To Be Her Rider's Legs

by Arya Stark

To Be Her Rider's Legs

The air was rich with scents of the earth and saturated in the density of the vegetation all around. Birds chirp at each other, singing about their morning catches, greeting the sun with their songs.

“Yipee! Yeah! Go faster!”

The forest serenity was interrupted with a large pony breaking through the bracken, flanks heaving as she ran, hooves flying.

Littlecloud felt the small human atop her back shift his weight and she dug her hooves in the ground to comply, swaying to the right with him. A tap on her mane followed by a clucking sound, and she lunged to a trot, eliciting a cry of joy from the small being astride her back.

Littlecloud smiled to herself, carrying her rider with pride.

She was no ordinary pony, and nor was her rider.

Barely past foal-hood, her rider was young and full of boundless energy as they had been out exercising now for several hours. Littlecloud reflected this energy, running through the trees, trusting the hands that guided her, becoming one with her guide. Though Littlecloud had no cutie mark to bare, the young mare knew that she was still special, because unlike her kin and friends back in Equestria, she was chosen, she was taken, and she was the one to be destined to serve.

Unlike the others, she had a rider.

She was special pony too, standing out from the rest of those saddle laden ponies and horses, because unlike them, she was Bran Stark’s legs.

Her rider cued her into a canter, and lost in thought, Littlecloud allowed herself to comply without actually seeing where she was going, trusting Bran blindly, and more importantly, trusting him with all her heart.

Trotting through the trees, Littlecloud felt her mind wander from the memories.


“A human!”


“Celestia help us!”

The young filly didn’t understand the chaos that ensued around her, hooves flying around the house in an anxious flurry of activity. Her mother had haphazardly shoved her beneath the table before racing out to find her mate, a stallion of the Royal Guard. Littlecloud could hear the whinnies and alarm outside the quaint little house, the screams and chaos perking her curiosity more than fear.

“Stay down!” Her mother had commanded severely before leaving, the fear-scent roiling off her pelt. And Littlecloud had done just that…until she heard the word ‘human’ being screeched.

A stiff knobble-kneed filly, the white pony couldn’t help it as she made her way to the door, heart pounding louder than the hooves outside. She wanted to see what the commotion was about, what there was to fear. She had only heard rumors about the rear standing two-hooves, and she figured seeing the thing for herself was the only accurate way to formulate a proper image in her mind.
So, cracking the door open and taking a brave step out, Littlecloud did just that.


“I love you, Merri.”

Littlecloud’s ear twitched as the breath tickled her ear, and she took the moment to remember Merri had been the name her rider appointed her.

His words heartened her, and to add to her emotions, the young Bran wrapped his furless arms around her neck, making her heart swell in her chest.

Nickering softly, Littlecloud craned her neck around to view her rider.

His short-muzzled face was young and freckled, his mop of hair falling over his eyes as he beamed at Littlecloud. His short, sharp nose was always amusing to Littlecloud as she reached back to gently nip the nose affectionately, provoking a squeal of delight. A hand was laid on her velvety muzzle, and Littlecloud closed her eyes in bliss, her mind wandering briefly again, remembering the first time those gentle hands had touched her.


Hands were cruel things, Littlecloud decided. At first, they had been an item of fascination for her, oddly elegant with the five extending fingers on each, making them much more capable of things than her hooves, and she envied the opposable thumbs. They could grasp things easier, manipulate items, carry things, and use it to their advantage. But Littlecloud soon learned that she would rather admire the hands from a distance, for she hated when they were anywhere near her.

Hands dragged her around, shoving her into her new home, – a stall, the human’s called it. Hands shoved things into her face, tasting of sharp metal, hands yanked her bridle around impatiently, hands hit her across the flank when she was too slow to learn what they were trying to direct, usually followed by sharp, biting words.

Hands, she learned were to be respected and feared.

So when the small hands touched her for the first time, she hated it.

Oh, you are perfect!”

It had been another normal morning, and Littlecloud had roused herself to the voice, peering over the wall of her stall to see who had spoken. She was surprised to see it was not one of her normal trainers, though she recognized the large stable boy, something called a Hodor. In the man’s arms was what caught her attention, though.

It was a child hauled in the arms of the burly man who mucked out her stable, eye bright as she peered at him, ears erect in curiosity. A toothy grin appeared on the youngling’s face, and the foal-aged boy reached out a hand. Immediately Littlecloud ducked her head, shying away.

“Hodor,” the Hodor tsked, reaching his own hands out to catch the leather straps around her face, pulling, not unkindly, her head back towards them. Littlecloud had long ago learned not to resist, but a ripple of fear traveled down her spine, making her shift her weight in anxiety.

“Easy,” the boy crooned at her with a soft voice, and moving his hands forward, rested it upon her nose.

Littlecloud expected a slap, a blow, something, but instead, the boy stoked her softly, speaking in soft, encouraging tones. It was a high, rich sound, and entranced between the stroking and voice, Littlecloud hardly noticed a spare stable man enter, moving around her, strapping the heavy saddle contraption upon her back. Her eyes were glued to the boy’s as he stroked her, kind eyes meeting hers. His touch was soft, warm, gentle, and Littlecloud found herself leaning into it, nickering softly. Blunt teeth were revealed as the boy quirked a smile.

“Good girl. Good Merri.”

It wasn’t until he was strapped upon her back, guiding her around the stable yard that Littlecloud realized his legs didn’t work, and that hers were to replace his.


Racing, galloping, rearing, leaping – they were one, her legs working furiously to comply her rider’s command, doing what he no longer could. Mane streaming, she let her legs be his as she raced through the valleys, the forest, the streams – wherever her Bran fancied. They had come a long way since their first ride; a halting, confusing disaster. But now, they flowed as one, responding to each other’s cues effortlessly. Together, they learned new tricks, learning to shift their weight together, leaning what subtle cues meant – one cluck for a trot, two for a run, and a short yip for a sprint.

Littlecloud started to anticipate her rider’s moves, twisting through the paths before he told her to, and sometimes defying his cues to take him new places she had discovered while out grazing. Bran’s joy was hers, and hers was his, their unity flowing between them with fiery passion.

Equestria was but a memory, and given the choice to return, Littlecloud would turn it down. Bran was home now, she belonged here now, with her rider, with her Bran.

Because she was Littlecloud, and she was her rider’s legs.

She hoped it would stay that way forever.