Addison's Dream

June 9, 2008
By
Addison gripped her reins tight and swung her leg into the stirrup. The seemingly awkward motion of mounting her horse had become a reflex over the last nine years. She showed her horse regularly and rode almost every day. But when she didn’t have to worry about faults and the pressures of the show ring, she sought peace in her riding sessions. Addison was the kind of girl you’d love to hate, who seems to have achieved everything and more; but you knew that she wasn’t a standoffish or arrogant person; in fact she was anything but. Taking into account all of the wonderful things currently taking place in Addison’s life, it was sometimes hard to remember that she was a human being with blemishes and insecurities of her own. However, not even Addison could avoid the pressures of being a young woman with high expectations and impossible standards always lurking in both her academic and personal life. Riding Skylar helped her to escape these pressures and lose herself in the magical world of equine and human connection. Today however, she was plagued by the task of playing an original piece for the school’s music festival. Having been named “Crestview High’s Rising Starlet” for 2007, Addison had been asked to play a classic piece as well as one of her own. Sure, she had plenty of quality handwritten pieces in her piano bench at home, but Addison was not one to decline a challenge and take a simpler path. She was determined to submit a completely new piece, and she only had a week to compose, draft, edit and revise this composition. Two days had passed and each time she had returned to her piano, her thoughts had been off track, and nothing had been produced despite her valiant efforts. Disconcerted to find herself, confused and no better off than when she started, Addison had returned to the stable. She gently pressed her legs into Skylar’s sides and together they walked around the familiar ring. She waved absentmindedly at the young girls taking their lessons in the opposite ring and attempted to focus only on Skylar. She closed her eyes and dropped her stirrups, allowing Skylar to guide her around the ring. She opened them again and found herself in the other half of the ring, approaching a small cross rail. “You want jump today baby?” she asked while replacing her stirrups. They transitioned into the canter and turned towards the cross rail, barely thinking about the task at hand. Jumping had also become a habit for the pair. The other students looked on, eager to witness Addison Martin jump in the practice ring. They marveled at her effortless movements, and gasped as they watched her close her eyes once more. She cleared it. Of course she did, she was Addison Martin. Addison and Skylar continued this pattern as the jumps got gradually higher. Finally they approached a three foot fence and ended their schooling session for the day. Addison hosed off Skylar and made her rounds until she was prepared to leave. “I love you Skylar.” She sighed and offered a baby carrot. “You know you want it.” She stretched her hand out further and waited for him to retrieve it. When he did she turned and exited the barn, surprised to find that her writer’s block had not been solved. Schooling sessions with Skylar usually helped her sort out her thoughts. Addison rode Skylar consistently after that and sat at her piano for hours at a time each day; but it appeared there was no remedy for her lack of creative thought. With just one day left until the festival, Addison repositioned the saddle and listened to the melodic sounds of the stable. She turned away and found herself in the ring once more. “Perhaps I’ll have an epiphany Skylar; otherwise I’ll have to submit Dare to Dream.” Addison wrapped her hands around his muscular chest and felt his body tense. She quickly sat up and shortened her reins. “Skylar, what’s wrong?” Skylar bolted, sending the pair flying across the ring at an uncontrollable gallop. Addison attempted to match his movements and spoke softly “Calm down Sky. Calm down”. “Head’s up!” She screamed to the riders on the inside track and knew there was only one solution. Skylar was inconsolable and was putting both their lives had risk. She had to try. She turned his head towards the fence and prayed for him to stop. He could jump it or halt, either way she’d have to brace herself for the impact. Skylar wasn’t stopping. He launched himself over the fence and Addison felt herself slipping. Her ultimatum was clear, risk staying on or attempt an emergency dismount. She pressed off his saddle and fell to the hard earth below with a thud. As she slowly slipped into unconsciousness, Addison saw someone reach forward to grab Skylar. Good, at least he’d behave, for now. She awoke a few hours later in a hospital bed, surrounded by the barn staff and her family. “All I feel is free.” She muttered softly. “Oh dear, she has a concussion!” Her mother sobbed. “No Mom, my song. It’s my song.” As her family watched in bewilderment, Addison reached for pen and paper and began to write. She placed her work on the table. “Edit it please; I’ll be playing that tonight.” She waited patiently as her mother reviewed the piece. “It’s brilliant!” Addison grinned.
Later that evening, Addison crossed the gymnasium and sat gingerly at the piano. “This is a piece my horse helped me to write, it’s called All I feel is Free. As Addison pressed the keys and lost herself in her music, she thought back to the previous afternoon. Skylar hadn’t been spooked at all; he had simply reviewed her situation and come up with an answer. Maybe a good fall was all she needed to keep her on task!





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