No parents, no sibling, no pets, no wifi — nothing but teachers and classmates. Stranded in the middle of Altai for a week long school trip called Discovery week. At that point, I knew from the drop of my hat that it was going to be... the worst week of my life. At some point, I knew I had to go horseback riding, and I was glad it was on Friday because it was raining on Monday.
The day had come, it was Friday, the day we go horseback riding. A big shadow started to cover the sun, as I slowly turn around to see what it is. All I could think about is how I could get out of horseback riding so I won’t get kicked off a horse. The butterflies in my stomach starting to kick in. When I turn around, I see this monstrous horse waiting for me to get on it. My mind going crazy not knowing what to do. I climb onto the horse as it sways side to side. I place my left foot, that is oddly shaking, on the stirrup. Then I pull up onto the horse and my right leg rapidly kicks over and gets on the other foot saddle part. The guy started shifting the saddle so it would fit upto my shoes. He finally finished moving everything and the tension started rising, knowing we would leave soon and that I would fall off any minute. My palms start sweating as i try to make my horse stop before it runs into anyone else. Before I knew it, we start to leave and all of my worries went away.
The cold breeze pressing against my face with its vicious hair attacking me going from one side of my face to the other. The lime green grass swaying side to side unconsciously knowing what it will do next. The horrific smell of the horse poop step by step coming out of the horse that was following every single step of mine. My nose feeling like it was clogged in a toilet stuck with the smell for the rest of my life. Every step was a new movement in a new location, with the bright glow of the sun pleading against my eyes so I didn’t know where I was going. As I galloped through the wild forest, with the most beautiful creature you could ever imagine I placed a smile on my face. It stood with pride, with it’s long legs swinging about, the dark night on his fur with the twinkling stars quietly laying on it’s neck. The bumping of the horse just burying me into his fur. On the side of, me I hear a loud thud banging against the floor.
“When the horse starts to gallop, make sure your toe is on the stirrup part of the saddle and press your foot on it so there is less chance that you will fall off.” I hear from one of the instructors in Russian that got translated to me in english by one of my classmates. The guy flew by me after he told me everything needed to keep me safe. As we get closer and closer to the finish, my horse starts to gallop more and more each time. Every step is a new bump from me going up and down as if the horse was a seesaw and I am the person on it.
We were on our way back, riding into the fresh forest filled with beautiful, tall trees, I pull my horse back unconsciously making it stop. By the corner of my eye, I see one kid leaning to one side of the horse trying to hop off. Right behind me, I see the last few people in line breaking their horses like a car. The boy looked confused about what was going on. He got of the horse as gentle as he could be and the man standing next to him, fixed the brown, dirty, old saddle. The boy hopped back onto the horse as I start to lose control of my horse.
My horse starts getting feisty with me and I start getting horrified and want to go back home. One of my eyebrows slowly starts rising on my sweaty, horrified face. My back feels like it’s bobbing up and down. My head slowly starts turning back with confusion. When I finally turn back, I didn’t see anything. After I rapidly turned my head back to leave, I hear one of the teachers voices.
“Ow...Gaby - your horse just kicked me!!” I hear a voice creeping up behind me. As I turn back, I realize that my horse had just kicked my advisor. In the blink of an eye, my eyes widen, my eyebrows raise, and I can feel my face turning into a hot, red jalapeno. My heart starts sprinting, as his face lightens up with laughter. In relief, I turn my frown upside down and laugh my head off as all the sweat drops run down my face as if I meant to make my horse kick him even though you should never stand behind of a horse.
In laughter, I sighed with relief and hoped it wouldn’t happen ever again. I was happy that I got to go horseback riding with so many new friend and with an ending that would have never happened if it wasn’t for my horse and all the small little details that started this new adventure.
Sitting on that yielding bus chair, remembering how worried I was to ride the horse when it all ended up being an outstanding memory. Wanting to go back and sit on the angelic horse I cherished so much. Knowing that next time I go horseback riding, to live it like it’s a once in a lifetime chance.