, with a bit of surprise settling into her features for how quick the stablehand managed to get him set. "Shells. Yer quick." The teasing earns a wide grin and she's shaking her head firmly. "I ain't afraid of anythin'. I'm ready."

"Hanild?" asks Carlyn. "I think I met her. She's OK." Shrug. "Killing doesn't bother me. Killed plenty of chickens back home. It's the blood that gets everywhere. Ew." She gives Rusty a pat on the neck and grins at the placid runner. "It's easy. And I'm used to it. Plus, Rusty's a sweetie. He doesn't put up a fight. Some of the young ones will toss their heads or clamp their jaws, but I know some tricks." The runner gets a fond scritch on the cheek. "Alright, don't ask me why, but you always get onto a runner from his left side. Just tradition or something. So when you're ready, take a fistful of his mane in your left hand, put your right hand on the seat of the saddle, stick your left foot in the stirrup, and hop on up."

"She's a pretty girl who's perfect at everything, it sounds like. Just how she is, she talks in long ways usin' all the proper wordin'." Deitra notes of the other woman and shrugs. "Right. Chickens. Blood ain't that bad, but, well, you don't got ta touch 'em while we're skinnin' 'em, I figure." Rusty is given a careful look, watching the runner before she's peeking at Carlyn. "I see. What do you do if they ain't wantin' ta open their mouth?" She steps forward and chuckles softly, "maybe they ain't expectin' you if yer coming from the right." A brow furrows and she's reaching for his main with her left, then taking the saddle with the right. Her next motions are slower, the settling her foot into the stirrup and then hopping up. The first hop really doesn't go far, then the second is a little better. Third time's the charm, apparently, and then she's finally in place. Rather than let out a whoop, she just grins to herself for her accomplishment.

"She's not /that/ pretty," says Carlyn with a sniff. She fusses with Rusty's forelock for a moment, making it lay just /so/ on his forehead. "Well, there's a space in their mouth, 'tween their front teeth and the side teeth. S'where the bit sits in their mouth and if, they don't wanna open, you just stick your fingers in there and poke their tongue. Gently. Makes 'em lick and chew a bit and you can get the bit in while they do it." She steps back to let Deitra mount. She manages to conceal her grin, but does smile brightly once the Hunter's on properly. "Good! Now, just put your other foot in the other stirrup, and get comfy. The stirrup should be under the ball of your foot, not near the heel. And they proper way to sit is with your heels down, and your legs under ya. Pretend there's a string coming out of your head, holding you straight up." Cause that makes sense.

"I mean, she dresses pretty. In dresses. What I mean by pretty. I don't check girls out or nothin'." Deitra insists firmly, wrinkling her nose. "I mean, I guess yer pretty too. If I'm considered pretty. Well, yer prettier'n I am at least." The hunter rolls her shoulders and then listens to the other explain how to get the bit into a runner's mouth when it does not want to listen. There's a bit of a chuckle in amusement before she's shifting and straightening herself out slightly while shifting her foot to rest in the other stirrup. This takes a few attempts as well before she gets it in place as instructed. "Shells. It all sounds rather complicated ta do it all right." There's more shifting into proper position to straighten herself out.

"Dresses are impractical for any /real/ work." Because clearly, according to Lyn, being a scribe is not "real" work. She sighs audibly. "Let's just focus on Rusty," she suggests, stepping away from runner and hunter, giving them their space. She let's Deitra settle into a comfortable position, nodding her head in agreement. "Yeah. But once you get used to it, you do it naturally, without thinking. When you're ready, just squeeze your legs against his side to make him walk. Do not kick him," she says very firmly. "Rusty doesn't like being kicked, so if you kick him, he'll just stand in place or kick back," she warns. "All you gotta do is squeeze with your thighs and calves, and he'll walk. When you're comfortable doin' that, we can go a bit faster."

