INSTALLMENT ONE The thing is, it can seem like bullshit, because I read the books, I’ve read all these books about the transcendence of horsewomanship, of the bond, of the communication, and here’s me, handed a school horse, told to get on, told to ride a twenty meter circle, a serpentine, a figure of eight, to trot, to canter, told to get off, handing over to the next person, never grooming, never tacking— So? So what am I supposed to do? How do I get ‘it’? How can I? I’m reading a brochure while everyone else is gazing in wonder at the pyramids of Egypt.

I’m so aware of the hierarchy. As an adult beginner, I’m at the bottom of the pyramid. I am in the bloody basement of Khafre. With all the other dusty things. Above— above!— are the children, the beginner children even above us auld wans, with the advanced kids maybe even edging out the advanced adults. The top, the pyramidical penthouse, is equally shared by the livery crowd and the polocross players, this being the yard’s [deserved] claim to fame.

I rattle around among the broken pots, gurning.

So… I want more.

I want my own horse.

Oh, God. I thought the hat was an investment, the jods, the half chaps.

How do I own a horse???

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