Pencils scratched the papers and students rushed to finished their exam in the last five minutes of their grade eleven chemistry exam. The bell rang and a burst of noise filled the school. The students scrambled to write their last sentences. School was out for the year. Seventeen-year-old Matthew Diver handed his paper in and shoved into the hallway which had gone insane with overjoyed high school students. People yelled and things were flying through the air. Matt was just as happy as everyone else. He emptied his locker into a garbage bag and threw it in a trash bin near his locker. As happy as he was, he wanted to get out of the commotion. As he walked to the parking lot, he bumped into Zoe Taylor; someone he didn’t particularly like.
“Hey Matt. You goin’ to any horse shows this summer? Or are you too scared to loose again and, oh my god! - fall off…You’re more of a wimp than most girls.” Zoe said with a smirk.
“I’m sorry Zoe, but weren’t you the one who cried when you lost because the push-button pony you were riding knocked over a jump?” Matt replied, very annoyed. He tried to be mature about it but Zoe really got to him.
“Ya well...at least I’m not a girl. I mean like if I was a guy. Which I’m not” Said Zoe trying to get a good comeback. “What’s your problem? Are you like five or something?”
“Maybe I am, but at least I’m not a he-she”, replied Matt.
At the end of the previous summer, Matt was riding his nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Magnus, in an ASJA championship. He was at the top of the scoreboard when in his final jump-off, his horse tripped as it landed the jump. The horse had flipped over, severely twisting his neck and breaking both its front ankles. He had landed on top of Matt who luckily survived with only a concussion, a dislocated hip and a broken arm. Magnus was put down on the scene. Matt had quit riding since then and his rival, Zoe Taylor, constantly reminded him of what had happened. Matt had quite a bond with his gelding that was almost ready for grand prix. The loss and traumatizing experience kept Matt from riding again. He had tried but every time he got back on a horse, a pang of grief filled him as well as fear. His heart would race and he would grab the horse’s mane and clutch with his legs. He wanted to ride again. He wanted the feeling of oneness with a horse, flying over huge fences and galloping at high speeds. But he just couldn’t get the courage to do it again…nor could he forget his beloved horse Magnus.