I get up early to sneak away from the cottage for some peace.
Saddling up my borrowed stead, I look forward to the sensation of riding again. It's been a while and I have missed it.
We head straight for the beach. The flat, wind-swept sands are empty now. Salt is whipped into my face on the breeze, but it's a welcome sensation.
We walk, then trot, then finally we gallop.
Ga-dunk, ga-dunk, ga-dunk the hooves repeat.
My heart beats along in the same rhythm. The horse and I are one.
A fleeting memory of Patrick Swayze teaching Jennifer Grey to dance. He pats his chest in time to a heart beat. Ga-dunk, ga-dunk, ga-dunk.
The faster we go, the more the watery spray stings my eyes. I enjoy the feeling of speed and freedom. Peace from the normal sounds of squabbling and screaming.
Ga-dunk, ga-dunk, ga-dunk, we beat as once.
Then suddenly a small dog shoots out. Previously unseen, the sight shocks me but the horse rears and bucks. I feel myself slipping at speed. Pain as the horse drags me, foot trapped in one stirrup.
There is no more noise now. The horse has stopped. But it is too late for me.