An Unfortunately Fortunate Day
“Come on, Maisie!” I clucked and hauled Maisie by her lead rope and head collar with all my might. There were a lot of other people gathered around the entrance to my trailer, trying to gently usher her in with treats and pieces of hay, also making clucking noises.
However, Maisie had other thoughts, and suddenly decided to swerve sharply to one side with her head high up in the air like an ostrich. She pulled me completely off balance and forced me to face-palm the pebbly ground.
“Goodness me, Freya, are you alright?” my mother rushed to me, helping me up with a concerned look on her face.
My response was a painful groan, but I made an effort to stand back up, brushing off the dust from my black show-jacket and trying very hard not to look extremely angry at what was a broken lead rope in my throbbing hand.
“Again?” my father took one look at the mangled rope and burst out laughing. I sighed in frustration. “No worries, sweetheart, we’ve got thousands of them at home. And, if you’re still worried, then I can buy you a new one. Alright?”
I shrugged, and glanced at my crazy horse, eyes wide open and standing upright and rigid at the fact that many people were clutching at her head collar, in case of another mad outburst. Then I glanced at my own hands, which were covered in small gashes and rope burns.
My horse hated being led into a trailer, and I had to get used to it.
After 1 hour of non-stop clucking and manipulation (I had to give her a whole bag of treats, otherwise she just wouldn’t go in), we finally got Maisie in the trailer and set off to the show-jumping competition site, which was about 2 hours away.
By this point, I only had another 2 hours to get Maisie ready for my round once we got to the grounds, and then an hour of rest, and finally the team competition, where teams of 4 competed in a total of 20 teams. The teams were chosen at complete random. It was a big event that occurred every year and extremely expensive to even enter it.
By the time we had gone through half a box of antiseptic wipes for my hands and cheeks (only a couple scratches), I had cheered up considerably. However, when the pain had subsided, that was when the nerves kicked in.
Maisie was also shuffling and kicking about in the back, neighing. Obviously she knew what was coming. She also had show nerves. Every time we would enter competitions together, she’d always find a way to ruin it for, by either throwing me off in a horrific way in front of everyone, or by making a fool of herself by knocking down every pole in the course. I had never ever won a competition; the highest I had ever come was 3rd. And that was when I was 9; now I am fourteen.
“Freya, we’re here,” my grandma said excitedly. She had nothing to worry about – she had won nearly every competition when she was younger. Whereas I own a bonkers Connemara mare, trying not to embarrass myself in front of all of my relatives, who still come to every competition, cheering me on even if I come last every time.
Sorry: I have to be positive.
But how can I, when that same old mare charges out of the back of the trailer, nearly knocking my father into the trailer in front of us, and then spooking at a leaf on the ground?
“Oh cheer up, darling, I’m sure this year it’ll be different,” My Aunt comforted me, handing me my riding whip.
But how different? was the question.
To be continued.