The trotting horse showed no signs of tiring as it circled the barn. Clinging to the reins, I attempted to hook my feet back into the stirrups.
Goz stood in the center of the imaginary oval that the horse kept tracing. “Just pull back,” she said.
“Um… I can’t,” I replied, voice rattling as I bounced on the saddle. Without stirrups to brace against, I didn’t feel safe leaning back and yanking the reins.
“Just sit up and pull,” she said with a hint of panic in her voice.
Goz didn’t know the half of it. The male body wasn’t built to bounce on a saddle. In addition to being in danger of falling off, our hero was risking permanent sterilization!
I tried to hide my agony, but my tear ducts betrayed me. Hopefully Goz was too concerned for my safety to notice. Our hero inched forward with each torturous bounce – eventually I’d scoot onto its neck and get thrown to the ground. Given that I started college in less than two weeks, this would be a terrible time for a serious injury.
A horrible repetitive gurgling sound emerged from the horse’s stomach. I gripped the mane for a little more support. “I don’t think I can.”
“Wooooooah,” said Goz. “Woooooooah. Woooooooah.” The bouncing subsided and the horse came to a halt.
Taking the collar of my University of Great Lakes t-shirt to my eyes, I did my best to make it look like I was wiping sweat from my brow.
Goz extended her hand. “Maybe we should call it a day.”
“Sure, just… (gasp)… just give me a minute,” I said, pretending to be winded. As much as I hated lying to her, I had little choice. There was no appropriate way to explain that my balls needed a minute to recover.
“How are you out of breath?” asked Goz. “I thought you ran track?”“The season… (gasp)… ended a while ago. I must be… (gasp)… out of shape.”