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Riley Smith

"Don't let fear stop you from doing the things your heart desires. Doing that would just be letting the enemy win."

0 · 238 views · located in Louisville, Kentucky

a character in “Shady Oak Stable”, as played by WallflowerTales



Given Name:
Riley Jo Smith
Over the years Riley has collected a handful of nicknames. However, most simply call her Riley. Close friends call her Ril and, when angry, her grandmother likes to inflict authority by using "Riley Jo!"
Ril loves both giving and receiving nicknames, and she gives them most frequently.
She, recently, turned eighteen.
Riley is not a hard person to please. Give her a horse and an open field and you have one mighty happy person. She enjoys the simple things in life and doesn't let too much stuff get in under her skin. In high school(from which she recently graduated), Riley was never one to really stick out in a crowd. Everyone she meets usually describes her as a "sweetie;" she's always polite unless given a reason not to be. Ril's more of an observer; the type who thinks before they act.. completely. She tends to over-think things to the point where it can drive her absolutely insane. However, times she doesn't seem to think at all are times she gets herself hurt(like her broken arm, for example). It would be a lie to say she doesn't enjoy those times she can simply be carefree, though. Riley loves to have a good time and joke around; laughter is the best medicine, after all. She doesn't like seeing someone in a bad mood or upset, and tends to try and cheer them up(may it be a corny joke or a funny "magic trick"). She is what most would consider rather dorky. Since she is kind-hearted many people take said kindness for weakness and try "using" her so-to-speak. Don't let her sweet little smile trick you, what she lacks in physical strength she makes up in verbal wit(able to take down many snake-tongues in the past). Tense situations freak her out and she avoids them anyway possible. Due to this, Riley has more of a way with animals than she does people. Drama is indeed a "no no."
Back home, Riley Jo spent most of her time out in the barn and, come to think of it, she does that even now at Shady Oak. When it comes to competition she is a little more serious than usual. No, winning is not everything. She competes because it's what she loves to do. It is her passion. However, she does like doing her best. Since having arrived at Shady Oak Stable Riley's made herself scarce. She knows by far that she is way out of her league and with a broken arm.. She just wants to fly in under the radar for the time being.
Riley is a simple girl with a fairly simple life. At the age of four both her parents were in a fatal car wreck(it's not a real touchy subject for Riley due to the fact that she doesn't really remember them). When that occurred she was sent to live with her grandparents in Tennessee, close to Nashville. She's a small town girl by far. Her grandfather's a preacher and her grandmother a small bakery owner. It's safe to say she's been raised by gentle, yet firm, hands. Though Riley Jo often wondered what her parents were like, it is no mistake that things do happen for a reason.
If it weren't for her grandparents she would have never found her love for horses. She would have never realized her knack for horseback riding. It's her life now. Riley first started riding at the age of seven. She went on trail rides with her grandparents who enjoyed doing so on most Fridays and Saturdays with a large group of friends. Her first "horse" was a small pony that went by the name of Scout. At age ten she declared she was "way too big" for a pony and therefore her grandfather traded dear Scout for a small Arabian horse. At this time Riley found a new independence and was riding practically everyday, forming new trails out in the woods for herself and so on.
At age thirteen Ril had out grown the Arabian, but didn't say a word. She was surprised on her fourteenth birthday when she made her way out to the barn and found a beautiful thoroughbred. It didn't take the thoroughbred, whom she named J.W., long to warm up to her and her to him. They became close buddies fast. For the most part Riley Jo took J.W. on trail rides(which was all she ever done). If they weren't doing that she was goofing off with the dog-like horse, braiding his mane and many other random activities. She eventually got bored, like most teen-aged girls do. She wanted to challenge herself and her horse. So, she started training J.W. in jumping and cross country. Using makeshift obstacles which weren't the safest, the two trained daily, every evening. It wasn't long until Riley started entering in local competitions.
Unknown to Ril, her grandparents noticed how she took to competition and how well both her and J.W. was at it. They both knew she could never amount to her full potential without the proper "equipment." Her grandfather stumbled upon a brochure for Shady Oak Stable not long before Riley's eighteenth birthday and discussed with her grandmother; they found what they were getting her for said birthday.
Saying Riley was surprised is a bit of an understatement. She was overjoyed, thrilled. However, actually seeing the place smacked her into realization. She's not too sure about this anymore. After all, she's a little ole' country girl from Tennessee, not some rich welfare baby.
(Due to the fact that Riley's grandparents do not have the money to pay her boarding fee for her monthly, Riley does various things for Eden to "pay her fee." She's been at Shady Oak for a little over a week now.)

