In the Middle Are the Horsemen The Carolinas Equestrian My hands were in fists, and they were still, steady against my mare’s withers. Twelve strides out and I stood up a fraction in my stirrups. My hands came up and the reins went tight. She pulled against the pressure. Damn it! Pay attention! Her mouth, her weight, her energy, all pulled firmly forward like a train. Seven strides out and I leaned back against the reins. Her head came up, but she didn’t slow down. My knuckles went white. Four strides out and I changed my mind. I let her reach forward again. I urged her on. Come! On! Her mouth closed around the bit. I hit her with my stick. Damn! My arm swung high, I smacked her again. Two strides left.

Maybe, I thought.

And then we hit the jump.