Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Diamond T. Ranch
(Zaneta’s Ride: 1988)
And there I was on a large horse right behind Zaneta, who was on a large horse, she was all of thirteen, a big girl for thirteen, and simple minded, and her horse had electricity in its eyes, twisted fire in its legs, galloping up this hill and right off into the atmosphere, so it appeared, and several people were on horses in front of her, and her horse wanted to pass them.
Her body frame lay still, perhaps she was thinking about this. Anyhow, after a moment the horse groaned, as if being held back, and it was certainly unlike any groan I had ever heard from a horse. I thought, what spooked you?
All of the horse—save, the rider and the insects, and discounting the hot weather, galloped unflagging up that hill, hoof after hoof, left print, right print in the hard, hardened muddy ground, towards the top, and below the top was the corral, where the feed and water was.
For me, who at that time was a good rider: my flesh tingled unpleasantly with the contemplation she was going to fly off that saddle at any moment?
I rode still, savoring this, as a magical moment in her life, praying: Lord, please put an angel on the back of that horse to hold Zaneta in place, before it could become fatal; that was my secret prayer.
The horse in his gallop passed the bushes and overlade branches, from side to side, for a moment my world was compressed-silence, then it ebbed, the silence cleared, and breathing started back up: I could hear her horse hissing, perhaps it was thinking, while galloping, with its tossing frame, heaving belly, legs swinging, reaching and overreaching, mud slum or not: limp hooves, Zaneta’s soles deep in the stirrups: yet still it gallops with untiring fury and without sympathy for its rider, knowing all along—having so keen an eye when she got on the horse, evolution: he was in charge. Had I been on the horse, a single blow to the beast, he would have retreated, but now he was thundering on though the other several horses as if they were foes, perhaps he was the lead horse, and was angry he was not doing the leading, because he had a thirteen year old on his back, even a horse has pride: something’s are shaped in the mind’s eye, horse or man, or beast—and this pride will never die, even the horse can’t help it, it is in the bones of the horse, cursing inferior riders put onto their backs; and the horse galloped to the top of the hill, below it: its destination the corral, or the barn or the feed, or sleep, whatever, wherever, anyplace would do but a better place than having to endure this thirteen year old on his back, any thirteen year old, I think would have irritated the horse.
But women or girls can be surprising wise, even to horses; hence, unconfused by this reality, perhaps more by simplicity, impervious to the moment at hand, and in the thrill of the gallop, she thought nothing of it. By gosh, I thought, what a brave girl.
No: 1019/1-7-2013 (For Zaneta)