release the reins

unexpectedly charming

Before Season 2 of Voltron came out, I had read an article that had mentioned there would be several bonding moments between Keith and Allura, and as a pretty invested Klance and Shallura shipper, I was skeptical. I really was. I figured if it happened, it would happen, and I would just deal with it.

The last thing I expected was to like Kallura even a little bit, let alone be completely charmed by it.

(gif credit to the marvelous @flusteredkeith!)

Not only had Keith and Allura barely interacted, I didn’t really have a grasp on Keith (there were assumptions, of course, which I used to inform the way I wrote him in fic)- so going in, I had a lot of reservations. You could even call it a low-key notp, because I didn’t want them to get together just because they had been together in the original series. It didn’t make sense to me, given the interaction they had had up to that point.

But then some of my friends started watching season 2, and when I asked two of them about shipping moments, as I am wont to do, they both mentioned Kallura…and that it was actually kind of cute. And charming. And the all in all, they didn’t hate it.

I was intrigued. So I went into watching Season 2 with an open mind, and I discovered that it really was kind of cute. And the more I thought about it, the further I fell, and I really wanted to figure out why.

So I’ve decided to do the only thing I can do when I’m overwhelmed by feelings about something: write about it.

So here goes: a little meta essay (read: roughly 4,700 words with copious screenshots and gifs inserted for visual interest) on how I fell for Kallura, and why I’m interested in its potential, and why I think it’s worth giving a shot!

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anonymous asked:

Oliness on the road together and it's a really hot day so they stop to swim under a waterfall? (starts out playful then things get steamy?)

im a SUCKER for things like this omfg stop


“Alright; it’s time to break.”

Nessa, who has been dozing on and off in the circle of Oliver’s arms, becomes alert. She twists her head, body shifting precariously on the saddle, as Oliver slows his horse to a gradual stop. He smiles down at her crookedly as she wipes her hand across her dirty forehead, sweeping aside a lock of sweat-drenched hair.

“Here?” she asks. “Is that safe?”

He props one hand on his waist and raises an eyebrow at her. “Would I really put you at risk, Princess?”

She regards him with a sheepish expression and turns her face away. “No, I guess not.”

“You guess?”

He releases the reins and slides down off the saddle. Once his feet are firmly planted on the dusty road, he reaches up to her. She leans her weight into his outstretched arms easily, trusting that he’ll catch her without a shadow of doubt. He holds her briefly against his chest, her hands braced against his shoulders as if to push him away, or steady herself.

“If I remember correctly,” she says, “you were the one who put me on this horse and then broke off from the rest of the group. I have yet to judge whether or not you mean any harm by it.”

He gives her a measured look. “That group was an unsavory band of thieves, Your Highness.”

“They were gentlemen.”

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titaniasfics  asked:

Agelast <3 !

You bring out the twisted in me, woman. I blame you entirely. Not really. I love you. Don’t hate me. WARNINGS: RATED E, for sexual content, brief violence, character death, arranged marriages and associated dubious consent, …and general fuckery. Keep an open mind here, I was trying for a variety of cultures. Also bisexual!Peeta…so anyway, there’s a scene here with him with someone who is not Katniss. You’ve been warned. And I’ll probably continue this because who am I kidding? I cannot resist starting random WIPs at the worst time possible. This is wholly unbeta’d, so you can blame me for this pile of trash. Also go easy on me. It’s my first foray into sci-fi.

Agelast - A person who never laughs.

Dark Matter

Mud sprays up around them in deceiving tufts of gentle soil and flashes of blue light. His feet carry him in a vaguely serpentine pattern. A delicate balance of speed and survival. He raises his weapon and fires towards the enemy, watching at least one mud splattered white uniform drops before the others behind him open fire as well. He grips the shoulder of his Sergeant to haul him back to his feet.

“Thought you’d never get here,” Darius says and catches the blast rifle Peeta tosses to him as they continue the charge.

“You doubted me?” Peeta asks with a grin as they dodge more blasts.

“There!” Darius shouts and points towards an outcropping of rock that should provide shelter and Peeta nods in agreement. They need a place to regroup and plan a flanking maneuver around Snow’s troops. The small group of soldiers forms a ring around Peeta and Darius, firing outward as they race for the rock. A few yell as they go down and a loud humming fills the air. Peeta turns to drag them to safety when Darius screams and shoves Peeta towards the rock.

