Author: BrooketheBooke PM
written for my langauge arts class. we had to write a short story with an unexpected ending. its about horses. enjoy please R&R!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Western/Adventure - Words: 971 - Published: 04-19-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2798411
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
There was a line at the mounting block, so I turned right and led Cowboy, the palomino Quarter Horse I was riding today, out the side exit of the barn. I stopped him on the soft green grass and pulled on my helmet, clicking the chin strap into place. Then I put my left foot in the stirrup and in one graceful move, I hoisted myself up, over, and into the old Western saddle. I picked up my reins in two hands, instead of the usual one, because Cowboy is so high-strung that I need a stronger contact with the bit to remind him that I am here, and that I am the one in charge. Then I lightly squeezed his sides and clucked to him, the standard cue to start walking.
My riding instructor, Sara, was waiting for me in the front ring. "All right Heather, start walking on the track and let's stay at this end of the arena because Chelsea is jumping at the other end." I nodded and turned left, onto the track, and let Cowboy warm up.
After a few minutes, under Sara's instructions, I picked up an extended posting trot. I trotted Cowboy over some ground poles before collecting and slowing the trot to a pleasant Western jog.
With the hot June sun beating down on the back of my blue t-shirt, it wasn't long before the air felt like the inside of an oven, and beads of crystal sweat started popping up on my forehead and lathering on Cowboy's beautiful coat. I slowed Cowboy down for a walk break. While Cowboy was ambling along placidly, I switched the reins to one hand and used the other to wipe my sticky brow. Then I walked Cowboy over to where Sara was standing and holding out my bottle of water. The fresh, icy water was sweet relief to my parched throat.
"Okay, let's pick up left-lead canter and make a circle around me." Sara instructed as I handed her back my water bottle with a quick "Thanks". I made a small circle around Sara, but she waved her hands, indicating that I should make the circle bigger. So I pressed my inside leg against Cowboy's side, pushing him out towards the fence and enlarging the circle. I rode Cowboy around the circle once at a walk, so he would know the shape. Then I swung my outside leg behind the cinch and squeezed with equal pressure on both legs.
Instantly, Cowboy broke into the smooth, rocking motion of the canter. It was perfect, if not a little fast. "Sit heavy in the saddle and hug with your knees." Sara directed. I did as she said, and Cowboy immediately collected his canter. I could feel my shoulders rotating with Cowboy's body as we cantered around the circle.
Suddenly, without warning, Cowboy broke our small, safe circle and starting cantering along the fence, picking up speed at an alarming rate. I pulled back on the reins, but Cowboy ignored me; obviously, this unknown danger that had spooked him was too scary for him to listen to me. It wasn't long before Cowboy started galloping like a wild Mustang on the open prairie, and that's when I lost my cool. I abandoned all hope of getting Cowboy to stop and all but dropped the reins as I clung to the saddle for dear life. The wind was whistling ferociously in my ears along with blood-curdling shrieks that occurred at regular intervals. Even once I eventually realized that the screams were coming from my own mouth, I could do nothing to stop them. I knew they were what spurred Cowboy into a flat out run.
My heart was a pounding jackhammer, and the most terrifying ride of my life seemed as if it would never end; but of course, all things come to an end eventually.
Cowboy had reached the other side of the arena, and was approaching Chelsea, who was mounted atop a chestnut horse, named Moe, frozen in shock. To avoid running headlong into Moe, Cowboy popped his shoulder and shifted his path slightly, so we passed inches away from them. As we passed, I looked pleadingly at Chelsea, begging her with my eyes to do something, anything, to make it stop. Chelsea just looked at me helplessly and shrugged.
And in that moment, I knew. I knew deep in the pit of my stomach that I would fall. I had been hoping (foolishly) all this time that I would be able to stay on long enough for Cowboy to tire himself out and stop. Now I knew this was not meant to be my fate.
I could feel myself losing my balance as I slipped out of the saddle, so I threw my hands out in front of me to break my fall. Unfortunately, as I fell, I could feel my left leg being held up, tangled in the extra reins. The thought of being dragged along behind this manic horse was too much for me, and instinctively, I jerked my leg down, freeing it from the reins. Also unfortunately, jerking my leg in that manner made my elbows buckle, and sent my face crashing into the rough gravel that covered the extremely hard ground.
At the moment of impact, I bolted upright, my eyes wide and my pulse accelerated. I was disoriented by the fact that it was pitch black out.
As my eyes adjusted, I bounced slightly on the soft surface I was lying on. I realized I was lying in my bed, in my room, in the middle of the night.
I glanced over to the digital clock on my nightstand. The numbers read 3:22 A.M.