I’ve saddled and rode a horse only twice in my life. Each time I was the age of baby teeth and each time my ride was cut short as I slid down the horse’s neck when he started to eat field daisies. I gave up easily. Not being trained in horse's tongue does this to you. I didn't know how to ask a horse to stop daisy chewing and let me ride into the open prairie. I just told myself that I was never meant to be a rider.
The only horses I ever knew were the ones on my grandmother’s farm and they were wild as weeds growing between a river and its rocks. My grandmother would give me a bucket of sugar cubes and I'd carry it toward the horses. The closer I got, the more their hooves would pound the clay and make dirt rise into the air. Sometimes I was brave enough to let them eat right out of my hand, other times (most times) I tossed the sugar cubes from a distance. No matter where I stood, whether close or afar, I could hear my teeth rattle beside my beating heart. The wild in my grandmother's horses was all I ever knew horses could be. I was afraid they saw me as a giant sugar cube.
The horses I rode and fell off for daisies belonged to a friend's farm. They were much tamer than my grandmother’s horses, maybe too tame as they preferred flowers to letting their hooves fly. Sometimes I wonder if I should have fed my grandmother's horses a daisy diet instead of sugar cubes, maybe then I would have been able to get close enough to hear their heartbeat and not only my own.
I hope one day I know what hooves on an open prairie sounds like.