*also featuring smirk face and don't look at me i'm done*

just a small thing for @geertruis‘s prompt which wanted some show jumper!charles and horse trainer!erik

not exactly following the prompt, but at least have some horse trainer!erik, mystique the horse and charles the rider!

Thoroughbreds and bloodhorses were quite different from the ones Erik had grown up with. More skittish and prone to unpredictable moves, hotter and not nearly as hardy as the draft and Icelandic horses he was used to. It was the first big revelation Erik had had since he started his internship.

They needed a more delicate approach, a softer touch when handled. They yielded easier, but burnt faster. But even though they’d never been treated with natural horsemanship, it was easier than he’d thought to establish a connection, much to Sebastian Shaw’s annoyance. The man had a temper and was quick with the whip. He had ripped Erik a new one when he’d found out Erik had taken Emma, his priced, snow white Arabian mare, down to the paddock for groundwork and free longeing despite the fact that she was far from green.

Erik hadn’t been let near her since, which was a waste. 

The other owners were thankfully more interested in positive results than tradition, and had so given him free reign over the remaining geldings and mares. This morning he’d taken Mystique, the youngest of the showjumpers, down into the paddock for longeing. He’d worked with her for nearly three weeks, and was finally starting to see some progress. Last time, at the end of the session, she’d approached him all by her own, nearly touching her muzzle to his outreached hand before changing her mind and bolting, only to come back a second later, coming nearly as close.

Now, her dapple-grey coat glinted almost blue in the late morning sun. She might look lean, nearly skinny, but she was strong and mulish; determined not to let anyone rule over her. However, she had just the strength and suppleness of a good jumper, if only that hurdle of sourness could be crossed.  Knowing her background would have helped Erik’s cause, but ever since the incident with Emma, Shaw had forbidden him to enter the offices ever again.

So he had to work with what he had; what he could read from her body and action.

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