Author Topic: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated. Words 2.297  (Read 2275 times)

Offline magicunicorn

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 Hi everyone Hope you are having a great week.

My story is about three teenages who are orphaned. They are left to deal with the hurdles of life, running a family business and keeping  alive family traditions.  Along the way they learn of their fathers deceit, they deal with friction between  the oldest sibling doing his best to keep the family together and  a strong willed youngest sibling who resents her brothers authority.   Her resentment  gets her into big trouble, made even worse by the fact that she knows that her brother is right.       Ashley disappears after  deliberately going against her family's wishes.  Time passes and she  returned to her family but things have changed, she has both mental and physical issues to deal with.

I wish to thank you all in advance and would greatly  value any feedback offered -  good or bad


HERE GOES:



Her eyes flew open, her alarm blaring. Ashley's left arm shot out as she hurried to hit the snooze button.   'Bugger that

better not have woken grumble bum', Ashley said holding her breath as she listened. She heard nothing indicating that her

oldest brother Anthony (who slept in the next room) had heard her alarm. 'Thank god for these solid stone Wall's,' Ashley

heaved a huge sigh of relief.   


' I feel like I've barely slept a wink, 'Ashley said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She had tossed and turned most

of the night, unable to get the arguments out of her head.  Even now, thinking about the cheek of her boyfriend and oldest

brother, both of who had forbidden her to do what she loved ride her colt, made her angry. It made her even more

determined to defy both of them.
'

'How dare they, who do they think they are? Ashley said feeling her anger and frustrations building as she stewed over the

previous nights arguments.  Ashley was the spitting image of her late father, a determined spirited young lady who hated

being told what to do, particularly by her oldest brother. Ashley and Anthony fought often; usually it did not bother her but

last night's arguments upset her more that she realized.

Ashley lay back on her bed, staring up and the decorative cornices and the numerous posters of horses around her room.

She loved her room, its beautiful high ceilings gave her room a specious feeling she loved.  Ashley needed space, when she

was not out with the horses she spent a lot of time in this room, it was her sanity. This room held so many beautiful

memories, the way her parents use to come in just before bed and read her a bed time story. Those were the Day's Ashley

said.  'It had been almost five minuted since her alarm had woken her and it would sound again at any moment,' she

reached out and turned it off.

'On my god, I can't believe I forgot. Today's our big day.  Today's the day Moon Dancer starts his training.'  Ashley jumped

up, her excitement growing.  ' I've been so looking forward to this Day,' Ashley said as she hurriedly dressed.

Moon Dancer was special to Ashley; he'd been give to her on her fourteenth birthday by her parents, just weeks before

they were killed tragically in a horrific car accident, also claiming the life of their youngest daughter Amy.

Now dressed Ashley tiptoed across the hardwood floorboards, finding it hard to contain her excitement.  She opened the

bedroom door just enough to peer through, making sure the coast was clear.  She smiled to herself. Slowly she crept out

into the hall, closing her bedroom door behind her. She headed towards the stairs.  Whilst passing Anthony's bedroom door

her left foot slipped on the polished boards, she almost let out a scream as she lost her balance.  Relieved to have regained

her balance she'd forgotten about the loose floorboard right outside her brother's door, and placed her foot right done over

it.  It creaked loudly, Ashley froze desperately listening for any tell tale sign that Anthony had heard, but luck was on her

side again.  Anthony had not woken.

With riding boots in her left hand, she tiptoed down the stairs, through the family room and out into the courtyard.  Ashley

sat on the side on the water feature to slide her boots on, breathing a huge sigh of relief.  She'd done it; she had made it

out of the house without being caught.

Ashley whistled to herself as she skipped down the drive towards the stables.  She loved the feeling of the cool breeze

blowing against thebare skin of her face, specially at this time of morning. It was so refreshing.

'He'll be so angry when he finds out what I am up to, but i don't care.  Ashley let out a little giggle at the very thought of

how she'd outsmarted Anthony.  'Who does he think he is anyway, He's my brother, not my father? ' Ashley clenched her

fist in frustration.    


