Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Girl on Horseback

A Girl and her Horse

Thubalup, thubalup, thubalup.

I felt slightly out of control as the horse lurched beneath my body. He was a big guy, and I don’t remember him ever moving that fast before. We’d worked with him for months trying to get him to pick up his pace a bit. For Danny, nothing was worth rushing for, unless it was some sweet feed or a Cheeto. But even then a fast walk would do. He never got in a hurry. Except today. For some reason, today was different. Today, he was going, going, gone.

Thubalup, thubalup, thubalup.

Tightening my legs around his huge barrel of a torso, I held on for dear life and said a quick prayer. I loved horses for the sake of horses not for the sake of speed. In the comfort of a round pen, I didn’t mind a canter, but I much preferred a leisurely trot. I guess that’s why Danny and I got along so well. He was lazy, and I was chicken. A match made in heaven. Except today. Today was different. Today, we were going, going, gone.

Thubalup, thubalup, thubalup.

The horses around us matched our pace perfectly. For a brief moment, we were like one huge four-headed, sixteen-legged creature barreling towards the ends of the Earth, eating up that red Georgia clay like it was the turf of Churchill Downs. My fellow riders whooped and hollered. I closed my eyes and tried to enjoy the sensation of the wind on my face, the sense of freedom that can only really be found on the back of a horse. I opened my eyes again and let myself go like I had never done before on any other day. Except today. Today was different. Today, I was going, going, gone.

Thubalup, thubalup, thubalup.

Then the rain started. It poured down in great sheets, stinging our bodies and slickening the horses’ hides. My jeans contracted, my boots filled. Without much urging, Danny picked up his pace, sensing our need to get to shelter and wait out the storm. The thundering of his massive hooves was now a hollow smacking against the quickly forming mud. We pulled ahead from the pack for only a moment, a moment that will be seared into my memory forever because it was just me and him, us and speed and nature. Going, going, gone.

That’s the last ride I can vividly remember with Danny. All of it was so perfect, so unlike me or him. The rushing through a Georgia rain, the speed and loss of control and care, the final moments of a childhood spent with horses that I hardly ever think of now. Except today. Today is different. Today, I am going, going, gone back to a place and time I will never forget. Back to the frenzied music of a girl on horseback, eating up the rain and the wind.

Write about a time that rhythm, or a lack thereof, played a role in your life. And don’t use the word “rhythm.”

Maybe it’s a time that you danced to a special song. Maybe it’s a period of your life during which the days were marked by a distinct pattern. Or maybe it’s a time that you couldn’t catch your breath because life just kept coming at your randomly.

It’s up to you.

Let’s see if you can convey that rhythm using your writing, and not the word itself. Word limit is 600. Come back here Tuesday and link up!

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