I’ve been given the challenge of writing: Best. Post. Ever. and even though it was stipulated in said challenge that I should feel no pressure, the overwhelming feeling of pressure is ever present. I can’t even think of a story, let alone, write the best one. Shit.
Here goes… I can only hope that the lack of substance in this post is overshadowed by illustrative goodness. No pressure EliseArt.
When I was around 6 or 7, my mom had a boyfriend and he had a daughter my age. Naturally, we became best friends. One summer, Mom’s beau, Bo, was going to Alberta to visit family. He thought it might be a good idea if I went along and kept his daughter company. We ended up going three times altogether, one time after him and Mom broke up.
The first time I went there, I was a bit out of my element. We stayed with his family; they had a farm with horses and chickens and a pond and everything. Although, in theory, I liked all those things, in reality, I had no idea what I was doing. I had ‘city kid’ written all over me.
The very first thing I learned about horses was to never approach them from behind. If they don’t see you coming, they’ll get spooked and kick you. I also learned to feed them with a flat hand, so they couldn’t bite off your fingers. Both are very good lessons to learn.
Then I learned to ride them. I only ever rode them with an experienced rider in front of me. I’d sit behind the saddle and hold on for dear life. I was told I was a natural, which made me feel better about the city kid beacon emblazoned on my forehead.
I became very paranoid about these two lessons I learned. Every time I’d see someone feeding a horse I’d want yell and warn them about getting bit.
Anytime I saw anyone walking behind a horse, I’d want to yell out for them to keep back.
I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt. But then I’d remember that they’d been around horses a lot more than I had, so they probably knew already. Afterall, these were the people that taught me these lessons.
Fearing that I would live up to the city kid stereotype even more if I vocalized my concerns, I kept them to myself. However, I confided in my friend about my internal battle. She mocked me every chance she got. She would constantly remind me that she ‘goes there every year’ and ‘rides horses all by herself’. So I definitely would never have corrected her for fear of her mocking me until her voice was hoarse.
So one day we were playing in the field with the horses. And by ‘we were playing’, I mean, I was standing at a safe distance observing the horseplay. I see my friend walking across the field behind this horse. She was at a safe distance so I didn’t fear for her safety.
Her path was directly behind the horse and at a diagonal, so she progressively got closer and closer to the horse.
I started getting a bit nervous.
At one point she was standing directly behind the horse.
I got really nervous, but didn’t call out, out of fear of ridicule. But because I was keeping it in, really, I was just flailing my arms, looking terrified in the middle of a field with nothing at all around me. (Let alone something scary nearby).
I was fairly certain my friend was safe. The horse was completely unaware that she was behind him. And then my friend did the stupidest thing ever.
She literally gave it a pat on the ass. Naturally, the horse spooked and bucked.
She seriously flew through the air at least 4 feet* and smashed into a fence.
(*memory says it’s more like 8ft, but that seems unrealistic, so I’m cutting it in half for conservatism)
She got up. I ran over to her and asked if she was okay. When she said yes; I burst out laughing and told her that I totally saw it coming. She was really mad (for some reason) and questioned (nearly hysterically) why-oh-why hadn’t I called out to her? Why!? Because Karma’s a bitch, that’s why!
Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations.