Sometimes you fall off a horse and you say you won’t ride that horse again. Sometimes you fall off a horse and are bound and determined to ride him again doing the exact same thing that caused your initial tumble. And then you fall off again. And black out.
It all started the day we were learning to trot in riding class. We had mastered the art of getting on a horse, walking with a horse, and today was the day we learned to trot. I was assigned Gunner. A steely black horse with a white dot in the middle of his forehead. He was beautiful. I was thrilled.
We started out fine. Up down. Up down. Up down. This was uncomfortable. Up down. Up down. Up——-ahhhhhhhh. Ground. Sand. Ow. Gunner ran towards the other side of the ring. I got a bruise on my ass. Everyone crowded around me. I stood up. I limped back to the barn. They calmed Gunner down. We were all ok.
And you know, spills happen. Horses freak out. Then the next year rolls around. I’m back at camp, once again in riding class. And we get on the horse. We walk with the horse. We are, once again, going to learn to trot. And I am bound and determined to trot this time. I am going to conquer my fears. I’m going to be brave. Because there is no stopping me. So I asked to ride with Gunner.
We started again. Up down. Up down. Up down. Up weeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Hit the fence. Ow. Bounce. Bounce. Hit the barrel. Ow. Blackness. Wake up. Can’t move. Giant bruise on my hip and tailbone and complete right side. My concerned sister leans over me. I feel terribly stiff. So much pain. But I didn’t care. Because I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t trot with Gunner. And I wouldn’t ever ride a horse again.