I am reading Andrzej Sapkowski's "The time of contempt". I found the paragraph which I didn't get, here it is: "She had to be faster than them. She ran to the black horse, who was stamping its hooves on the flagstones and galloped off with a cry, leaping into the saddle as she ran" Bold part of the sentence I can't understand. As I guess she didn't manage to catch the horse. I would like to know the meaning of last sentence and reason why is it constructed this way.
The sentence says that she ran to the black horse, and galloped off (rode away fast) with a cry. The order of events is this:
She realised that she had to be faster than "them" (some other people mentioned earlier).
She ran to the black horse, and as she arrived at a place adjacent to the horse, leaped into its saddle without stopping.
She became seated in the saddle and simultaneously made the horse gallop away, crying out aloud as she did so.
The bold part of the sentence is constructed so that the essential information (she got on the horse and rode away fast) is provided first, and supplementary information (how she got on the horse) is provided second. This construction preserves a sense of immediacy and fast, spirited action which might be lost or diminished if the writer said e.g. she ran to the horse, leapt (or 'leaped') into the saddle while still running, urged the horse into fast motion and cried out at the same time.
leaping into saddle as she ran aka running mount, valulting mount and galloping mount!
As she ran, she mounted the moving horse - a quick get-away! Some equestrians call this a running vault. It is still found in Am rodeos.
2 short videos to demo:
My sense is the construction is to aid a visual image of speed and horsemanship!
It means that Ciri put one foot into the stirrup, urging her horse to gallop as she was mounting it - swinging her leg over the horse as the horse was running/galloping.
I don't understand either, why the sentence was constructed in this way. I think it would have been better the other way around. "She leapt into the saddle, and galloped off with a cry".
(After reading lbf's answer it makes a lot more sense!)