A Horse with an Attitude

When we return to the ring, Achilles is more cooperative and he jumps with his usual precision, but his agitated mood is still evident as he wrings his tail. Mom and Jeff watch from the fence.

I try to assert myself with a strong hand on the reigns and a firm grip with my heels, but Achilles nicks the next jump, dropping the rail.

“Amber! What are you doing?” The hostility in mom’s voice sets off an explosion of anger in my head. Of course, she’s going to blame me for the bad attitude of her horse. I clench my jaw and try to focus. As I round the last turn, Achilles pulls up short and shies away from the jump.

“Amber!” Her rebuke is clipped and sharp. She turns and walks back towards the house. I can feel the rage rising as I hold back tears and my hands start to shake.

Riding over to Jeff, I see his mouth curl into a reassuring smile, “Don’t worry, kid. I’m sure she’s just worried about your grandmother.”

“Yeah, she doesn’t handle stress well.” We both know we are making excuses to alleviate the tension.

“And what about you? How do you feel?” His question is gentle and nonjudgmental.

“Staying busy is the best solution for me. It keeps me from over thinking the situation.” Actually, it’s the only solution I know. Is there really any other way?

“OK, then. Let’s give it another try.”

I sit up straight in the saddle and take Achilles once around the ring. I remind myself that I have been doing this since I was five: take the reins, on your toes, stop thinking, stop feeling, just do it. I take a deep breath as we complete the canter and head towards the first jump. We clear it. We land solid, but something just doesn’t feel right. I feel a little off. The ride feels unnatural, and I am second guessing my abilities.


4 Comments on “A Horse with an Attitude”

  1. Ellie August 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Very interesting so far. I can’t wait for more… Would love to know how the horses name is pronounced.. Keep me posted on Amber’s next moves 😉

    More more more please!

    • Tricia M Foster August 18, 2014 at 5:52 am #

      Hi Ellie! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Achilles is named after the Greek hero of the same name. I actually found an audio clip with the pronunciation. Isn’t the internet fabulous? If you click the follow button on the left hand side, you will receive all of the new scenes. I try to release two or three a week.

  2. marleen January 15, 2016 at 2:03 am #

    I love that your horse is like this with you! Horses are amazing animals, wish i had more experience with one!

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