Teeth clenched and eyes wild, I perched uncomfortabley on the fence that ran round the edge of the paddock. Fortunatley for me, the trees had been thin, and the familiar black haze of panic had faded as quickly as it had come.
But as I watched Tracy, I couldn't help feel the panic threatening to engulf me again. She had one gloved hand stroking a horses nose, and was chatting casually to Janie, the stable girl.
I knew that horses that were tamed were gentle, mild creatures, and only got violent if you irritated them. I knew that hundreds of nine year old girls rode horses every day. However much I told myself this, it didn't help.
The panic had a source, like all fears do. The memories took me over as I watched Tracy and the horse, black and blurry, seen through the eyes of a frightened little boy, defenceless and alone.
Lost. I am so, hopelessly lost. Trees loom horrifyingly in every direction, holding me in. The branches catch on my jacket and roots trip me up as I stumble through the dark in search of my mothers warm hand to grab hold of.
I am crying, tears spilling down my cheeks as I search hopelessly. The trees are scaring me. I feel confined, trapped. I start breathing faster and faster, my breath coming in short, sharp pants.
For the first time in my life, the endless black wave of panic is thrown upon me, and I am drowning, drowning, drowning..
Until I hear the hoofbeats. Like a distant thunder, rumbling and roaring and growing louder with every second. My eyes wide, I stare in every direction. What is coming for me? What is it?
When the horses arrive, galloping, wild and free, I fall to the ground as they surge endlessly around the. Hoofs, stamping and stamping. Wild snorts of breath, whinneys that screech with victory and animalistic freedom.
I had seen horses before, but not like this. These are wild, wild and scary and angry. I curl into a tight ball, sobbing, and willingly fall into the blackness again as the horses stamp and stamp and stamp around me.
I gasped, as if emerging from a freezing lake. It had been so real...
My hands clutched at the fence, as if afraid it would be torn away from me by the horses. Tracy turned; she had heard my wild gasp of breath.
'You okay?' She asked.
I nodded, not daring to test the stability of my voice.