Not once in her life has she done so! (That would be a big NO)
"That's a negative, ghost rider!"
Riley stands at 5'5" and weighs anywhere from around 124 pounds to 118 pounds(she hasn't weighed herself in the longest time). She's not big built by any means and is actually quite petite looking. The height she has in made up in long, nicely defined legs. Her shoulders are gently rounded, leading down to arms of fair length. Ril has never really thought of herself as anything pretty, always seeing herself as, well, average. If you asked her grandmother or any of her grandmother's friends, however, they'd call her a "doll baby." Her facial features are rather innocent-looking. Both her chin and nose are softly rounded, her eyes almond-shaped, holding false innocence. Said eyes are a pleasant emerald green color flecked with gold around the pupil. Her jawline is smoothly cut, running beneath a decent set of pale pink lips(however, her lips aren't the fullest, to her disliking). Framing her face is a thick head of brunette colored hair that falls fairly straight(with slight wave) to middle of her back. Most of the time she has it pulled back into a low ponytail or braided off to the side, if she's not in the rush. If her hair's thrown back into a messy bun.. Well, you know she woke up late.
Riley's skin is lightly tanned due to being outside pretty much all the time and grazed with tiny little scars here and there(most along her arms). Said scars were received from being clumsy, falling and such around the barn, however, she always likes telling outrageous stories on how she received them; her most famous story is how she wrestled the two hundred pound mountain lion and survived. As for a wardrobe, Riley Jo isn't extremely picky about what she wears. She's more about comfort than anything: a pair of nice fitting jeans, a comfy tee shirt or a flannel(and you cannot forget her broke-in cowboy boots she's had for a little over a year now). Something along those lines. Of course, for competition she dresses up nice, to her disdain. Along with her clothing Riley is currently "rocking" a dark blue cast on her left arm. She broke it a little over two and a half weeks ago, and she still has two weeks left. The people she's surrounded by makes her feel borderline poverty with their nice clothing and such, but she doesn't let the fact that it "bothers" her show. Ril has more pride than that.

Accompanying Horse ...
John Wayne

Show Name:
" The Duke"
Barn Name:
J.W. (short for John Wayne which is, surprisingly, Riley's favorite, old actor. What can you do? Old Westerns are her cup of tea.(She sometimes calls him Jay for short as well))
Jumping and Cross Country
J.W. is a fairly young horse. His personality mixes with Riley's perfectly; he understands her and she understands him. He's really a big ole' baby, truth be told. He likes all the attention to be on him, especially when Ril is around. He's a free spirit and being so likes testing the limits with certain things, but is easily reined back in(depending on who it is). Eager to learn new things and please his rider, in training J.W. always has a one-track mind. That is maybe the only thing he is "serious" about. He gets along well with most other horses, not being one for conflict. Jay loves meeting new people but it's found that he has a small problem with nipping. He's in no way trying to hurt, he simply lets his goofiness get the best of him sometimes. J.W. likes to win but due to the fact he's spent most of his life as a trail-riding horse he isn't as worried about it as some of the competitors. It's safe to say he has a lot to learn along with his rider.
J.W. was meant to be a race horse from birth. He has always been fast and racing was what he was good at. Born in Kentucky, at the age of two Jay was sent for training. There, believe it or not, two greedy little men stole him(seeing his potential), and made a mad dash for the lovely state of Tennessee. There they got scared of being caught and sold him into auction, and there is where Riley's grandfather came into play. He was at the auction that day looking for Ril a new horse for her birthday when he stumbled across J.W.(whose previous name had been "Lucky"). There wasn't much known about the horse(wonder why, huh?), but her grandfather, Samuel, bought him anyway. He figured the horse would provide his granddaughter with a challenge.
So, at the age of two J.W. entered Ril's life, she was fourteen and ever since the two have been a pair. You hardly ever see them apart, really. They're all each other have now.
J.W. is a solid chestnut color save for the distinct, white blaze. He stands at sixteen(16) hands, baring a wide chest. Beneath his sleek coat when he moves it's easy to spot the bunch and pull of muscle; he's not underweight by any means. He always has a tentative look about him, ears pricked forward and warm, brown eyes alert. It is easy to see this horse was built for speed. Though he's not one for dressage, J.W. is a fine looking horse. He is kept up well with nicely trimmed hooves and a mane and tail that is always brushed out to perfection. He's not short of anything but loved.

So begins...

Riley Smith's Story

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As soon as Riley spotted Shady Oak she immediately knew she was way in over her head. The size of the place.. The beauty of it; she almost talked herself into turning back around, getting in the truck and going home. She swallowed hard and glanced over her right shoulder, watching her grandfather's old, red Ford pick-up truck disappear in a gentle cloud of dust as it sputtered down the driveway, pulling the rickety horse trailer behind it. There was no going back now. Another glance at the boarding house made her stomach churn uneasily(it was like Biltmore compared to her grandparents' one story home and dusty barn with a roof that was not-so-promising).

A tug at the lead rope gripped firmly in her right hand brought her back to reality. Her gaze flickered to J.W., her thoroughbred she received as a present from her grandfather at the age of fourteen. He was starring at her with knowing eyes, yet she saw the impatient gleam behind them. "I know, I know, you're hungry.." Riley murmured, squeezing her eyes shut briefly, taking a deep, needed breath. This really wasn't the place for her. All her life she'd grown up riding for pleasure, trail riding, that is. She use to only ride western saddle in big ole' groups for the fun of it. Then, around sixteen, she got bored with that and started training J.W., learning to ride English saddle and so forth. They entered a couple local competitions and always done fairly well, but she yearned for something more; she wanted to advance in what she done.

Last week was Riley's eighteenth birthday. For said birthday she had asked for a new saddle. The one she used previously was her grandmother's old English saddle and though it was okay for it's age and wear, she really wanted one of her own. Instead, her grandfather slapped down a brochure for Shady Oak Stable at the breakfast table that very morning of her birthday and went on to tell her that her first month had already been paid for. Riley was thoroughly surprised to say the least. Her grandparents could barely afford the fed they had to buy for the five horses they had, let alone send her to some fancy rich-person place.. thing to pursue her dream of becoming "one of the best." It was crazy.

Yet, when she tried talking them out of it the look of hurt that entered her grandmother's pale blue eyes changed her mind. She would do this. She would win- she had to. However, two days after the news Riley had a spill on J.W. They were going for a jump when she lost her balance foolishly and tumbled off, landing hard on her left side, breaking her left arm in the process. Though angry at herself and feeling utterly defeated(having talked herself out of coming to Shady Oak at all with a big, bulky cast that shouted her stupidity), her grandfather pushed her to come anyway.

So, there Riley Jo stood, lead rope in her right hand which felt mighty awkward, small suitcase tucked in under her right armpit, backpack on her back(obviously), and her left arm snug against her side(if you would consider smothered in plaster, a cast, if you will.. and stiffly held there "snug"). She was small compared to this place.. Small compared to the rich, experienced folk who were the denizens of said place. Her green gaze trailed down to her dirty, deep brown cowboy boots, then to her old faded jeans, then to her loose fitting, royal blue and black flannel shirt; wasn't she a "lovely" site.
Riley looked at J.W., as if for guidance, as he tossed his head restlessly and pawed at the soft dirt beneath his hooves. It was his way of telling her the time was now or never. Either plunge into this thing head first or go home. Sadly, her only way home was in a small, red truck taking the four and a half hour drive back to her hometown in Tennessee. There was only one other option.
"C'mon J.W., time to meet the stable owner." the small brunette murmured, timidly moving forward towards the boardinghouse at a slow pace(mostly because of her full arms and such). This was going to be quite the experience.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eden Adler Character Portrait: Lexington Jethro Churchill Character Portrait: Riley Smith Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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β€œAnd you aren’t so bad, just too hard on yourself.” Eden gave a faint smile at his comment, shaking her head. If only that was the worst that could be said for her. How was it that where he saw strength and determination she saw only timidity and foolishness? She was weak; she was crumbling; the armor she'd used to protect herself was now falling away, leaving a soft underbelly exposed.

But she couldn't very well say that aloud, could she? No. Not here, not now. Not ever. Lex had already moved the conversation along, and her moment of guilt passed as though blown away on some wind. "I'm still waiting for Sterling to realize he isn't a dog. After 12 years he still looks at me as though he'd like to jump up on my lap," she laughed, looking back to him. She forced herself to put the messy barn at the back of her mind and engage with him. Over the years he'd become so familiar to her she'd stopped really looking at him, and she did so now, her eyes studying his face with the same scrutiny she had the tack room. They were about the same age, but Lex had a look of youth about him- a ruddy, healthy-looking complexion and brown eyes that always smiled.

She felt old and weak beside him, and as she looked at him she felt something that was like envy, but not, growing in her chest. Her eyes dropped her eyes to the floor a moment, and it came upon her like some great wave: she was embarrassed. front of Lex? She couldn't be. Still...what must he think of her when he saw her now- mouth tightly drawn, skin pale and pallid? She used to wear her hair down- she'd always liked the feel of it on her shoulders when she rode- but she couldn't remember the last time it'd been out of it's severe bun. They'd grown up together, reveling in the trials and tribulations of the show ring. ...When had he left her so far behind?

He saw her wince, and she watched him watch her, seeing her injury through his eyes. He'd long given up on his mission to return her to the show ring, but she couldn't help but feel guilty for any pity he sent her way. But he didn't know. He didn't know why she could never look at a competition the same way again, why she froze up at the thought entering a show ring. He didn't know, and he could never know, not ever. If he did, he would hate her, and he would leave, and she would never forgive herself for that. He was her sanity, and, in some twisted way, to lose him was to lose the one part of herself worth keeping.

She blinked, banishing the nightmarish scene that played behind her eyes. Lex was already headed out of the barn, and she paused a moment to collect herself before striding after him, her calm and control restored. As she stepped out into the late morning sun, she spotted two figures moving up the drive- horse and human. Of course, her new boarder! How could she have forgotten? "Lex, I'm going to have to take a rain check on that coffee. I've got a new boarder attend to. ...Find me if you need anything?" she asked, looking to him for conformation before hurrying past him to intercept the newcomer.

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Character Portrait: Eden Adler Character Portrait: Riley Smith Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Eden hurried over to intercept the newcomer, pausing but a moment to ensure her hair was secured and her polo spotless. First impressions were of utmost importance to her, mostly because you only got one of them. Growing up she'd had a hell of time getting people to take her seriously, and over the years she'd developed a straightforward, no-nonsense persona that had served her well in business and management. Firm handshakes, eye contact and efficient conversation (heaven forbid you waste anyone's time) were a must, as was a commanding, controlled presence. Often perceived as a cold fish, Eden's practical approach hadn't earned her many friends, but it'd allowed her to hold her own in a world dominated by the rich and greedy equine tycoons. From her humble beginning as a groom to her success in the show ring to her achievements as the owner of a prestigious (albeit financially struggling) riding facility, Eden had dealt with people of every shape, size and personality. If there was one thing she'd learned, it was to expect the unexpected.

She racked her brain for all she knew of her new boarder, trying to conjure up an image from the bits and pieces of personal information she'd gleaned from file. Eden knew she was a female- young, too. Nineteen? Eighteen? She couldn't remember. Did she come from money? Those kids were the toughest- the one's who'd had life's finest served up on a silver platter, and now expected the same of Eden and her staff. The last thing she needed was another Gwyn or Logan stomping her barn aisles. Did she have a competition history? She couldn't recall anyone major shows or prizes from her file. Would she bring her own trainer? Would she get along with the other boarders? As was her usual policy, Eden decided to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Now a few yards from the girl, Eden tried to take the advice Lex had given her so many times before. You're so stiff, Edie. Smile, why don't you? It won't kill you, I promise. Easy for him to say. Nonetheless, Eden attempted what she hoped to be a warm, inviting smile, her professional demeanor still reflected in her upright posture and proud carriage. "Hello," said Eden, striding over to the girl and extending her hand in welcome, "you must be Riley. Welcome to Shady Oak. I'm Eden Adler, the owner."