Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Confrontation (Part 3 of 3)

Next we headed to the stables to embark on what was to be the first horseback ride for many of us. I held
Christie’s hand as we hiked on the dirt trail away from the lake and towards the horses. When we arrived at the stables, I was delighted to see the large, gallant horses that stood proudly as we walked towards them. Their brown coats were so thick and beautiful. Several of the horses were stamping their feet, trying to get the flies that were landing on them to fly elsewhere. I was totally disgusted by the sight of those huge, flying pests.
“Before we take our friends for a ride, let’s feed them a snack. Who wants to feed the horses?” Miss Lisa asked.
Several girls volunteered. I figured I should wait to see what did feeding the horses entail before I shouted meeeee.
A husky man with a gray mustache, dressed in distressed, blue denim overalls, an orange, cotton shirt, and a straw hat, grabbed a small metal box from one of the shelves in the stable and handed it to Miss Lisa. She grabbed three sugar cubes and put her hands up to one of the horse’s large mouth. That’s when I got a glimpse of how huge the teeth are in a horse’s mouth. There was no way I was going to feed one of these big teeth beasts one of those sugar cubes.
When the girls finished feeding the horses a couple dozen of the sweet squares, Miss Lisa announced that it was time to saddle the horses. She explained that she and the stable keeper were going to take two of us at a time out to the horse trail. I rushed to get in line, but I managed to somehow be towards the back of the line. Miss Lisa ignored my place in the line and motioned for me to come forward where she and the horses were standing.
She explained that I would be one of the first two girls that would ride, being that my parents were there to pick me up. I figured that someone must've informed her on the walkie talkie when I wasn't paying attention. I was so glad my parents were being patient, giving me a chance to ride.
I watched Miss Lisa help Sylvia, a petite, dark haired, Latina girl, mount her horse. It seemed easy enough when Sylvia did it. So, I figured it would be easy for me too. When my turn arrived, Miss Lisa held my waist as she instructed me to slide my foot into the stirrup and to hoist my other leg across the horse she affectionately called Benny. As soon as I had my leg hiked up to straddle the horse, the large animal stamped his massive hoof to shake off a huge, black fly that landed on his nose. He nearly sent me flying to the ground.
“It’s alright.” Lisa said.
“I got you.” Gripping me tighter around my waist.
I held tightly to the saddle as I mounted the horse. I looked down at the ground, quickly taking notice how far away I was from it, and also realizing how badly I would hurt myself if I accidently fell from the horse. I gripped the saddle tighter that circled Benny's waist.
“You don’t have to be scared. Benny's a good boy.” Patting the horse on its back.
Miss Lisa grabbed a leather strap that was attached to the harness of each horse’s neck. As she pulled forward, each horse started trotting to walk along each side of her. Fear crept up my back and tension gripped my shoulders. I felt so uneasy on that horse. I felt like I was getting dizzy, unable to keep my balance, and about to fall off the horse’s back at any moment. I kept looking down at the ground instead of ahead of me. Before I even recognized what I had done, I parted my lips and loudly blurted, “I’m scared! I need to get off.”
Miss Lisa stopped the horses from trotting and walked over and rubbed my back.
“You’ll be alright. Trust me.”
“No, I want to get off now.” Tears filled my eyes.
I’m not sure why I was crying. I’m not sure why I was so afraid. I just knew I wanted to get off that horse right then and not a second later.
"Please now!" I screamed.
Miss Lisa grabbed my waist as she directed me to safely get down from the horse. I tipped over to the side, nearly falling as I tried to catch my balance. I blinked my eyes over and over, trying to focus my eyes through the tears.
“We better get you back to the main office where your parents are.” Mixing the salty tears and sweat as she wiped my face.
Next, she used her walkie talkie to call someone and ten minutes later, Miss Tina arrived to the stables. She grabbed my hand and told me she was going to take me to my parents, who were waiting for me in her office. More tears entered the corners of my eyes. Miss Tina squeezed my hand and asked me why I was crying. Instead of answering her, I held my breath to try to get the disappointment to back out of my system.
I looked at all the girls, who were looking at me with puzzled expressions. I waved a sad goodbye towards them. I then spotted Christie, who was standing at the end of the line. Her reddish brown skin almost matched the red dirt Where she was standing in her blue and white Addidas. She had on a snazzy, red, white, and blue short set that I hadn’t really paid attention to before that point. Sadness filled her brown eyes as she waved goodbye to me.
“Bye Angela. See you at school.” She said.
I released the air from my lungs and offered her a somber goodbye as I wiped the remaining tears from my eyes.
Miss Tina and I slowly walked to the office where my parents were waiting on me. When we arrived to the air conditioned building, I was relieved to feel the coolness of the air and to also see my smiling parents. Daddy informed me that my things were already in the car, ready to go. And the only thing they needed to get back on the road was me. I pulled my hand from Miss Tina’s hand and went to grab my mother’s arm.
Miss Tina and my parents exchanged a little conversation about the weather, the campgrounds, the traffic in Houston, and the mosquito problem in the woods. Twenty minutes later, we were riding on 59 South, headed back to Houston. My daddy asked me if I enjoyed the horseback ride.
“It was okay.” I replied.
“Just okay?” Mama asked.
I didn’t tell my parents how scared I was and that I demanded to get off the horse. And even though my parents were very perceptive when it came to each other and their four daughters, they had no idea that I had been crying right before I met them at the office.
I did, however, tell them about my fish victory. Daddy laughed and laughed when I told him how Christie threw the fish back in the water. My mother didn’t think it was quite as funny. That caused Daddy and I to laugh more.

No comments: