by Janee J. Baugher
Twitching withers and self-bloated belly
try to thwart saddle-positioning, yet she lowers head to accept bridle.
Belle Amie swaggers under me with a swish,
swish of leather between my own sore stifles.
I ride her bit back and forth –inside rein, outside rein –
and she abides with a bowed forelock and soft spine.
Milkish spittle coats her mouth and drops to sawdust, clogging hooves
as my hands and legs request a certain stride.
Leaping over cross-rails, I drop heels in stirrups to quiet saddle-seat undulations.
I am careful not to offend her gait, yet a subtle buck follows my subtle crop.
Nodding her head in thanks after carrots,
chomping a flake of hay and molasses oats,
a neck that barely fits my hug, her scratch-my-nose nudge...
even the memory of it pleases me.