"And when you walk behind your horse, always remember to drag your hand along his back to let him know you're behind him. Otherwise, you'll startle him and he'll kick you," the horse instructor explained.
Harry hummed as he nodded. This was all very interesting stuff. He and Louis were going to ride along the country trails by themselves after the instructor explained everything they'd need to know. Then they were shown how to apply the saddle and set up their horses to be ridden, as well as how to mount. Usually the instructor goes along with new riders, but Louis had gone riding once before, and they wanted to be alone together as this was their first date in a long time.
"Any questions, mates?" he asked them as he handed them a bottle of mosquito repellant.
"What's this for?" Louis asked.
"Go ahead and put this stuff on. You're gonna need it."
The boys sprayed their bodies down with the repellant, careful not to breathe it in.
"Which horses would you lads like to ride?" he asked, motioning his hand towards the lot of them.
The boys looked at all eight of them, figuring out which ones they liked best. "That one's kinda cute," Harry said, pointing over to the light gray one. "I think I'll take him."
Louis chose a smaller black one considering his smaller size.
"Nice choices. Go ahead and mount and you can be off."
Harry first helped Louis on top of his horse, and then Harry got on his own. Their instructor waved them off. "If you need anything, you've got my number!"
Louis lead the way as Harry's horse rode slowly behind him out of the enclosed arena and into the bright outdoors. The horses began to make noises and swish their tales around excitedly. Harry's horse went straight to the water trough and began drinking. Harry was patient with him and allowed him to freely drink, and Louis's horse did the same.
After a good minute when the horses were done drinking, the boys steered them away and to the direction of the trail. It was a hot summer's day, but a breeze filled the air occasionally. They walked along the trail side by side, letting the horses guide them. These horses were used to the trail and had ridden it many times before so the boys didn't have to do much of anything but enjoy the view.
"Hmm, let's try out this trotting thing, shall we?" Harry said to Louis. He clenched his heels together against the sides of the horse and the horse began to walk faster in a slow gallop. Harry began to plop against his seat against the movements as it jolted him up and down against the saddle.
Louis trotted his horse to catch up with Harry and laughed. "Move with the horse, Harry," he said, showing him how it's done.
Harry leaned forward and tried to stop the jarring but couldn't, so instead, he pulled slightly on the reins. "Whoa, whoa there, fella. That's right, slow down a bit, boy." He patted the horse's mane and stroked it a few times as it began to slow down. "Well, that was an adventure."
Louis smiled and they continued forward at a decent pace on the dirt road, holding onto the reins with their feet in the stirrups as they were taught. They felt so high off the ground. Harry could tell his legs and bum would be sore the next day from the awkward position they had to keep their legs. His knees were already starting to hurt from keeping them bent for so long.
A few mosquitos started attacking Louis's horse's head and Louis waved them off with his hand. "Get off you darn mosquitos!"
Harry checked on his own horse for bugs, and sure enough, more were buzzing around his head. "Get off of Smoky!" He swatted them away with his hand and the horse made a little snorting sound.