Scene 3: Ready to Teach
Jasmine and birdsong filled the air as dawn’s light filled Karen’s bedroom. She inhaled and savored the early morning solitude. The light grew brighter and silhouetted a horse outside her window. Pegasus. He had given up a night’s sleep to watch over her. Did Timmy have a friend like that?
She inhaled again and focused her mind on the positive. Look what I accomplished. Embracing the moment. Studying with Joshua, Saturdays and Sundays for a month. Getting to know the other instructors. Mastering the disability riding instruction. Passing the certification test. I put my mind to it. I believed in myself, and I proved I could do it. It was worth the effort.
Karen threw off the covers, rolled onto her back, and pushed against the mattress with her strong right arm. She lifted both feet into the air and kicked forward. The momentum brought her into a sitting position.
She had a lot to do, and she was ready.
She dressed in black jeans with a white tee shirt and a warm jacket, then tiptoed through the house and out the front door. If she woke Mama, she would have to waste time eating a hearty breakfast. She wasn’t hungry, and she wanted to get going.
On the front porch, she pulled on her riding boots before walking across the lawn to her mentor and mount. “Let’s not wake up Mama.”
She mounted him bareback and headed up the canyon, past Tex’s ranch, toward Joshua’s spread at the top of the hills.
As they entered Joshua’s ranch, Pegasus said, “Today’s your big day. Your first disability riding student.”
“Yes, and I can’t wait to meet him. His name is Timmy. He’s really smart, with an IQ over 140. He had a reaction to a DPT shot, like me. It affected his legs, but his arms and hands are okay. He is growing up and looking for ways to become more independent. He’s pre-admitted to Stanford University, but his body will always be handicapped. And his spirit is wounded, but not broken. He is smart, but can’t imagine he can ever amount to anything other than a burden on those who love him. After all, his parents are brilliant—both medical doctors—and if they cannot help him, then who can?”
“You already know my thoughts on that.”
Joshua’s land looked a lot like Tex’s, but it felt different. The space said Joshua all over it and radiated a spiritual beauty beyond anything Karen had ever imagined. She intuitively knew that in this magical place, with her innate instinct for knowing what people needed, for communicating with them, and for befriending them, she could not only introduce Timmy to horseback riding, but she could help him turn his life in a new direction.
The chilly air smelled of wildflowers and sycamore. Despite her warm jacket, she shivered. As they approached the horse barn, Joshua emerged from the attached shed he now called home.
She slid down from Pegasus’ back. “Joshua, how’s life in the barn?”
He laughed. “Sleeping next to the horses has its advantages. They smell good, and their peaceful breathing relaxes me.”
Pegasus whinnied. “Me, too.”
Joshua said, “Disability riding is starting to take off. I’ll be able to build a house soon. Meanwhile, I am grateful to have a roof over my head.”
As always, he looked at everything positively. Karen helped Joshua saddle the old horses he had rescued. Three were thoroughbreds, former racers, but now old and weak with bones too fragile for running. The other three had been trail horses of the quarter horse breed. They were in better shape, but still too old to carry a person for a full day on a steep trail. All six loved being ridden and were happy they could be of service. She knew because Pegasus had talked with them, and they had told him.
Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.