The sky was grey and misty, the sun would be up in oh, about an hour or so, but I couldn't wait. If I didn't go now, I would never go. I grabbed a carrot and Dusty’s bridle from the rack, stuck a hoof pick in my back pocket, and ducked between the wires of the fence. The horses made early morning sounds as I approached; Dusty lifted her head in greeting and snuffled in my hand for her carrot. I picked her hooves while I waited for her to finish chewing, and then slipped the bit in her mouth.
Grabbing a handful of mane in my left hand, I stepped back, tossed my right leg over her back, and, mid-flight, grounded myself with my right hand on her withers; a single smooth motion that had taken so much practice to learn, but now came easily and gracefully to me. I nudged her sides with my heels and we ambled off towards the gate. Another move that had required practice but was now second nature: she sidled up to it, I opened it, we went through, and Dusty swung her backside around so that I could close the gate.
And then we ran, because our lives depended on it.
© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
Sterling silver, turquoise, ostrich egg shell, onyx. Hand fabricated.