Brilliant blue light blinds him for a moment, throws him back against the rock as it consumes his Sergeant and friend. His body slides to the ground, the armor having taken most of the force, but he’s left winded and in shock as he stares at the space where Darius should be and instead finds a pile of bloodied, desiccated flesh. Another blast of the blue light follows a brief hum and them a choking noise as though the weapon malfunctioned. The force of it hits the rock and splits it in two. Before Peeta can react, half of it crashes down towards him.

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[A while back in the discord, we were talking about fluff that is also angst, and I said something about how you can just write fluff and then let the readers break their own hearts. And I was thinking about that today, and then I wrote this. Now, I won’t admit that I was wrong, but also, this is more of a muted angst than actual fluff, so…]

On the last night of October, I dream of the beach. Not the beach in the melee of racing, nor in the mystical darkness of waiting for a capall to emerge. I dream of the beach under the pale sky of December, empty save for the lingering hints of race season: a few littered betting slips and November cake wrappers; one or two memorials or tributes to racers lost or won; and perhaps that one stubborn blood stain that the rain refuses to wash.

In my racing years, I would never have been on the beach on such a day. Malvern kept me busy in the months after a race, perhaps counting out the days until race talk died down enough that no one would fill my head with thoughts of racing for someone else - least of all, myself. He gave me a few days off after winning a race, a show of graciousness, but we both knew me well enough to expect that I would spend them in stables anyways. After that, it was sending off the last batch of horses to mainland buyers, readying the stables for cruel winter storms, and training the capaill newly dredged from the sea or bought cheap off of race tourists who’d lived their thrill and had no idea what do with their hungry and breathing souvenir.

So, in my years with Malvern, I seldom had a chance to get down the beach, and certainly not with Corr. But dreams do not obey the logic of time, and I dream that we are there on the sands, the sunlight and wind glancing off our skin. We splash in the surf, in spite of the cold, and there is no one around to speak their derision.

Up the beach, Puck Connolly laughs high and clear. “I won’t help you home if your toes freeze off, Sean Kendrick!” she calls to me. But we both know that she would, and that I would do the same for her. I would stand by her for as long as I had feet, and failing that, I would kneel at her side.

The sun winks across the water and my face feels calm as I look up at the cloudless sky. Corr pushes his nose into my shoulder, and I allow myself to stroke a finger across it. He nudges me again, restless, excited, and finally, I swing up over his saddle, and we run over the sand. The wind across my face tastes like a breath of freedom. There is nothing like riding Corr. Nothing.

Puck and Dove join our run, as exhilarated and full of life as we are. We begin to slow to a trot, side by side, and Puck releases her reins to reach for my hand -

I wake up. My feet have slipped from the blanket, giving my toes a chill. The moon still sits mournful in the sky, and the night has seeped into every corner of the room. The only other breathing soul for miles is Corr, crying out in his stable. He misses the beach, misses the race. I miss them, too.

“Alright girls, - Janet clapped her hands, - now let’s try something more challenging. Why don’t you two ride a pair of circles in a pair? Start with trotting. I want to see how you two look together.”

Elisabeth and Sophie came up to each other and let their horses get used to being together. Lametta was still young and acted cautiously, while Salinero immediately took the lead. At the beginning, the exercise didn’t look well as the mare was always behind.

“No, wait, it doesn’t work. Elisabeth, Salinero dominates and pushes Lametta into the wall. And you, Sophie, are not strong enough to support your horse.Try swapping the places.” - said the trainer.

It was getting better. In a few minutes, the horses finally synchronised with each other. The riders felt more confident and made a few attempts to do serpentines and circles.

“Ok, much better. How about canter?” - Janet sounded mischievous. Sophie knew this voice very well. It meant that the trainer had something up on her mind. Her ideas were always full of challenge. Take, for example, that show when Sophie found out on what horse she was competing right before the warm-up. Janet wanted to test her pupil and didn’t mistake. She took the second place then, and it was not a local but a national show. Elisabeth was also familiar with Janet’s suddenness: one she got a message the night before a show saying that she would ride a different test. Elisabeth had never tried that Fourth level test before and was pretty shocked, but nevertheless placed high.

“A tip for you, Sophie. You’re the inner rider. When going into a corner, a loop or a circle, hold on for one stride, - Janet went on, - Then you won’t jump forward since your radius is smaller. Yes, now have a little rest and pat your horses. Good job!”

The girls were chatting and walking while Janet was scribbling something in her Moleskine. Every dressage rider in Harbledore knew this notebook. The woman carried it with her everywhere and write down anything she found useful: exercises, useful tips from other riders, show results, names of prospective horses on sale. Now she was drawing some lines and murmuring.

“Left, two short diagonals… centre line… two circles… Yes, good, - Janet looked up on her riders, - Ladies, are you ready for a pas-de-deux? I’ve made a test for you. Come up here, I’ll show it. And I’ll tell you where to ride, so you won’t get lost.”

“So are you ready, Sophie?” - asked Elisabeth.

“At least we try this now and not at the show. This is so Janet-like, - laughed the second rider, - Right, let’s have fun, shall we?”

Having said it, the girls began the pas de deux. The beginning was not that scary - collected walk, halt and salute, a quarter of the pirouette.

“Now collected canter, a diagonal towards X” - commanded the trainer.

They were about to begin a circle at X when Salinero tried to rush forward. Elisabeth used all her strength to stop him and ended up over-collecting the canter. She wanted to correct herself but Janet stopped her.

“No, Elisabeth, leave the canter at this speed and do a pirouette. Yes, on a snaffle. Problem? And look where you’re riding. Both of you!”

The second diagonal was followed by a flying change. Salinero nailed it but Lametta was late.

“Sophie, release the reins a bit, give her freedom, - Janet reacted immediately, - here comes a full diagonal with an extension and then repeat the thing with the circle. Don’t rush!”

This time the girls did it better. For some time the horses moved absolutely identically.

“Beautiful ladies, amazing! Do a circle at C and start the diagonal in trot. Remember what’s next? Always think one move ahead, especially when riding in a pair.”

Having finished the medium trot, the girls came on the centre line and parted with leg yields. Lametta was moving a bit faster than Salinero. Of course, it didn’t hide from Janet.

“Sophie watch your teammate. See that Elisabeth is slower? Slow down too. Don’t forget to look at each other from with the corner of your eye.”

The horses met at C again and began walking down the centre line. Finally, the riders could have a breath. They did two half pirouettes and walked diagonally towards K.

“Collected trot again, centre line and a leg yield with a circle at E. Elisabeth, watch out and don’t push Sophie too much. Lametta doesn’t like it on the outer side.” - said Janet while taking some notes. When she looked up, the pair was already in the middle of the diagonal.

“Hey, somebody forgot the circle, didn’t they”, - she shouted at their backs, - It’s the final centre line now. Shoulder ins and halt at G.”

The girls stopped their horses, breather out and smiled at each other. They kept patting the horses and gave them treats as Janet spoke.

“That was really good for the first time. I liked it, really liked. The test itself needs some improvement, I want to change the second leg yield. But anyway, if we practice it for a few weeks, we may enter a show. I’ll think about it. Now cool the horses down, groom them and take to the pastures. Call Me Casual is already waiting for her friend, and Salinero can make a company for Quetsch.”, - on saying that Janet gave each horse a sugar cube and went to the barn to take her own horses for a workout.

P.S: The pas-de-deux from the story is real. I rode it at a show and we won our class. Here is a video, if anyone is interested (I’m on a big bay horse) ^^

Tips from Carl Hester

Elite dressage rider Carl Hester’s 35 top tips on everything dressage – from finding the right horse, to training and stable management techniques!

1 Dressage is not just for competition. It is gymnastics for horses and all horses can benefit from it, as they are more likely to stay sound with a long, stretchy neck, soft body and easy movement.

2 You don’t have to spend a fortune on a horse for dressage - as long as the basic paces are there, the rest can be acheived through training. The main paces to look at are walk and canter, as with a bit of work a horse with a very normal trot can trot beautifully.

In walk, the horse should use the whole of his body and have a good overtrack, where the hind foot lands in front of the print left by the front foot. A good canter has a bounding stride, with the hindleg jumping right underneath the horse and the front end lifted. Above all, though a good, natural rhythm is essential and is always more important than big movement.

3 When a horse is tired, he’ll try to stretch down. Let him do it for a while as it’s something you want to encourage. To stretch your horse, lengthen the rein, lower your hand and massage his mouth with the bit by gently squeezing and releasing each rein. Stretch him regularly throughout your training sessions to relax him and reduce the risk of tension.

4 In canter always ride forward – imagine there’s a big jump at the end of the long side that you’re going to take on!

5 Dressage is about repetition, repeating exercises over and over again until it becomes part of the horse’s way of going. It takes dedication, but is simply about producing a well-schooled horse – something we’d all like to have!

6 Even if your thing is dressage, mix your horse’s schooling up with hacking and jumping as it will keep him relaxed and interested. 

7 Always compete at the level below the one you are working on at home, so that you are able to cope at the competition where there are many more distractions.

8 Mirrors are a huge help in training as they enable you to see what your horse is doing – for example, how do you know whether he is straight without being able to see him?

9 Working-in is one of the most important aspects of dressage. You want your horse to be long, round and stretching before you start more taxing work, to get the muscles in front of and behind the saddle soft and working – gymnasts don’t hop straight onto the top bar! Ideally, walk for 10 minutes to start with, but if your horse is fresh, it is best to trot on to settle him down. 

10 Your horse must work in front of the leg. This means that he should move forward of his own accord and not expect you to keep motivating him – for example, if you ask for canter, he must learn to stay in canter without any leg pressure, until you tell him otherwise.  

11 If your horse is not responsive to your leg, ask for halt and with a loose rein, give him sharp quick taps with your leg until he moves forward – it doesn’t matter what pace he goes into, just let him move forward.

12 Create a work station on your yard, where everything to do with work happens – for example, tacking up and washing off – and keep his stable for relaxation only. Then your horse knows he can totally relax when he’s in his stable and won’t be expected to work.

13 If your horse is too sensitive to the leg, work on lots of downward transitions. 

14 Lots of transitions between canter and trot will help to improve the trot by getting him to carry more weight on his back end.

15 To maintain balance while you’re working your horse, use lots of 
half-halts. Think about using one before you ask your horse to 
do anything.

16 Give your horse sugar during training sessions as a reward and to help him mouth the bit, which will encourage him to salivate and make him lighter in the hand.

17 Riding your horse ‘on and back’ involves asking him for a few lengthened strides before asking him to come back to his working pace, then repeating it several times. This will help you to get him to carry his head and neck, and achieve self-carriage. 

18 When doing tempi changes – a series of flying changes – with more advanced horses, we ride along the wall of the arena to help keep the horse straight.

19 With a horse who is trained to do collected canter, you want to 
aim for a speed where someone can walk alongside you.

20 Use leg-yield in canter to make your horse more aware of your legs.

21 To help you maintain the rhythm while riding, keep a song in your head and sing it 
to yourself while 
you ride.

 Get someone to video you riding so you can see what’s working and where things are going wrong. Sometimes it’s more beneficial than having someone on the floor telling you what you’re doing wrong.

23 A good trot is all about suspension. When our horses are strong enough, we teach passage and use it to get suspension in the trot. We rise while doing this exercise, as it makes it easier for the horse and encourages lift. From passage, we take the trot forward until he realises that he needs to keep the suspension that he had in passage. If he loses the suspension, we halt, ask for passage and then try it again until he maintains the suspension in trot.

24 As a test of 
your training technique, go into rising trot and drop your reins. Your horse should stretch down, but if he sticks his head up, something needs adjusting in 
your training.

25 Never tell your horse off when teaching him flying changes, just keep repeating them until he gets it right, or he’ll start to get nervous and tense about doing them. 

26 If you can’t halt square on the centre line, it’s your fault! It requires training, so to make sure you can do this, teach your horse that he must always stand square, even for mounting and dismounting. To teach your horse to stand square, ask for it along the side of the school. Trot, ask for a few steps of walk, then step forward into halt. He must step forward to halt, not back to halt.

27 Hacking up hills will help with fitness and muscle development.

28 In walk, try not to interfere too much and remember that during a test, a long walk on a free rein is not a time for a break! It requires as much attention and concentration 
as the other movements.

29 Don’t rush your schooling and ask for too much, too soon. It’s important that your horse is strong enough to be able to do what you’re asking him to do, or he could suffer injury. It normally takes four to five years to get to Grand Prix level, without any problems along the way, as it takes that long for the horse to become strong enough to perform the movements required at that level. If you have any setbacks, it can take longer and often does.

 When you stop and salute the judge at a competition, remember 
to smile! 

31 Get to a show in plenty of time and hack your horse around the showground on a loose rein, so he has time to get used to his surroundings before he is expected to concentrate.

32 Plenty of turnout allows your horse time to relax and he’ll be more relaxed during his training.

33 At competitions, wear clothes and tack that you and your horse are used to and comfortable in. Suddenly using different equipment on competition day can affect your performance. If you have special show boots and tack, have a few dress rehearsals at home just before the show date.

34 The key to training horses is patience and consistency – you will get there!

35 If possible, recreate the type of arena you’ll be riding your test in at the competition and have a practice in it. For example, check what size the arena will be and measure one out the same size at home to practise the test in, or if you usually work in a school, but the competition is on grass, practise riding the test on grass.
Louis Walsh: “Simon Cowell has lost control of One Direction”
The veteran judge says he wouldn't let his band air their dirty laundry in public
By Zoe Shenton

Louis Walsh reckons Simon Cowell has lost control of One Direction following Louis Tomlinson’s recent Twitter spat with Naughty Boy.

Last week Louis and the music producer became embroiled in another a very public war of words, which eventually saw ex-band member Zayn also wade in.

Louis, who has managed some of the UK’s biggest bands, said he’d never let his own boy band HomeTown air their dirty laundry on social media.

“I would have given them a good b**locking – they would know never to do anything like that. I would probably sack them.”

He added: “You don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Simon made this band. They would be nowhere without Simon Cowell. Let’s get that straight. He put them together, he pressed the buttons, he made it happen. Without Simon they’d be nothing.”

The latest row prompted Zayn, who quit the band in March, to write to pal Louis: “Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?”

But while Walsh predicts the band will be together for another few years yet, he says X Factor boss Simon has “lost control”.

“I think he’s lost control of them and that’s what happens with bands. They get too big and don’t listen to anybody and then it’s all over, and then they think ‘why didn’t we listen?’.”

“Meanwhile Louis, who is working in partnership with the O2 to 'big people’ up, said he always listens to Simon if he needs someone to big him up and make him feel better.

“If it is management or professional advice Sharon Osbourne is very good because she’s always very blunt and very honest with me. Simon is always honest too and I talk to Simon an awful lot.”

Imagine asking Eomer to go riding through Rohan and perhaps find a quiet place to be alone

ironandrocksalt | | Imagine

You looked up at the Golden Hall of Meduseld, sighing slightly to yourself as you went about your work. You had moved to Edoras the year before to try and make your own way in the world, but everything seemed too big, and too busy. You were much more at home on the wide empty plains, riding to your heart’s content, but that was a thing of the past now since your new work kept you so busy.

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My mind wakes me at the end of each hour

minute by minute I waste and I sour

my nerves won’t stop shaking

I’m being devoured

cleanse my blood of this wretched power

to never feel life course through my veins

I need a release 

please grab the reins

let me behind the wheel

give my emotions a moment to kneel

with these deep breathes I’ll make this strive

let the wind blow through and my soul will soon thrive

my mind was struggling a mad buzzing hive

my heart can be freed so long as I drive.

The Only One Who Can Drag Me Down

I Have Loved You Since Extras: The Only One Who Can Drag Me Down


*If you are NOT comfortable with reading sexual content, I advise you to skip this piece* 


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saintkingisms replied to your post:           “ it’s so cold this far north. i’m…

“Is it really that cold? I feel great!”

         do you? gods, it never gets this cold down in zofia. where clair and i grew up, we saw snow maybe once a year, and it only lasted a few days. he huffed a bit, a cloud of fog covering his face for a moment from his breath. he rubbed his hands together for a moment, releasing the reins of his mount for a moment.  did it get this way in your village?

It is proposed that trainers continuously test for self-carriage by completely releasing the reins or taking the legs away from the horse’s sides for two steps in the walk and trot and two strides in the canter and gallop.  In this short time-frame, the horse should not loose gait, rhythm, tempo, line, straightness or head-carriage.  We recommend the use of this technique (known as the German technique of Überstreichen) as the test of self-carriage in all movements and gaits where possible both in training and in the execution of dressage tests.  This would serve to lower behavior wastage in those horses that are held in forced frames rather than exhibiting correct learned responses.
—  Paul McGreevy & Andrew Mclean ~ Equitation Science