"They ain't." Deitra agrees, giving the other a curious look for the suggestion to move on. "You don't like her, do you?" The hunter drawls out curiously, peeking at the other and clearly ignoring the suggestion to move on. Whether or not she gets an answer, however, is different. She shrugs her shoulders and then peeks at Rusty. "Well, guess I got ta practice lots and get ta doin' it naturally." The instructions are met with a nod, but rather than taking off to it right away, she waits a moment and finally gives a gentle squeeze with her legs and bracing firmly.

"I don't even know her," answers Carlyn gruffly. But it's not really an answer to the question posed. Lyn crosses her arms, in an 'I'm resting them' sort of way, not in a grumpy way, and watches Deitra and Rusty critically. "Just takes time, like everything," she assures her. Rusty, for his part, flicks an ear back towards the Hunter, and then amicably plods forward when requested to do so. He's slow and steady, but not so slow as to be a snail. His half-asleep expression changes very little, but he shuffles along without threatening to stop and take a nap. "Good! The walk is a four beat gait, which means that all four feet hit the ground at separate times. It's like a 'dun dun-dun dun' type movement. Does it feel kind of like a forward-back rocking motion?" Maybe.

"You can dislike someone by hardly knowin' 'em." Though that isn't an answer to her question, Deitra still responds to it and then dutifully drops it once the runner begins to plod forward. There's a breath drawn and that grin on her face grows all the wider. "This is excitin'." She beams another grin towards Lyn and nods idly to the words the other speaks about the pace and the moment. "Yeah. And there's faster? Not, that 'm goin' ta make him take off runnin' or nothing." Maybe the idea did briefly cross her mind.

Carlyn simply grunts in response. Her grin is gone, and there's a sour sort of look on her face. Lyn's attention is firmly on Rusty the runner, who's plodding along as easy as can be. "Yeah, there's a faster," she agrees. "Next would be trot, which is really bumpy, and not very comfortable. Canter is better. More like one of those old rocking horses kids like to ride." She shrugs. "If you wanna try, you can. But the trot will be really rough. Really gotta keep your body sitting up straight and not hunch forward."

"What happened, Lyn?" Deitra frowns at the other girl for the for look on her face. "I can go punch her if yer wantin'." Not really a question so much as a statement before she's making sure that she's not angling to fall off the runner. "How do you make the trot more comfortable? I guess I want ta try the canter, if that's better." She shifts a little, again finding a more comfortable position and straightening herself once more. "Straight… Got it."

Carlyn shakes her head, and actually laughs a little at the offer to punch her. "Nothing happened. And no, don't punch her. She'd probably start crying all over the place." Shrug "Just forget it." Rusty plods along at an even pace, ears flicking back whenever Deitra speaks, but otherwise he just keeps chugging. "Well, you kinda have to do the trot to get to canter. It's the next gait. Kinda like walk-jog-run for us. But you can make it more comfortable if you do something called 'posting'. It's where you kinda… stand and sit, stand and sit… It's hard to explain, but it's easier to understand if you see someone do it. Basically, when Rusty's left foot is on the ground, you would stand, and when his right foot is on the ground, you're sitting… Try it. If it's too bouncy, you can always ask him to stop- erm. I guess I'd better tell you how to do that," she says with a snort and a bit of a laugh for her lack of forethought. "To stop him, you'll just gently pull back on his reins."

"She would, but, if it'd make you feel better I'd do it. Don't like when my friends're upset. I'll forget about it, though." Deitra laughs, though, at ease once again. "So, there's the walk, then the trot, then canter." A nod to herself as she takes notes, "I see. Right, sounds easy 'nough ta remember. So, I got ta stand and sit, and stand and sit… Sounds complicated. I mean, the actually doin' it. Talkin' always sounds easier ta do than doin'." Her nose wrinkles as she considers and then nods. "I'd like ta try it out." Her mouth opens, then closes and she chuckles. "Thanks. Stoppin' would be good ta know. Sounds easy 'nough ta do."

"Alright," says Carlyn, sucking in a quick breath. The subject of Hanild is summarily dropped, and the stablehand focuses on the task at hand. "When you're ready, this is how you ask him to trot. You're going to relax your seat, and give him another squeeze with your legs. Keep the pressure on him until he picks up the pace. It'll get really bouncy, but just try to feel the rhythm and then start posting - standing and sitting - to make it more comfortable."

The instruction is listened to but not acted upon quite yet as Deitra simply nods along to Lyn's words before giving the stablehand a curious look and a grin. "Figure I'll find out how ta do it quick enough when my rear starts getting sore." A wink is given to the other and she shifts a little to relax in her seat, as instructed. Then, pressure is applied to Rusty to encourage him to move into a trot. "How long've you been ridin', Lyn?"

Carlyn is quiet as she watches Deitra, a small crease of worry etched on her forehead. However, she can't help but laugh a little at the hunter's comment. "It's not your rear I'm worried about. More worried about you falling off!" she confesses. Rusty, normally amiable, flattens his ears for a moment in protest but then, without any more fuss, begins to pick up the pace. A quick walk soon turns into a bouncy, slow trot. "Oh, well… forever I guess. We had a runner at home, along with a few 'beasts that plowed. But I didn't get any really lessons until I was at Fort Hold. They gave me some pointers, but otherwise I just kinda… figured it out on my own."

"I ain't worryin' 'bout fallin', at least. I ain't goin' ta break somethin' that easy, unless he decides ta walk over me. That's somethin' else, but, I figure you'll stop him before that can happen." A wink is given to her friend though it is quick as Rusty begins to plod forward in a faster pace. The slow trot and her lack of knowledge in how to post properly does look rather awkward and even more bumpy than intended. Small winces are given, but Deitra certainly doesn't give up trying to figure out how to properly set a pace so that her rear doesn't get the brunt of the attacking. "Huh. That sounds fun. Shoulda thought of getting' a runner sooner and started savin' up."

The Hunter might be confident, but Carlyn's holding her breath over here. At least until Rusty is trotting and Deitra is bouncing. At that point, Lyn really can't help herself. She bursts into bright laughter, doubling over to clutch at her stomach. Rusty, wonderful Runner that he is, takes it all in stride and simply bounces along as if nothing's going on. When Lyn finally gets herself together, she swipes a hand across her eyes and clears her throat. "Grab a two fistfuls of mane, sit down as much as you can, and then give him a small jab with your right foot!" she calls out, her voice loud to cover the distance.

Confidence often leads to stupidity, but, at least the hunter isn't so full of herself to act like a pro and is mindful of her teacher. The laughter from Lyn draws Deitra's gaze over that way and she grins widely at her friend, "I bet it looks hilarious. My arse isn't goin' ta love me in the morning." Is called out cheerfully. At least she's starting to get the hang of it and there's less bouncing that isn't required. The next instructions are followed rater quickly, the fistfuls of mane taken and then lowering herself to sit as much as she can. There's a pause — as if trying to distinguish right from left — before she is jabbing the appropriate foot.

Rusty immediately picks up a rocking, comfortable canter. He's not the fastest, or the prettiest, animal in the world, but at least his canter is comfortable! Carlyn is still grinning wide, but at least she can breathe and talk. "Your thighs won't either," she calls over to the hunter. "Do yourself a favor and take a long soak tonight, and then borrow some numbweed from the Healers!" At least the canter is probably easier to ride than the bouncy trot was.

Deitra settles down a little better when Rusty settles into the canter, grinning widely. "Definitely rubbin' this in Chy's face." Whether or not the younger woman would care. There's a peek towards Carlyn and that wide grin settled upon her lips only grows wider. "Certainly not! But it is worth it!" Excitement lingers in her tone, and in her grey eyes as they glitter with it. "At least I won't really be sore until the mornin'."

"That's true," agrees Carlyn, about being sore in the morning. "And it you keep it up, you're muscles will get used to it and you won't be sore anymore. You're doing great," she offers, truthfully. "You seem to have a natural seat, just like me. It means you'll get good fast," she assures her with a grin. "By the way, that's the canter," just in case Dei didn't know already. "You can keep going as long as you want. Just remember that Rusty ain't as young as he used to be. But the exercise is good for him." She backs up until she's against the fence once again, resting her arms on a wooden board. "If you like it, maybe we can go riding on our next day off? You'd like the trails. Much more exciting than going 'round in a circle."

"Right. Lookin' forward ta bein' able ta do it without gettin' sore often. Thanks!" Deitra's grin only grows wider, "that's great. The faster the better an' the sooner I can really get a runner of my own." Big dreams, there. "Canter. Got it. Best ta place the name with the action." And now committed to memory. "Right, well… We should stop soon so he don't get worn out and then I can help in the stables." She doesn't come to a stop at that moment, allowing Rusty to continue along as she gets used to the feel and lets the excitement wear down. "I'd like that a lot! Maybe we can head out ta Keystone Hold and back. They ain't that far 'way."

"That would be great! I've always wanted to ride all the way to Fort Hold, too. But I won't do it alone. You know, bandits and all," says Carlyn, wrinkling her nose. She grins as she watches Deitra and Rusty canter along, the runner's ears flopping back and forth as he goes, clearly relaxed. If he could canter and nap, he probably would. "You sure you wanna help after this? I mean, you're gonna be sore enough. You want to add tired arms and blistered hands to that?" she teases.

"We could do that some day, too. I didn't know that Fort Hold was that close." Deitra muses loudly, "bandits won't be a huge issue if we got bows and knives. I'll teach you ta use a bow." She promises before giving Rusty a gentle pat and carefully easing him to a stop once they are again close to where Carlyn is. "Yep! 'm sure. Rather stubborn, y'know. And I said I'd help, so I will. Can't ask for lessons and to steal yer time without givin' somethin' back. Sides, it ain't goin' ta kill me as much as make me stronger."

"Yeah, it's pretty close. A few miles, but no more than a days walk, I think. If we go at a fast clip, we can probably get there and back in a day." Or, you know, sleep on the road. Lyn looks rather excited about the prospect. "Bows and knives. Guess that would deter some. We could probably outrun the others." Or maybe that's just optimism speaking. She pushes away from the rail as Deitra and Rusty slow to a stop near her. She walks over and gives Rusty a fond scratch on the forehead. For his part, he immediately cocks a leg, drops his head, and starts dozing. "Ya know… you're probably better cut out for mucking stalls than riding," says Lyn honestly. "I mean, you're already used to carrying things in your arms, and skinnin' carcasses, so you prolly have calluses, right?"

"Doesn't sound too bad. Sounds like we could take our time ta get there and back, leave early come back late. Not much time ta sleep before I'd have to take off but, it'd be fun anyway." Deitra ponders out loud before nodding. "It would. Specially if we got good aim and can hit somethin' near 'em but not exactly hit 'em, just give a warnin' shot. Haven't heard much about bandits bein' 'round lately, especially near the Weyr. Still, better safe'n sorry." When Rusty comes to a complete stop that is when the hunter dismounts and rubs her hands together. "Muckin' stalls ain't as interestin' as ridin, but, I'll do it ta help out. Like I said, I ain't goin' ta take yer time and leave you ta do a buncha work by yerself. And, as long as I'm borrowin' Weyr runners, might as well help out. But yeah, I got calluses. I got workin' hands."

"It's more an irrational fear," of bandits. Carlyn looks a tad sheepish. "There probably aren't any." She hastens to Rusty's side and lifts the saddle flap. "Look here," she points out to Deitra. "After you get off, it's nice to loosen the girth so they can relax too." And she quickly demonstrates. That finished, she flips the reins over Rusty's head and hands them to Deitra. "You get to walk him back," she announces cheerfully. "I'll walk beside ya." She falls into step, leaving the grooming things and bucket behind to be collected later. "The calluses will serve you well. Took mine sevendays to develop."

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.