9 summers ago, coast of Forlindon
Earcalie was never one to be lazying about, finding it a waste of time that she could employ doing something productive instead. There were exceptions of course, like that day. During winter time the shipment requests down the coast died down, there were few caravans to escort and generally everyone bunkered down to wait the good season. As it was an unusually warm day, the elleth thought to go for a ride, so she took her reluctant horse out of the stable, and off they went.
They were now at the edge of a promontory giving way to a beautiful seascape, as it was almost sunset, both the sky and the ocean tinged of a golden color. Truly a dream she thought, yet they couldn't tarry as sunset would give way to gloaming.
"Come on now, we should go back before it is da--- AAAGH!"
The mare whinnied, kicked and Earcalie was just about fast enough to jump off the saddle before the mare flopped on the ground and rolled on her back
"What has gotten into you? Are you out of your equine mind? You almost threw me off!"
The mare looked at her as if saying "I gave you enough time to get down". Then snorted and munched a nearby flower
"Alright fine, I understand... we shall take a break. Happy?"
The elleth sighed, proceeding to remove he horse's tack so she could trot freely. As for herself, she sat down on a boulder with her chin on her hands, staring at the unruly horse who was now munching grass with all the calm in the world. She shook her head. The dappled grey mare was a gift from uncle, given to her when her previous steed became too old to be taken on rides.
She had befriended many horses in her life, but none were like this one. Hard headed, stubborn, proud and mischievous. "She is perfect for you, trust me" uncle had said. After the first day of trying to fit the saddle on and the recalcitrant mare shaking it off, the elleth found nothing but irony in Histealdo's words. Some people among the Secondborn had the belief that all Elves ride their horses without any kind of finiment. She would have liked to know who put out that rumor, because it was definitely not absolute. Some did follow that custom, but not all. She had seen Lord Glorfindel parading his own stallion with those garish little bells attached to his tack, just to name one. She also doubted the famous cavalry of Lord Fingon rode against Glaurung without any sort of aid or protection. Although before finally convincing the horse to bear the saddle, and struggling to get her to wear the headstall without head-tossing Earcalie was of the mind to actually learn how to ride bareback.
The first days acquainting herself with the mare felt like a challenge as to who was the most headstrong. Getting the mare to stay on beaten paths while she tried to stray for the woods or suddenly sprinting in a gallop when trying to make her fall in line with a caravan. Such a difference from good old Sithal... Her old horse was big, slow-paced and of calm disposition. The mare, completely opposite. Earcalie had to admit though... she liked this temperamental creature. She learned to better communicate with the mare by indulging her whims from time to time, letting her gallop full speed through the meadows or roam untrodden paths in the woods; in turn the horse understood when it was time to follow orders when it was necessary.
She still behaved stubbornly of course, that was her attitude. Earcalie reflected on how certain people give the same name to their animal friends after death onto another creature, for whatever reason. She never quite agreed to that. With all certainty if she called this mare Sithal, she would laugh at the elleth. And throw her off the saddle in indignation.
No, the name she gave her instead was Suribeth. Judging by the way the mare reared up and neighed, she approved. It simply fits, thought the elleth. Looking at the grazing horse, she noticed that the new, fancy caparison commissioned from one of Mithlond's tailors already had a few green stains on it. No wonder with that weird habit of rolling in the grass...
Standing up and dusting off her clothes, Earcalie recalled Suribeth with a short whistle and readied to return home, as the sun slowly disappeared beyond the horizon.
Nine years later, having been through thick and thin; she had befriended many horses in her life, but none were like this one. Hard headed, stubborn, proud and mischievous. Yet she also knew that the mare was loyal to a fault
Sithal: peaceful stride in sindarin. From sidh: peaceful - tal: foot
Suribeth: rushing wind in sindarin. From Sul: wind - rib: rush - eth: feminine suffix