Chosen By a Horse

It was my grandmother who had given me my first horse when I was five.  "Her name is Bunty," my grandmother proclaimed, handing me the lead line as she herself marched out of the pasture, leaving me alone with my new pony.

Standing at the other end of the lead, I squinted up at a fat white body slung between two sets of shaggy legs with a tail that swept the ground at one end and dark narrowed eyes under thick lashes at the other.  It was like leavingme alone with a chainsaw.  I knew I was in mortal danger, but I was holding a horse. My horse. The best thing that had ever happened to me.

I wish I could say I was a natural from the start.  That I hoisted myself onto her back and, with a willow twig for a crop, went for a wild gallop around the field. But the truth is, I had no idea what to do.  I stood trembling inmy pink sundress,staring at the pretty pony until she lunged forward and removed some of the baby fat packed around my upper arm.

It never got much better than that, not with Bunty...

selected from Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards