Katie was scared. Very scared. Her large mount thundered over the ground, eating up distance at a very heartwrenching pace. She clung low for added balance, having realised a few moments before that there was no pulling the reins. The gelding wasn’t listening and was intent on keeping his pace up. All maneuvers that worked so well inside an arena only provoked more terror to Katie as she could envision the horse slipping on the wet ground and crashing on top of her as it broke its neck.
Katie never claimed not to be dramatic!
Hardly breathing, her eyes scanned the immideiate horizon –most of it gone in a fraction of a second– noticing every dent in the ground, every tiny rock and especially all the downward slopes. The horse’s shoulders moved so fast and his head bobbed with every stride. Katie was a skilled horsewoman and following the fast rhythm wasn’t the problem. It was how she’d dismount that worried her.
Normally with horses, there is no time to think about what’s going on. Things happen –commonly in slow motion– and suddenly you find yourself in a puddle of mud or amidst the poles of the jump the horse refused. Your head just magically snaps back on track after everything has happened and the first reaction is always to reach for the reins or check if the horse is okay.
It was however different when it came to a bolting horse who had a lot of land to run across. First the autoreflexes happened, then the longer it went on the more time there was to think. Katie was stuck in imagining just how suddenly the horse would skid to a halt, how he’d stumble and fall, how he’d jump something and come crashing down. The possibilities were endless!
She made another attempt with the reins, and again the chestnut horse just quickened its pace when it felt the pressure. They were coming down a bank and a glint came into Katie’s eyes as they were met with some stretch of almost flat land! She tugged on the right rein gently, and then increased the pull. The horse fought her and sped up, and then it’s head turned a little due to the pressure being applied and just a little it altered its course as she pulled a little more. A new dose of adrenaline exploded into Katie’s system as the horse turned a little more to the right. It was still fighting her for power whilst insisting to run full on.
Glancing up for just a moment, Katie saw a recline coming up straight ahead and couldn’t see how deep. A lot of cursewords passed through her head and in a moment of confusion as of what to do she relaxed the pressure. The horse thinking it had won the struggle tore its head to the left and changed course just as it reached the bank. Katie could feel the panic through the horse’s muscles as he stumbled while trying to nail its legs down and across the bank the two of them went…
"These are the things that keep us together." - Black Box Recorder lyrics