I don't think Blue Wings hates me, but he hasn't forgotten the last time I rode him. And he hasn't forgiven me for it.
Something dangerous happened and now, well...
I probably never would've know Blue was holding a grudge (he doesn't look like the type: a silvery pinto with blue-gray splashes on each side of his barrel looks more like a fairy horse, right?), but Dad asked me to work Blue for him, and he barely let me get into the saddle before he started bucking -- sunfishing, I think they call it when they rear, then curve their spines like a bow pulled tight and ready to release an arrow -- and dumped me so hard that I really thought I was hurt.
Luckily, no one saw it happen. Lucky for my future in the saddle, is what I mean, because I decided I had to get back on, and Blue did it again.
He didn't run away, just braced his front legs apart and looked down at me, snorting out, sucking in, staring. But his eyes didn't look mean, they looked scared...like he had no faith in me.
And then I knew what was wrong; he could feel my fear after that first buck.
The next time I got back on, I remembered things I'd told the HARP girls when they were just learning to ride. And it was kind of cool, because when I talked with Darby in Hawaii, she said her grandfather Jonah told her almost the same things.
Sit on your back pockets. Stare at the horizon through the horse's ears. Breathe in time with the horse's movements, all the way in and all the way out. Just like Blue.
"I'm not scared, you silly blue mustang," I told him, and I blocked out the days that Dad and Ross and Dallas had spent riding the wild out of him and opened the round pen gate to show him that we were leaving the ranch grounds together.
I frightened rider wouldn't do that, would she? I hope Blue believed his eyes.
I swung into the saddle, and rolled my weight back toward the cantle until I could feel my jeans' pockets seams under me. I took a deep breath and lifted my chin so that I could stare past the silky silver-blue strands of forelock mounded between his ears. Then, I lifted the reins and let him step out as if nothing bad had happened to us, ever!
If you can think of the dangerous thing that frightened Blue toward the end of Book #20, BLUE WINGS, email Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell her!