'He makes me so angry at times, he treats me like an irresponsible child, and the way he orders me around, it's wrong.  I'm

almost sixteen years old, not six.  I can look after myself ',Ashley said feeling frustrated.

Half way along the stunning oak lined driveway Ashley paused, taking in a deep breath filling her lungs with fresh air.  I love

this time of morning; it's so beautiful and peaceful.  .  Ashley whispered into the wind knowing that she would never get

tired or looking at the  rolling green hills and magnificent one hundred year old oak trees which framed the whole length of

the  drive way.  The trees always are always beautiful at this time of year; their leaves had started changes from the

lovely pale green onto their vibrant autumn colors.  As she skipped off towards the stables, a fine trail of fog was visible

trailing behind her in the crisp morning air.



Ashley opened the gate to the stable yard; her whole body was tingled with anticipation.  'Dancer, I can't wait to take you

out, we've been waiting  so long for this day to come.'  Ashley pulled her woolen hat  a little  more over her ears. '

Everything is so peaceful and quiet at this hour of the morning,'  but not for much longer Ashley thought to herself.  The

sound of the chain of the gate alerted the horses that someone had arrived.  The sound of horses restlessly moving around

in the boxes was like music to her ears.



The feed room door creaked as she pushed it open, as she reached in to turn on the light switch to the yard horse's heads

started appearing over top door.  The horses nickered to Ashley.  'It is so nice to hear all your welcomes guys. I'm sorry

but someone else will have to feed you this morning, Tom will be along in half an hour or so.  I've got something very

special to do this morning.'  Ashley took a step towards the tack room but could not help feeling guilty about not feeding

the horses; she looked at her watch then turned around and went back into the feed room to grab the feeds.  She couldn't

carry all the buckets and her phone at the same time so she rested her phone on the ledge of the white board, allowing her

to carry more buckets and get the feeding done faster.  Ashley added a little water to each of the feeds then whizzed

around extra fast tipping them into each of horse's manger, giving everyone a quick pat. Ashley looked down at her watch

as she walked back towards the feed room.



'Bugger, I'm later than I wanted to be. I need to get out of here now before someone turns up.' Ashley said tossing the

empty feed bucket back into the feed room deciding that she would wash them out when she got back.  In a hurry to get

going before Tom or Anthony arrived down at the yard, Ashley left her phone sitting on the ledge in the feed room.  She

pulled the door behind her skipping across the yard to the tack room.  Salina nickered at Ashley as she passed her box

stretching her nose out for a pat.  'I'm sorry girl, not this morning Ashley streaked her forehead.  Someone else will be along

shortly to take you out.'



Ashley stood on her toes to reach about the doorframe of the tack room to grab the door key sliding it into the lock, her

hands shaking in anticipation. Sometimes the key would stick in the ancient brass lock; she had to jiggle It a little before

the lock clicked open. Ashley pushed on the door, she had to apply a little muscle  to  the big sold old door before the door

swung inwards.  I must remember to spray oil in the lock to make it easier to open; I've been meaning to do it for Day's'

Ashley said.  



In her hurry, Ashley left the old brass key sitting in the lock, instead of replacing   the key where it belonged. Ashley pulled

the old frayed rope cord, instantly the room lit up. She made her way to the back of  the tack room, lifting dancers  bridle

from its peg and removing its cloth cover, her fingers tingling as she touched the softness of the black leather.  Ashley

looked up at Dancer's black leather training saddle, feeling the smoothness of its English leather. 'Only be a matter of days

before I m using you too.'  Ashley said .Quickly she replaced the saddles dust cover and left the tack room, pulling the solid

heavy wooden door closed.

Moon Dancer stretched his glistening liver chestnut neck towards Ashley, nickering a generous welcome to his mistress.  '

Hey Moon Dancer, today's your big day boy. Today is the beginning of your career as a racehorse. You're going to be

great, I know you are. Ashley said patting his gleaming neck.



