isabel and thunder

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

She walked over to the pony, full of confidence, with a determined look on her face. Silently, she listened to everything her Auntie Shell said, giving only a slight occasional nod to acknowledge she'd heard and understood. She stood by his side, with a brush in hand, and with long, slow strokes, she brushed his matted hair until it shone in the already hot morning sun. She walked slowly around him, brushing everywhere, and finally crawling beneath his belly to brush him there. 
My breath caught in my throat, and I was suddenly transported back in time. Another pony, but the same determined face and long brush strokes. I remembered the way I'd brushed my pony, Chicka, until she shone, crawling right under her to reach every part of her, while my own mother held her breath in fear.
She helped put the saddle on him, and adjusted her maroon helmet before leading him to the riding arena. Such a serious, determined face. She got up on his back, with some assistance, before assuring Auntie Shell that she could do it. She sat, straight back, squared shoulders, and slowly squeezed his sides. 

"Walk on, Thunder". 
Around and around they went, over the small jumps, and eventually she decided it was time for him to trot. She squeezed his sides, but he didn't agree. She gave him a sharp kick, and he leapt into action. The old pony trotted around, pulling her towards the gate every time he went past. And she pulled right back, trying to get him to stay on track. But old ponies are much stronger than five year olds, and they ended up by the gate, every time. 
Her face was determined and serious, and she didn't return my smiles, but I could see the joy in her eyes. She loved it. After riding Thunder, she looked at Auntie Shell, my oldest sister. 

"Can I ride Comet?"
And my heart was in my throat once again.

Family. memories. priceless.

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