And there it is. With, not against. The key to the Nihiwatu system, to life in this place, and perhaps to surviving this ride. I relax my grip, lean forward on her back and let the horse run free. OK, it’s not quite a scene from Snowy River, but I do arrive at the stable in a mostly seated position. Adi is unimpressed. He doesn’t hold my hand or put his head in my lap, just leads the horse to graze. