The rain had ended sometime in the night before I woke up, and I remembered what Tharyn had once told me about fireworks making it rain. 'C'mon,' I'd thought. My older sister was notorious for seeming pedantic, but I guess she was right. Something about the dust particles in the atmosphere. The rain had left the early Monday morning deceptively cool, but it was July, and I knew it would soon turn into another scorcher.
It was just after dawn, and I had mucked the stalls and pulled off a fresh flake of hay for each of the horses we boarded in our stable. My own brown quarter-horse, Thunder was under the overhanging bay of the hay-mow waiting for me to finish up scrubbing the water-buckets. Pip never cleaned them properly, and the hot summer temperatures would encourage algae to bloom in the horses’ drinking water if I didn’t do it. From the look of the stalls, she hadn’t done a very good job mucking them the previous day either. She’d deny it of course, and we’d only get into another argument if I told mom. Dad would defend her as usual.
It was the day after Independence Day, 1993, and the celebrations in the village had concluded the night before with the big fireworks show my family sponsored, and had every year since I was a little girl. My twin and I had taken turns over the weekend sitting over the dunk-tank at the street-fair, waiting for guys to throw baseballs at the target-lever and dump us into the water tank to raise money for the Kiwanis Club. My older sister Tharyn had to do it for years, but since Pip and I had boobs now, she decided we were old enough to take over the job, so we weren’t really volunteers. We were conscripted!
After taking a few plunges into the cold water, Pip decided she didn’t like it much, and said next year I could do it alone. I didn’t mind. I had as much fun doing it as the boys did watching me coming up from the tank soaking wet! Everything was settling down to normal again after the four-day street-fair in the village had folded up, and maybe that sense of calm had given me a false feeling of safety, or maybe it was all the attention I’d gotten over the weekend that encouraged me to be more daring, but it was while I was feeding the horses that I decided this was the day. No one usually came out to the farm to ride that early on a Monday, and my sisters would still be asleep, so today was the day I was going to go through with it!
I thought about riding out to the rear pasture bareback, but then had second thoughts. I was comfortable riding Thunder without a saddle, but this would be quite a different experience, and I decided for what I had planned, I’d better see how it went with a saddle first. I slung my heavy western saddle off the fence-rail onto his pad, dropped his girth cinch, and thumped his ribs so he’d quit trying to hold his breath while I pulled the cinches tight.
The trouble with a smart horse is that they’re always trying to outsmart you by expanding their lungs while you tighten their cinches. Thunder was a very smart horse, and never gave up trying to keep his saddle on the loose side. What did he care if the saddle rolled and I wound up on my ass? Never think horses can’t laugh! The smarter they are, the wickeder their sense of humor!
I mounted up and we started off at a flat walk, and then slow-gaited out the farm-lane along the fence-line bordering the riding-fields, heading towards the woods. I wanted him warm but not sweating, in case I did decide to try taking off his saddle when I finally got out there. As we got into the woods, I began looking around nervously, even though I knew I was alone. I chose the trails that would lead me back to the rear of the farm. Once I rode deeper into the woods and got past the thicket, I knew I’d feel safer, so I took the east trail which wound around the dense new growth of trees where the sun filtered everything into a light green glow, and then got back under the deeper shadow of the older trees on the other side.
This was the spot where I’d gotten the idea a few weeks before, and where the seed was planted in my mind for what I intended to do today. Chris had been riding along with me that day and he always seemed to bring out the devil in me, so after a few taunts I had pulled my shirt off and ridden topless for him. His reaction was so stimulating that I had tried to picture in my mind what I must have looked like, as if I were watching another girl do it. I’d only kept it off for a few minutes before I got scared and put my shirt back on, but even that fear was exhilarating.
Today, I was going to go the rest of the way, and take everything off and ride naked for as long as I dared, and see if that fearful exhilaration was even more profound than just riding topless. I had plotted this scenario in my fantasies many times over, speculating on every possible way this could go wrong, but regardless of the danger, and maybe because of it, the idea had grown in my mind until it was a kind of obsession, and I was determined to try it, despite the risks, when the right opportunity presented itself.
