My first horse was a large bay mare named Lady. Lady was very gentle and easy to get going if you were headed home. If not she often refused to go along unless I was riding with a group of my friends. Though it was not entirely her fault as I had had no formal training in the manner of horseback riding other than my uncle helping me onto the saddle, so I was really at the mercy of her stubborn whims. However, dumb on my part I often went riding without thinking of how safe it was going to be when Lady decided it was time to go home. Many a time with the bit in her teeth, we headed home long before I wanted too and if the barn door was open I had better duck or get wiped off her back by the framework.
One day I rode up the hill to visit with an old friend. As I sat on Lady next to their porch, my friend said "Let's race back to your house, you on your horse and I in my car." Well I wasn't to thrilled to get Lady running in full speed down the hill to my uncle's farm, but as often happens one often forgets fear in the spirit of really dumb ideas.
Swinging Lady around I tapped my heels on her flanks and we were off. I remember screaming whoa as we flew across the highway barely missing a car and as we desended the hill. The next memory is of us crashing through my grandmother's favorite lilac bush and many white petals floating everywhere like in a dream world. My final memory is seeing my uncle coming out of the barn wondering what all the screaming was about as Lady stopped dead before hitting the fence and I sailing over it landing at my uncle's feet. This was the end of the ride, a ride my uncle never let me forget. There were stories told for years about me and my horse and the lilac bush. Red faced was I, but I could almost see a faint smile on Lady's face, for she knew this ride was over and she was home.