To read Part One of this story, click here.
As the sun begins to rise, we unzip our jackets and loosen our scarves, leaving them trailing in the wind behind us. The endurance racing saddle being so light and thin, I can feel each movement of the horse rippling up through my legs and into my body. As the horse becomes drenched in her sweat, so do I. My fingers, entwined in mane, and forearms become an extension of the horse’s mouth and neck, and they move according to her stride. I can feel her deep inhale and exhalation, and her change in stride when hard sand becomes soft. I can feel her get tired, drop her head and dip into her reserve tank. And as we approach the final stretch, I can feel her instantly perk up beneath me when the stable (her home) becomes visible on the horizon. In the desert, it does not take long for horse and rider to become one.
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