Ginny woke up with a start. Yet again. It was still dark in the room, though the first rays were trying to fight the night. The girl looked at her watch — 5.28 AM. She groaned. Since the departure for Colorado Ginny’s organism had refused to cooperate. If it continues this way, she will have to take pills in order to sleep for longer than a couple of hours. Having realised that it was useless to go back to bed, Ginny got dressed and left the stuffy hotel room.
Kendall fairground met her with so desired coolness. The facility was still empty, except for the staff who were finishing their night shift. Ginny was slowly walking towards the guest barn. She couldn’t help thinking about the argument which had happened right before the show. The thought of hurting Fanny was unbearable. Ginny understood that she had made a mistake: she had been driven by anger and, even though she dreaded to admit it, by envy. It had been seven months since her girlfriend had left for France to work at Westerns Equine Academy. Fanny got everything: dream job, top class facility to ride at and an opportunity to show herself, while Ginny had to fight for every penny and every chance to prove that she could be more than just a mediocre rider.
“You’ve missed your chance, Gin. You could’ve been here with me doing exactly what you want. But you chose to be a standstill who is afraid of changes”. Fanny was right. She was afraid. Afraid to leave her home country and move to an unknown place, afraid to leave Elizabeth, who had always been so kind to her. Her whole life was full of fear and the only person who could comfort her was currently at the other end of the world.
With all those thoughts swarming in her head Ginny didn’t notice how she had reached the barn. Replay had already been waiting for his rider with every millimetre of his coat covered in wood chops and hay left after his dinner.“Little bastard” — Ginny murmured while taking him to the isle and slowly bringing him in order. Throughout the years of the work she couldn’t find the way to this stallion. Every workout was a torture. No wonder the success at shows was a very random question.
“You’re not trying, — Fanny used to say, — It’s all in your head”. Once again her words made sense. Unlike her girlfriend, Fi easily found the means to communicate with Replay when she had a chance to ride him. It was driving Ginny nuts. Why did she always have to be the looser?
“Are you okay, Ginny? Are you crying?” — the girl jumped and turned around. It was Margaret.
“I’m fine, Margaret, it’s alright. Just… Never mind”, — Ginny replied and tried to get back to work. Her trainer wasn’t satisfied with her answer and the girl had too look at her. It may be assumed that the owner of Harbledore wasn’t at her best state either, though she tried to conceal it. Ginny had been schooling with Margaret for several years but still couldn’t figure her out. She wondered if anyone apart Margaret herself knew what was in her soul.
“You know that I won’t leave you alone until I get a satisfactory answer.”
“Some… some difficulties with my relationship. Not seeing your partner for more than half a year doesn’t do good.” — the girl’s voice was treacherously trembling.
“Piss off, Fanny, just piss off! Stop blaming me for my fears, you haven’t lived my life! Go to your new French friends! You seem to get along with them perfectly” — Ginny had spit those words before she even realised what mistake she had made. Ever since that call had haunted her, reminding that she had been the one to ruin her only source of happiness.
“Well, you’d rather put your problems away, it’s not the best time for them. Right now I want you to focus on the competition. You have good chances Ginny, if you get rid of distractions in your head.” — on saying this Margaret left to check the rest of the team. Something in her face hinted that it wasn’t exactly what she wanted to tell her student. Who knew, maybe the majestic Mrs. I-Can-Handle-It-All could have problems too?
Some time later Ginny was cantering in the warm up pitch. Margaret’s instructions in the earpiece were calming the girl and setting the right mood. In a few minutes she will enter the arena and have another chance to break the barriers in her head. Right before her turn the rider approached her trainer for the final tip.
“You’re doing very well today, keep it going. Try to focus on the speed. You’re too concentrated on the technique. Let yourself go, trust the horse. He is capable of everything. Think about it and forget about the rest, okay? Now go.” — Margaret released Ginny’s hand, patted the horse and led them into the arena.