The closer we got to the back pasture, the more excited I became. Thunder seemed to pick-up on my nervousness and kept his head high over his withers, as if he were being watchful too. Horses can be so damned empathic, I wondered if he sensed I was about to make him my accomplice in crime. I kind of wished Chris were along to watch me do it since it was his dare that started me on this mad course in the first place, but he would be a distraction; one more loose variable to worry about, so this thrill was for me alone.
I saw the opening to the pasture ahead and decided I’d better look for a place to stash my clothes. Part of this was the thrill of leaving my retreat cut-off, and having no quick way of getting dressed again. I wanted to ride out in the open pasture completely naked and committed, leaving my clothes far behind. I stopped short of the bright sunshine beyond the few remaining trees ahead, and dismounted, leading my horse beside a large, fallen log. I looked around one last time, pulled my boots off, and slid my shorts and panties down my legs. Sitting bare-assed on the log, I carefully laid them out beside me, and climbed up on the fallen tree trunk and pulled my shirt off.
My heart was thudding as I felt nothing between my skin and the wide world, but before I could let fear change my mind, I grabbed the saddle horn and stepped barefoot into the stirrups, then swung into the saddle. It felt so wickedly naughty! Some last vestige of decency prompted me to pull my long, brown hair in front of my shoulders so it covered my breasts, and without another thought, I kicked my heels into his flanks and we burst out into the open sunshine at a gallop. I could always feel my boobs bouncing when I rode fast, but feeling the wind on my bare skin for the first time was wonderful, so I threw my hair back and felt the morning air stiffening my nipples as the wind caught my hair, and the woods receded further and further behind me.
I slowed down to a pace, and looked around me in every direction. I was all alone in the middle of a rolling field of grass, and suddenly the fear subsided and the thrill of what I was doing took hold of me. I was never so conscious of the passage of time while on a horse before, but I found myself savoring every second. The farther out in the open field I rode, the less tempted I became to chicken out and race back for the safety of my clothes. I was completely free, but completely trapped at the same time! If someone suddenly appeared, there was no hiding and no covering-up.
I came to a halt at the edge of a gentle slope down to the shallow, reedy pond and dismounted. I felt like walking down and wading in, but the bottom would be soft and muddy, and my bare feet would sink in. I might lose my footing, so I just stood there in front of my horse and wondered what if anything a horse might think seeing a naked seventeen year-old girl in front of him. I let all the fear of getting caught dissolve away, and just enjoyed the sun and the wind playing against my bare skin, then thought back to all my imagined reactions to this moment when I had played them out in my mind.
The thing I had never anticipated was how transitory it would all seem, in the moment when I had to ride back to safety and get my clothes back on. I wanted to just stay out here and be naked forever. Deep down, I even wanted someone to see me, because it all seemed so unreal to actually be doing it, and not just fantasizing about it. I climbed back up in the saddle, and thought about heading back to the woods and leaving the saddle on the log so I could ride my horse truly bareback, but I’d already been exposed for nearly fifteen minutes, and figured I was pushing my luck!
We trotted back to the woods, and I rode back and forth a ways along the outer line of trees, just to prolong the experience, but finally it was time to cover up again. I don’t even remember putting my clothes back on, I did it so mindlessly. I remember a momentary feeling of guilt while I was pulling my boots back on, that I had actually gotten away with it, but I was back on the other side of the woods before I became truly conscious of my surroundings again. All I wanted was to do it again, but I’d have to wait for another time and another opportunity.
All together that summer, I rode in the nude three times; once bareback, and no one ever caught me. I never even told Chris I had done it. It was a private thing I kept to myself. And that was the only summer I ever did it. In fact, that was the last summer I managed to get away with all the crazy things I used to try.
By the next spring, I had finally pushed my luck too far, and I started getting caught at every naughty thing I tried. Chris and I got careless and finally got caught having sex, and after that, I had a bad reputation for being wild, and everyone watched me like a hawk! I think about those days more now, seventeen years later, than I ever have in the past; maybe because no one is watching me anymore, and the audacious things I try now just aren’t as thrilling as they used to be when I was young and innocent; at least until everyone found out I wasn’t really all that innocent!
(c) 2014 Bethany Ariel Frasier
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/exhibitionism/the-summer-of-93.aspx">The Summer of '93</a>