I gather my reins, like taking control of my life: planning a path, choosing the gait at which I will travel.
Then he, also like life, goes his own way: spooks off the fence, bucks and swishes his tail in annoyance, throws a fit, throws a shoe, breaks a rein and ducks into a spin, slips in a puddle, stops dead and refuses to budge. Sometimes I land easy and sometimes not so easy and sometimes I even manage to stay aboard, gripping long strands of mane in white-knuckled fingers, biting my lip, fighting tears, clinging to balance, clinging to hope, daring gravity to mess with me.
Eventually, I get the reins back. Turn. Plan a path. Choose a gait.
Maybe this time we'll canter easy.