Ten Seconds

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Everything that happened that day happened in a matter of ten seconds. Things changed and became clearer. Things happened during a single lesson, during a single set of seconds in a single series of jumps.
I lined Sonny up with the jump. I shifted in the saddle, ready to fly over the jumps. The first second sped by. The beat of his hooves set a rhythm against the ground. I heard him breathing, anticipating the jumps.
We soared through the air, landing right before the second jump. It was bigger than anything we had tried yet. The ground fell below us, a few feet seemed like a mile. I kept my knees open against the saddle. My hands edged forward up him mane. Sonny stretched his neck, slicing through the air.
We landed. I dropped my left rein. Oops. It swished against his leg. I held my position steady as we took off over the third jump. I tried to grab the rein while we were flying. Sonny charged forward, landing firmly on the ground, and taking off again over the next jump.
The rein continued to swing against his leg. It brushed against the ground, and then the jump What if he stepped on it? Tripped, and sent us both hurtling forward? What if he broke his leg? Then, he would die! I tried to reach the rein.
He carried us through space. We landed into a soft canter and I was able to grab the reins again. Ten seconds gone by, only ten seconds, yet so many motions.
In those seconds, Sonny showed me that he trusted me. He knew that I could ride without reins, and that he knew trust was there. He showed me he would always listen to my body, not the bit in his mouth. He knew what I wanted, and he was able to give it.
This was a huge bonding moment for Sonny and I. We connected in a new way. I felt free while I was soaring over the jumps, freer than I feel when I am on the ground. On the ground, I am stuck in the rut of daily life, but on Sonny, I can fly past the stars.





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