“It had been a perfect Southern California day, and we had been having a nearly perfect lesson.

It was my first time jumping Axel since I’d brought him home. My trainer, relatively new to her post, had been riding him solo to ‘work out the kinks.’ (Par for the course for powerful, athletic show horses, especially ones unwittingly sent from the lush, green pastures of New Jersey to a beige desert canyon outside Los Angeles.) I hadn’t ridden much since the cross-country trip, so we were easing me in over cross rails. Each jump had been relatively smooth sailing, and all three of us were brimming with anticipation.

‘Let’s do one more!’ the trainer yelled. I emphatically agreed and went to pick up a simple left-lead canter.

It’s funny how quickly great expectations can be eclipsed by inescapable reality.

There was no other horse in the ring, no random desert animal milling about us. There wasn’t even an overly exuberant bird in the sky or a stiff wind. Nothing provoked what came next.” . . .

Read “After The Fall” by Gia-Raquel Esposito, exclusively in ALOVEDLIFE volume 4, a timeless bookazine by Absolute Love Publishing featuring stories on Intentional Living, Elevated Action, Conscious Connection, and Sacred Self Care. Learn about all the editions here.