The Fear Caused Break

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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The speakers got louder as the bright lights of Double J Arenas shone down on the barrel racers. As the next contestant went on, my horse, Lena, started fidgeting. Her ears were forward, turned towards the speakers as her nostrils flared. I looked over the barrels, slightly wary, and waited until we were called. Lena started throwing up her head again as her front hooves lifted off the ground slightly. I tried to calm her down, but it wasn’t working.

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I walked her outside to a smaller arena that was beside the alleyway for warm-up. I trotted her around for a few minutes to get her to calm down. She kept her eyes trained on the arena, jumping every few minutes when the speakers came on, announcing the next racer. I felt myself grow more anxious as she kept making little rears at the sounds.

After a while, I walked her back into the waiting alley. I took a deep breath, calming myself down as I felt Lena tensing and relaxing every few seconds under the saddle. She started to get excited again. I gently bumped her back so she would calm down. It worked until the blaring speakers came on again, giving both of us a jump. “Why are the speakers so loud that she can hear them through the ear muffs?” I thought to myself. We walked through the alleyway and took off at a gallop. We started turning the first barrel as we neared it and managed to make a good turn. We rounded the second barrel, but the speakers came on again and Lena’s head snapped up in fear looking around. But I urged her to move on. We were moving along fine now, back into a gallop.

I felt the fear coursing through her body as we moved, stride after stride. As we neared the last barrel, the speakers came on again to announce the previous placements of the last event, as it was late. Lena finally snapped and reared up, kicking out her legs, hoping to somehow injure the “invisible scary voice.” I bumped her while holding on for dear life. I heard people shouting for me to hold on, but that hardly helped; it annoyed me more. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain go through my leg when she knocked against the barrel, attempting to run. I yelped and finally fell off her. I held onto my leg in pain, while back paddling away from her so I wouldn’t get trampled. She took off, but something happened that surprised me. She stopped, looked around, and started trotting back to me. She reached her head down and sniffed me, and I resisted the urge to laugh and cry from pain at the same time. I hastily got up and held onto her, leading her back.

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The Fear Caused Break. (2022, Aug 18). Retrieved from