Moon Dancer's warm breath tickled Ashley's hand as he stretched his head towards the bridle she was carrying in her right

hand.  He nudged her hand as she worked on the stubborn catch on Dancer's door. 'Hold on a minute boy, I have to get

this open before we can go anywhere. ' The impatient colt nudged her hand again before lowering his head for her opening

his mouth for Ashley, allowing her to slip the metal bit between his teeth, and the soft leather of the bridles headpiece over

his warm ears.  Eager to get out of his box Moon Dancer pushed the solid wooden door with his nose before Ashley had the

throat lash fastened.     I know you love going out Dancer, but you have to wait for me. Ashley, also eager to get moving

wasted no more time, knowing that in under thirty minutes they yard would be buzzing with activity.
 
'Oh Dancer, I'd love to be riding you out, but I do think it's best not to push Anthony too far today, he'll already be angry

enough with me when he finds out that I defied him.' Ashley led her colt across the u shaped cobble stoned stable yard and

out along the drive, heading towards the gate and out on to theroad.   Side by side, Ashley and her colt walked along the

tree lined driveway. Moon Dancer snorted and sidestepped a little as a little grey fluffy rabbit hopped across the drive in

front of them.  ''Easy boy, it's only a little old rabbit. He can't hurt a big strong colt like you . Ashley said laughing at him.  

Out on the road now they turned right, heading towards the entrance to the bridle path, which lay a hundred meters or so

along the road up to the right.  'What a lovely morning, I can't wait until it warms up even a little. Oh well, we'll just have

to warm ourselves up wont we Dancer.'  



 Looking up into the pale blue sky, Ashley noticed the sun starting to appear in the distant horizon. There was not a single

cloud in sight. The glorious sound of the wild birds singing made this time of morning even more magical.  For no more than

a few seconds, Ashley closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her. The clip clop sounds of Dancer's hooves on

the hard surface of the dirt road made her smile. Finally their day had come.

I've been so looking forward to this day for such a long time. I love this time of morning Moon Dancer, it's the only time of

day we get time to ourselves,' Ashley reached up to stroke the colts warm neck.   Ashley could hear a car coming along

the road hurrying to reach the bridle path before it passed, hoping ,if it were Tom on his way to work, they'd be out of the

sight before he passed. Ashley asked Moon Dancer totrot a few meters so they'd be off the road and out of sight in time.

He bounded sideways almost pulling the reins through her fingers.   'We are feeling good today, aren't we boy? '. Ashley

smiled up at the big horse.  Tom's car passed. Ashley frowned thinking back to the arguments she had with Anthony and

Mike the previous night. Ashley could feel herself becoming agitated just thinking about it.   'I won't let them this time away

from us too. It's our special time, ours and only ours Dancer.'



Now safely onto the bridle path, Moon Dancer was beginning to stride out with an airy spring in his step, happy to be out

again after being cooped up in his stable for many months.  Ashley's short leg soon began to tire; she was having trouble

keeping up with Moon dancers long energetic strides. It wasn't long before she started to become short of breath.   Ashley

spotted the park bench a few meters ahead. She had brilliant idea.  'Dancer, I know I said that I wouldn't ride you today

but the way you're going you are going to pull my arms right out of their socket. Please be good to me boy,' Ashley said

and she lined Moon Dancer up parallel to the park bench.  Ashley threw the reins over his head and climbed up onto the

sturdy bench. She laid half her weight over his back just to see what he would do. The chestnut colt seemed a little

nervous, sidestepping  a little. Ashley got down and lines him up again, this time he seemed  more settled. Wasting no time;

she climbed straight on, grabbing a handful of mane.



Thanks again everyone
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 11:35:44 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »
Magic Unicorn

Offline mudge

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 07:35:45 AM »
Hi Magic, where this is long and my comments are going to make it longer, I'll post in small readable blocks.  Hopefully it will make spotting the changes easier to see.  I'm really glad you shared your work here. ;D  I've made minor edits without altering the story line.  They are meant as suggestions only.  Read it through and see what you think.   :D    Let me know if something I said didn't make sense.  So, the first installment-
*************************************************************************************************************

Her  Ashley's eyes flew open, her alarm blaring.  Ashley's Her left arm shot out as she hurried to hit and thumped the snooze button.   

