The acrobats performance had gone well, and Dakota held Apollo as the performers rushed off stage. He stayed still, comforted by her closeness. When all the performers had gone, she heard Bartholomew announcing her act, and turned to check if Alianna was ready. She was still changing.
Bartholomew was an idiot to put the acts one after the other. He knew Alianna was in both.
"Go Apollo." She whispered, and let him and the mares loose in to the ring. The first part of the act was for them to run around the ring in a line, whilst Dakota and Alianna made a show of walking in to the centre. Dakota glance back and say Alianna was almost ready. Show time.
She marched in to the ring, her arms wide open. The crowd applauded, and then Apollo galloped past her. She leapt on to his back and he continued to gallop round the ring. Dakota swung her legs around; she was riding backwards, then she was riding forwards. As she reached the enterence to the stalls, Alianna appeared, her arms wide and caught hold of Starlight, leaping up on to her back. The act went smoothly from there, with both the performers standing on their horses, balancing with one leg, Dakota even rode on Apollo's side. She never used a saddle on him, while Alianna always rode with one. She needed to, because her best trick was to ride both Starlight and Sky at the same time, a foot in each stirrup. It was dangerous, because one of the horses might slip or shy away, and that would cause injury, but Alianna had never fallen on a show.
Once their act was finished, they led the horses to the stalls.
"Good show wasn't it?" Alianna gasped, taking the saddles from the mares' backs. Dakota smiled and took up the brush to give Apollo a quick rub before she had to get ready for her whip act. "And when I did the two feet trick, everyone stood! It felt so good!"
"Alianna, you need to breathe between sentences. I can't have you dropping dead from excitement." Dakota said calmly, and Alianna's smile dropped a little. "But you did well." The smile returned and Alianna finished with Starlight and Sky in peace. Then she left to watch the performance.
Dakota rubbed Apollo's nose, gave him some oats and left the stall, closing the gate behind her. Then she pulled on her leather jacket and grabbed her whip, and settled near the enterence to watch the magic act.