Horses, Mullets, & Trucks

Horses, Mullets, & Trucks

Horses, Mullets, & Trucks

[Pick the date]

One Eye is as Good as Two

RACK went the whip, followed by an instant sting to my eye not being able to see two inches in front of me. Everything around me turned into dark fuzzy contrasted colors. Trying to hide my momentarily disability, listened to the horse’s thundering hooves beating against the hard arena ground as the cantering black fuzz ball headed toward me. I decided to take a chance and accomplish what I came here to do.

The whole team including me was finally ready, thanks to long tiring late nights of practice at the barn in the middle of nowhere. Some people call this place BFE while others call it Saratoga Springs. Having spent more time at the rickety old metal barn preparing for the County Fair, than the comfort of my own home. My bed might as well had been in the third stall where the huge brown draft horse was boarded. In those long terrible nights we practiced our performance so many times that the amazing songs we chose and loved were now causing our eardrums to break and bleed.

Now here we all are on a hot August day performing our daily stretches knowing it was about to begin. Over the loud speaker the middle aged man’s voice roared as he introduced to the intensely waiting crowd, “Technique Equestrian Vaulting!” The upbeat music blared as we proudly leapt in sync out into the arena kicking up dirt from tallest to smallest, of course I was almost at the end of the line. The stench of horse dung stuck to your nose hairs, but for me this was a comforting smell. As I made my way around the arena, the ecstatic crowd was yelling and clapping rapidly. The music blasting through the loud speakers drowned out the people in the stands, making them sound miles away. Even though they sounded miles away, I could feel their watching eyes staring at me with every leaping step I took, burning holes into my skin. Feeling like the arena was never going to end; we finally made it to the middle where we lined up in the same order in a single file line facing the excited crowd. All of us glistened with our black leotards with bright blue swirls a crossed everyone’s chest, along with sparkling rhinestones bordering the outside edge of the blue design.

One after another each vaulter would leave the line, run and jump onto the cantering horse while showing their favorite free-style moves. I stood up straight waiting for my turn, hands clasped behind my back and sweating very profusely, the dripping sweat continued throughout my entire body. Trying to convince myself that I was only sweating because of the fact that it was 100 degrees out, and wearing a black full bodied leotard. Who was I trying to kid? I knew my nerves were starting to eat me alive. The anxiety started to make my stomach tie itself into knots, making me want to tighten my legs and hope nothing came streaming down. As the girl with dark brown hair left the line and mounted the horse in one jump, it took my breath away knowing I was next. I stepped up to our lunger Stacy, she was a woman about my height; someone who could barely see over the steering wheel. She wore glasses and dressed in all black, in charge of keeping the horse at a consistent canter. In order for her to do so Stacy kept clinched in her hand a long black whip that she would often crack to keep the horse inline.

In slow-motion I watched the massive brown draft horse storm towards me in long proud strides, and at the same time the girl dismounted. All my fears instantly fell to the pit of my stomach, as I prepared myself for the horse to come back around. Running out to meet the horse was natural timing; right on Q. At that exact moment the whip cracked, and took my body into shock, peering around only to see blurred objects. Wanting to cry I knew I had to pull myself together for not only my sake but the teams as well. I decided to keep running in the direction I was headed, in hope that the dark blur was the horse. While running I focused on the strong hoof beats, which led me closer to my destination. Calming my shaking body as I was close enough to feel the heat projecting off the horse, I reached my hand upward grasping on to the handle of the seresingle. My timing with the horse was off, clinching the handle tight, lifted my feet off the ground and back down,and now running as one with the horse. Starting to breathe heavily and growing tired, knew I had to mount soon or there would be no way I would be able to make it on the horse’s tall back; whose I can’t see over. Counting in my head 1..2..3, jumped forward then punched my legs back as hard as I could, hoping it was a strong enough punch to lift my hips up and on to the back of the seven foot tall horse. As I felt my body was coming down then the horse between my legs, a boost of adrenalin regained my breath. Being on the moving horse made me feel like I was home, set me at ease as if I had always been without sight. Ignoring everything around me except the rhythm of me and the horse, jumped to my feet, landing gracefully back down on the horse’s back. Leaning forward, grabbing the Vaulting jpghandle, then extending my leg upward like a ballerina; toes pointed and all. Knowing the crowd was pleased, I continued to flow through the stunts. Down to my last move I grabbed the handles, and then swung my legs to the back of the horse and up into the air. My right leg extended towards the sky, left fallowed behind, bent at a forty five degree angle. Holding the position for the audience to be amazed, releasing my pose and bringing my body to one side. Pushed my body out to the end of the horse for one last time till my ankles clicked, and then released my tight grip on the handles allowing my feet to come down and hit the hard arena dirt. With a huge smile on my face I tried to find my way back to the rest of the team, the sparkling outfits helped lead the way.

Our show was now over, we took a bow and leapt on out. As we were out of sight of the crowd we all congratulated one another, everyone full of energy and glad those long unpleasant hours of practice paid off. Everyone was concerned about my swollen black and blue eye that was leaking like a facet. Many of them were surprised I kept going and did so well. Stacey felt horrible that she whipped me; she had no idea that she had. My heart still raced with adrenaline, not being able to believe what I had just accomplished with only one eye.