…Because Horses are Just Too Cliche
I’m trying to get back to writing. It is going about as well as getting back on that horse that miserable little pony in the far field. You know the one.
As a girl, we lived on a small hobby farm. My parents rented at a reduced rate in exchange for looking after the owner’s horses. And one Shetland pony. Now ponies are ornery, miserable, mean little beasties. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. I’d give most ponies the benefit of sympathy, after all they aren’t really designed to carry anything bigger than an underfed hobbit. One that doesn’t believe in elevenses and second breakfast. Most hobbit sized individuals are children. Maybe not the best thing to put on the back of an ornery animal. Just saying.
But Patches, our Shetland, wasn’t like most ponies. She was meaner. Much more miserable. Maybe she’d carried all the hobbit gear to the gates of Moria and had just had enough. She spit. She bit. She bloated her stomach so a saddle wouldn’t fit. And I still loved her. Of course I also wanted to ride her. Luckily, I was about as small as an average hobbit. Or even smaller as I hadn’t yet discovered elevenses or second breakfasts. Patches, on the other hand, didn’t care about size; she was still just an ornery animal.
One day, I took her out, much like any other time. And it wasn’t the first. I’d learned after much coaching from my dad how to out wait her holding her breath so the cinch wouldn’t fit around her stomach. Or once it did fit, she’d blow out that last reserve of air and the saddle would flip over. But that’s another story. This day, she seemed more docile than normal. That should have given me a tip-off that things would go bad. Very, very bad. As in about 12 feet from the barn, she bucked me off. Luckily I had quick reflexes and missed the kick she aimed for my head. Not the whole kick mind you, just that she connected hard with my body, not a much more fragile part of my body.
And while I was still reeling from the pain, she tried to bite me. As I scuttled backwards out of her reach, she took off down the field. It took me hours to catch her again. And I even rode her more than once afterwards. A pony may be stubborn and ornery, but I’m much more so.
As I try to get back to writing again, it feels a bit like Patches bucked me off, kicked me in the head, and actually managed that well-aimed bite. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a damn pony to try to catch. Because I need to go for a ride again.