June Story Contest

From the Eyes of a Horse
By: skyberry
Age: 12

It was dark, moon up, and there I stand, drowsily as a human tugged my mane. They claimed it to be “braiding” for my big day, The day of confusion and crowds. What they call a show, and what I call the thriller. The human begins tugging my tail, and I thrash out until a smack collides with my flanks. Shocking me from my drowsiness, but only for a second. They finish, and leave me be, to rest. Dawn had not yet broken when I awoke from the blackness of sleep. And there was the chatter of english, twittering. I load easily right next to my window, and thrust my head out, whuffing the cool morning air. The van slowly moves out for my journey to be a champion. The loud chatter of many languages, and then the twittering english, arouses me.

The gate is opened and I whinny as loud as I can. I am here. The human that is to compete me unhooks the ropes that confine me to the temporary stall. She leads me outside, removes my protective blankets and wraps, and checks me for any injuries. Finding none, she allows me to graze for the moment. The sun, warm in the chilly morning air, heightens my spirits. In a rush, the humans run a soft brush over me to remove dust and any dirt I may have picked up. They check my hooves, and then place the impeccably clean white saddle pad on my back. The heavy saddle is placed next. Girth tightened, I put up no fight. Bit put in my mouth; they lift the bridle into place, buckling the straps. I am ready. She mounts up and directs me to the warm up ring.

I trot and canter and she spurs me on. I hop over the jumps placed in front of me, at 2 foot. Gracefully doing everything. Except when the gelding comes up my tail. I kick out, but the gelding nimbly moves to the side, as directed by its rider. A sting of the crop, to bring me back to the show mood that hangs over the whole area.

I perk my ears as my name is called. Number 8, Red Wind’s Storm, ridden by Alice Burkman. She spurs me forward and I leap into a fast canter. She collects me into a medium canter. Pointing me at the first jump, a 2-foot jump completed of 2 striped bars, one over another. I find stride and leap over it, easily.

I am Pegasus, I tell myself. Graceful and smooth, as mother once told me of her competition days. Landing, I take one stride and jump out of the line. I turn sharply left and lift over a brush jump. Next I canter around a bend to the right and take on the oxer. Effortless. Landing smoothly I canter to the final jumps in my round. A 2-foot triple. I jump in, take a stride, jump over, and finish perfectly over the last jump. I take a courtesy circle, and leave the ring.

Hot and sweaty, my human walks me around the grounds until the winners are called. A breeze ruffles my fur, the grass a healthy green. Bushes manicured to perfection. As we walk back to the ring, I enjoy the blues skies, the green grass, the buttuerflies.

The announcer begins. Loudly, in his booming voice, he broadcasts: In third, Irish Luck, ridden by Courtney Oldham. In second, Daylight Dreaming, ridden by Max Frederick. And in first….Red Wind’s Storm, ridden by Alice Burkman! My Human screams her joy, and all I know is that my name was called. Last.

I WON! I whinny as loud as my lungs can tolerate.

She hugs me, and we canter in to grab our ribbon. We gallop our victory circle, me proud as can be, and leave the ring. Alice dismounts, and walks me to the trailer. She untacks me, grooms me, and gives me a large carrot. A long day accomplished to my pleasure, I begin my journey home.