A Vignette for Aine

March 29, 2010
Aine’s heart was pounding as her hand clutched at the reins. If she hadn’t been wearing gloves, the whole crowd would have been able to see her white knuckles. This was the day that she had been waiting for. Thud thud. Thud thud. She could hear only the horse’s footfalls beneath her. She had to remind herself to breathe as she entered the ring. “Number 241, Aine Westfield on King’s Wildfire.” The announcer’s voice boomed and echoed off the walls as light glinted off of the studs of bridles like tiny diamonds. Horses of all colors pranced around the ring, but the only one Aine cared about was her own. The muscles beneath Arson’s unique pale cream coat moved as his jet black mane and tail flowed gracefully. Raw power hidden by delicate beauty.

She knew the routine. Trot, walk, canter, reverse. Repeat and line up. She had done this countless times before, so this shouldn’t be any different. But this was South Africa. This was the show she had strived to get to. This was her time to shine. The music that filled the arena was drowned out by the sound of her heartbeat. Without thinking, she had changed gaits when the judge asked for it. Time had flown. Now she was preparing to line up. Her chance to impress had passed. Now came the worst part: waiting. The judge paced for a moment before stopping in front of the line of horses. “We’ve made our decision.” As he announced the winning rider, Aine’s heart stopped for a split second.





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