Nine  years ago when I was 13  my family moved to Oregon where we could finally have horses. We lived down the street from a girl who would later become my best friend. She was a year younger than me and had a sister who was 19. They both had their own horses and loved to ride them all over. We lived next to a mountain that was an amazing place to ride. As we became friends, they invited me to ride with them frequently since I didn’t have my own horse.

LIESEL

We named ourselves the CWI on horses,the “Crazy Wild Indians”. Even though I wasn’t very experienced, I was brave and could hang on well enough to enjoy it. One of the first times I rode with them, we went to the mountain. I was riding the oldest sister’s horse Ty who was the most well trained of the three even though he was the most high-spirited. . When we arrived at a deserted section of the trail, the older sister rode up to me  and told me that we were going to run this part of the trail. I had never  galloped a horse before and I was really nervous. She told me that I had to go first because the horse I was riding was the fastest and had to be in front. I said, “Okay.” then she told me, “Lean forward hold on to the reins and squeeze your legs.”

The next thing I knew I was riding what sounded like a thunder storm on an uphill trail through a forest with trees so close together I had to look ahead, pull up my knees and lean to the side so they wouldn’t get hit. When we finally got to the open field, I hauled on the reins. Ty wouldn’t stop. Panic shot through me. I was never going to stop this huge horse. Then, he heard the other horses behind him. He stopped and walked back to join them.

You know that expression, “Going so fast tears stream down your face”? The whole ride, I could feel my eyes watering and the tears running down my cheeks. It was one of the scariest, dumbest, and most fun things I’ve done in my life. I’m sure if my mom had known about it she would never have never let me do it. But I was so young and clueless. I didn’t know how dangerous it actually was. I didn’t realize it would remain one of the best memories I have.

By Liesel Langstraat