The evening was cool and windy, as Savannah and I moved across the sand arena. I had been working on my sitting trot with mixed results as dusk descended around us. The sound of clapping caused me to smile, as we transitioned nicely into sitting trot. I felt joy and peace as I savored the moment.

In the very next instant Savannah’s muscles tensed beneath me. Her head was now reaching for the sky as she strained against the reins. We scooted to the left as her legs sprang beneath me. My ears filled with the sound of hooves striking the ground as we took wing. I feel myself sit into her as every muscle bulges and rolls.

“Too tight on the inside rein!”

uh, loosening the inside rein…
whip! drop the whip!
turning the horse…
half-halt…half-halt…
whew!

We circle back towards C at a nice, calm trot.

“I guess she didn’t like my clapping,” commented my instructor.

Savannah’s head pops up again! Uh-oh. Her muscles bulge and roll as we once again fly across the arena.

This is weird. I’m moving in perfect time with her. I feel, somehow separate from what’s happening. My pelvis is undulating up, down, up, down… I’m calm, balanced, centered… Uh, I’m being run away with!

I’M RIDING!

drop the outside rein…
turn her head inward…
bend her around my inside leg…
push her into my outside leg…
whew! (pant, pant)

“Good riding!” My instructor beams as she approaches. “Everyone else would’ve come off way back there.”

“Thanks!” (pant, pant) “That was Blue Hills.” I experienced many a spook while riding at my first barn. “Uh, could you hold her while I get down?” At this point, I’m thinking I may be safer on Savannah than off her.

She reaches for the bridle. “It wasn’t my clapping after all. It was something back there in the woods.” Scary moment. The dismount.

“Ah, the spooky corner thing?” Hey, it’s almost Halloween. The spooks need to practice their craft, right?

“Yeah, I forgot that she has a problem with that part of the arena towards nightfall. We’ll have to ride at this end or use the indoor as it’s getting dark earlier.”

I smiled as I lead Savannah back to pick up my whip. The worse happened and I survived it.

Phantoms beware!

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