This has been my dream since I was a little fella. I saw my first horse when I was four years old. A Belgian workhorse on my Daddy’s farm. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, chocolate brown with a long sleek mane; white snowflakes on each ankle and a diamond swoosh on her nose. That’s the moment I knew I was born to ride. My Daddy told me no. I was too young and the horse was just a colt. Not broke yet. But I didn’t listen. I sneaked out to the stables at the crack of dawn. Thunderbolt. That was her name. I rubbed her down and talked to her and told her I was gonna be a jockey. But she didn’t care. She just liked the attention. I fed her and brushed her and treated her like the Queen of Sheba. I went out there everyday for a month, up with the first light telling Thunderbolt my dreams. Then, one day I couldn’t wait no longer. I saddled up ol’ Thunderbolt. She didn’t like it, neither. She bucked and complained somethin’ awful. Almost kicked me a couple times. But I was quick – and small. I ducked her every time. I told her she owed it to me and everything was gonna be fine. We’d ride to glory, her and me. Yes, we would. Well, I didn’t get to glory, but I got to Lady of the Sacred Heart Hospital, which was the closest thing to paradise I’d ever seen. I woke up in a white room with flowers everywhere. I had a broken leg, a broken collar bone and a broken spirit…..
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- Written by: Joyce Storey