There's Always An Again
THERE'S ALWAYS AN AGAIN
By Romi Natasha Andrews
I couldn’t help noticing the trainer’s look of impatience as she led my horse around the pen.She seemed oblivious to the fact that it was my firsttime riding a horse and I was praying silently that she wouldn’t let go of the reins.
Eager to be done with this lesson and seeming distracted by the darkening sky and first drops of rain, she instructed me to ride without a saddle.Being young and inexperienced, I couldn’t help feeling fearful and tensing up.
“I’m going to fall off!” I yelled as my horse began to canter around the pen.The trainer did nothing but repeatedly told me that I wouldn’t.
A few seconds later my lower back hit the ground.Thankfully with the drizzle of rain, it was a bit mushy and allowed for a softer fall.
Furious with the trainer at ignoring my obvious lack of experience, I hobbled over to the car.I wasn’t badly hurt, but the tightness in my back and the throbbing, dull pain made me miserable.
I was uncomfortable but more than that I was humiliated.It was hard for me to swallow the fact that this animal with its earthy scent and soft as-freshly-brushed-baby-hair muzzle could make me feel so out of control and afraid of it.
Over ten years later, while at the Santa Anita Park horse races, I found myself staring again into the soulful eyes of a horse.This time I was a bit more at ease than before, but still distrustful of this enigmatic animal.It looked curiously at me and I felt myself start to smile as I watched its tail sweep side to side as if it were trying to swat flies.
I made my way through the crowd back to my seat.
After the trumpet sounded to mark the beginning of the race, I watched and waited in anticipation to see who the winning horse would be.
There was a rumbling of hooves as the horses came tearing around the corner towards the finish line, clumps of wet dirt flying behind them.The crowd’s energy exploded as the race reached its pinnacle.
Once the nervous energy of the crowd had died down, it dawned on me.I didn’t really care who won.I wasn’t that interested in the Handicapper Helper in the brochure, or learning what an Exacta, Trifecta or Superfecta was.I was just there in awe of the strength and fearlessness of these great creatures and to enjoy their presence.
And more importantly, it showed me it was time to conquer my fear of riding horses…and try again.
(A true story based on my life.)
Romi Natasha Andrews 2013 ©