Bugger, that better not have woken grumble bum, Ashley said thought, holding her breath as she listened. She heard Nothing indicatedingthat her oldest brother Anthony, (who slept sleeping in the next room,) had heard her alarm. Thank god for these solid stone Wall's  walls. Ashley heaved a huge sigh of relief.
 
Why do I feel like I've barely slept a wink, Ashley said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.
I'm not going to comment on dialog and dialog tags, some of the other members might have advice.

She had tossed and turned most of the night, unable to get the arguments out of her head.  Even now, thinking about the cheek of her boyfriend and oldest brother, made her angry.  Both of who had forbade idden her to do what she loved, ride her colt. made her angry. It made her even more determined to defy both of them.

How dare they, who do they think they are? Ashley said feeling her anger and frustrations building as she stewed over the previous nights arguments.

 Ashley was the spitting image of her late father. [Add some further description of what he/she/they looked like?] [The reason I separated the sentence here is because they are two different attributes. Ashley "looked" like her father, but was he also someone who hated being told what to do?] a determined spirited young lady who She hated being told what to do, particularly by her oldest brother. Ashley and Anthony's frequent fights usually didn't bother her, fought often;  [It's generally good practice to avoid using semi-colons in a sentence unless it can't be avoided.] usually it did not bother her but the arguement last night [also generally avoid possessive nouns, make them attributive instead, like I did here.  That way you don't have to fiddle with apostrophes. ] upset her more than she realized.

Ashley lay back on her bed, staring up at the decorative cornices and the numerous posters of horses on the walls.
[continuity note: Is it light enough in the room to see?  Should she turn a light on?]
 around her room. She loved her room. its beautiful The high ceilings gave her room it a spacious feeling she loved.  Ashley needed space.  When she was not out with the horses she spent a lot of time in this room.  It was her sanity. This room held so many beautiful memories. the way Her parents used to come in just before bed at night and read her a bed time story.

Those were the Day's Ashley said.



You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can\'t they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Offline mudge

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 09:08:53 AM »
Second installment:  ;D
*******************************************************************************************

'It had been almost five minuted since her alarm had woken her and it would sound again at any moment,' she
reached out and turned it off.
  To prevent the alarm from going off again, Ashley reached over and turned it off.

'Oh my god, I can't believe I forgot. Today's our big day.  Today's the day Moon Dancer starts his training.'
[Is this dialog?  Who is she talking to?]   

Ashley jumped up, her excitement growing.  

' I've been so looking forward to this Day,' Ashley said as she hurriedly dressed.
[see question above]

Moon Dancer was special to Ashley.  He'd been given to her on her fourteenth birthday by her parents.  Just weeks before later

they were killed tragically died in a horrific car accident, also claiming the life of along with their youngest daughter Amy.

Now dressed Ashley tiptoed across the hardwood floorboards, finding it hard to contain her excitement.  She opened the
bedroom door just enough to peer through, making sure the coast was clear.  She smiled to herself. Slowly She crept slowly out into the hall, closing her bedroom door behind her. She headed towards the stairs.  Whilst passingNear Anthony's bedroom door
her left [stocking?] foot slipped on the polished boards.  She almost let outstifled a scream as she temporarily lost her balance.  Relieved to have regained her balance Flustered,she'd forgotten about stepped on a the loose floorboard right outside her brother's door., and placed her foot right done over it.  It creaked loudly. Ashley froze, desperately listening for any tell tale sign that Anthony had heard, but luck was on her side again.  Anthony didn't stir. had not woken.

With Riding boots in her left hand, she tiptoed down the stairs, through the family room and out into the courtyard.  Ashley
sat on the side on the water feature to slide her boots on, breathing a huge sigh of relief.  She'd done it; she had made it out of the house without being caught.

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can\'t they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Offline AloMagus

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 10:43:03 AM »
My problem with the first paragraph is that I get the feeling Ashley's should have turned the volume on the alarm down prior to this story, unless of course this is either (1) the first time she has used the alarm, or (2) she enjoys always worrying about whether she might wake her brother every morning.

Most readers probably won't notice this, but it is something I like to look for and point out just in case.

The first sentence of the second paragraph: I wouldn't use the word sleep/slept twice, especially this early on when readers are just getting a feel of your writing. Don't want to sound repetitive. I think that 'Ashley said, rubbing her eyes' works well enough.

...determined to defy them both. word adjustment for crispness.

She loved her room, its beautiful high ceilings gave it a spacious feeling she loved. 'Room' is repeated quite a few times. Be careful with repetitiveness. 'Beautiful' is also repeated within the same paragraph.

...hardwood floorboards, finding it difficult to... removed a repeat.

She'd done it; she had made it out of the house without being caught.

Ashley whistled to herself as she skipped down the drive towards the stables.

...cool breeze blowing against the bare skin of her face.  It is understood that breeze's blow. I'm not sure you need 'the bare skin of' either.

I'm not sure why, but this just seems a little off: we've been waiting  so long for this day to come Try: "Dancer, I can't wait to take you out. The day we've been waiting for is finally here."

I also agree with Mudge's suggestions as well. I'm not a huge fan of having characters smile or talk to themselves. But that is just a personal preference.

Offline magicunicorn

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 08:20:11 AM »
Thank you very much for these helpful comments. i am very new to  writing although i have written a story  over the last couple of years i have never been able to edit it.

 Your comments are extremely helpful and valuable and i have taken it all on board and change theses areas.

Please if there is anything i can do i am willing to try and help anyone


 have a great weekend everyone

Magic Unicorn

Silt

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 10:21:51 AM »
Always take your time when looking at what critiques have to offer before changing. Remember your voice/style should always always always remain your own.

Welcome back to writing :)

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 02:43:29 PM »
Ashley was the spitting image of her late father, a determined spirited young lady who hated
being told what to do, particularly by her oldest brother.

Magic,

A couple of points.  One important and the other just a formatting issue.

1)  You've already had some advice about reworking this sentence, any of which would avoid the problem I'm about to point out.  But it's a fine example of how a reader can read a sentence totally differently to what you had in mind when you wrote it.

Your original sentence suggests that Ashley's father was 'a determined spirited young lady who hated being told what to do, particularly by her oldest brother.'

Clearly not your intention, and most people would realise what you meant.  But anything like this will stop many readers dead in their tracks.  If you break their interest like this too often they won't bother finishing the story.

2)  Formatting.  You have some odd line breaks in the way it appears here on screen.  Are you hitting the 'carriage return' at the end of every line like we used to with an old-fashioned typewriter?  If so, get rid of the bad habit now  ;-)  Word processors should be able to line wrap, and if you let it then your text will flow to fit whatever size box the recipient's screen has available.

The only time you need to hit the return is at the end of a paragraph.

This may seem like a nit-picking little thing, but take my word for it.  Anything which makes the readers task easier improves your chances of getting useful feedback.

Gyppo

PS.  I second the earlier poster who said don't be in too much of a hurry to change things.  Wait until you've had several opinions/suggestions.  Allow yourself time to think about them.  You're not writing to please a teacher now, but a much wider audience ;-)  Learn from the advice, but keep your own 'voice'.
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline mudge

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Re: Here goes......My Story - all help would be greatly apreciated.
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 06:55:09 PM »
Magic,


PS.  I second the earlier poster who said don't be in too much of a hurry to change things.  Wait until you've had several opinions/suggestions.  Allow yourself time to think about them.  You're not writing to please a teacher now, but a much wider audience ;-)  Learn from the advice, but keep your own 'voice'.

Sound advice.  When you are comfortable with a revision that suits "your" voice, you might consider posting it in a revision thread.  The more comments, the merrier. :)    I'm sure there are others here with more writing/editing experience than I.  
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 07:05:48 PM by mudge »
You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can\'t they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Offline firemaiden

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Hey Magic Unicorn,I remember this piece ;D Looks like you have worked on it a lot.

I must say that the formatting is a little weird. All those breaks in the sentence kind of throw me off the story, and makes it impossible for it to flow. JMO of course

Im a little too tuckered out to force my poor, tired mind to nitpick, but I already said(the last time :) ) that I think you've got a story.

Goodluck with it!
-Ria
Stories are everywhere, all around us...drifting,lurking,elusive, but waiting to be found. All we have to do is search,delve and discover.

Offline sherabeezee

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I read your story, and as a horse lover enjoyed it.  However I am not keen on the 'skipped' as a description, which sounds more like a children's story.  The story flowed, but there were a few repetitive sentences along the way.

I have ridden racehorses and been around colts, and do not find it  believable that the character could lead the horse in a bridle out in the countryside. She could have been dragged away by horse, or he could easily escape.   Young racehorses are extremely strong, the horse and rider, would have been better in a paddock.  Only my view.

Not keen on all the dialogue from the character with the horse.

I am also amateur writer, finding it hard to make my stories interesting, this site is brilliant for critiques.

Best of luck with story


Jan alias Sherabeezee

Offline magicunicorn

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HI everyone,

Thank you  for your help everyone i do value everyones opinion, I'm not terrible good at this stuff but would love to learn how to make my writing enjoyable for others.


Thank you for being so patient with me, although I'm on limited time to work on my story  i do enjoy it and value everyone's opinions .


Have a great day everyone
Magic Unicorn

Offline Butterfly21

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Well, I like the story line and am a horse-lover, but the odd few things stuck out to me.

I'm not sure if this is your opening chapter, if not, then ignore what I'm about to say, but if so, then yeah  :D Here tis:



Her eyes flew open, her alarm blaring. Ashley's left arm shot out as she hurried to hit the snooze button.  
I feel like this is too much of an explanation about an alarm. Put simpler, Her eyes flew open, her alarm blared. Ashley hit the snooze button. Also, doesn't the snooze button mean that it's going to go off again in a few minutes? That's what my alarm does if I hit snooze.

'Bugger that better not have woken grumble bum', Ashley said holding her breath as she listened. She heard nothing indicating that her

oldest brother Anthony (who slept in the next room) had heard her alarm. 'Thank god for these solid stone Wall's,' Ashley

heaved a huge sigh of relief.  

The snooze thing, if she hits snooze, its going to go off soon and blare again and maybe wake Anthony.

' I feel like I've barely slept a wink, 'Ashley said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She had tossed and turned most

of the night, unable to get the arguments out of her head.
 
The dialogue here seems more like a thought than something she'd say to herself. I don't wake up i the morning and say to myself, I got no sleep last night. I think curses like, Damn this, no sleep, what a shit day this is going to bloody be.  :D

Even now, thinking about the cheek of her boyfriend and oldest

brother, both of who had forbidden her to do what she loved ride her colt, made her angry. It made her even more

determined to defy both of them.


I have two issues, one for each sentence. The first sentence here is worded weirdly. I feel like her being angry should come first and then the explanation. Something in this order, She ground her teeth angry thinking about the cheek of her boyfriend and Anthony forbidding her to ride her colt. I don't know if I used, ground, right but  :D. Not thinking very clearly today.
Also, if this is the first chapter, I think it's too soon to kind of throw that in there. I don't care about the character enough yet to mind if she was forbidden to ride her horse or not. If there was prior mention to it in a previous chapter though, then no worries.  :)

The second sentence is all telling. I assume by her anger, she's going to want to defy them, and you'd be better off just showing me later that she is determined to defy them and go riding.

But yeah, that's the only real issues I had with this piece. It kept me interested enough to read all the way to the end, and being over 2,000 words, that's a good thing. :)

Hope this helps somehow, magicunicorn. All just my opinion by the way, feel free to disregard any or all of what I've said if you don't agree.  ;D