Landing Hard

LANDING HARD
By Amy Fichtl

My head filled with questions. What's happening?

I suddenly jumped out of my cozy, warm bed. It was 5:15 and I had overslept my alarm. I pulled on my lucky jodhpurs, a warm fleece and my woolly, pink socks.
Head over heels, I stumbled down the stairs and chucked on my Tough Rider coat.
As I rushed outside it felt like tiny prickles stabbing my face all at once.

The welcoming nicker came from the left paddock of fresh green grass. I grabbed a blue halter and lead rope from the tack shed and caught Clover in the blink of an eye.
Luckily he didn’t roll so his braids stayed in overnight. His tack was glistening in the early morning light.
“Sophie. Are you nearly ready to load Clover?” called mum from the stables.
“I’ll bring him over now.” I replied quickly.
Ten minutes later Clover was happily munching away at his hay. All of the gear was in the car boot and we were set to go.

I was kind of nervous because this was the State Junior Championship and I had been training for months. This show was the beginning to my career and life with horses

An hour later the car was crunching along the gravel path. The grounds had come to life. There were horses and people everywhere. Classes had started and the stands were filled with buzzing excitement. I jumped out of the car and changed into my show gear.
Clover and Puzzle where unloaded and tied to the side of the crisp, white float.
We still had a good hour to prep the horses and make sure every last hair was in place but the time seemed to fly by. I scrambled through my grooming box to find my hoof pick when the loud speaker crackled over the stands.
“Could Sophie Margin please come to the warm up arena in 10 minutes.” crackled the judge.

Eight minutes later I was in the warm up arena. I saw the sand flying up after Clover’s clean take offs. I cantered around the ring doing multiple small jumps until my number was called.
The care taker opened the gate to the arena. Suddenly I felt a shrinking sensation. All the jumps seemed bigger than before.
The bell rang and I began the course. One cleared. Two cleared. Three cleared. As I approached the 4th jump I felt Clover tense up under the saddle. He suddenly missed a stride and…
BANG! The poles were knocked as I came crashing down.
Everything was a blur. People, uniforms I began to fall into a different world. Drifting away into the ocean waves.

Beep, Beep. The sound of the hospital machines woke me up. I gazed up to see faces crowding over me. All I could think about was Clover. Everything came rushing back to me. My career, my life, my horse.

I couldn’t bear to think what was going to happen.

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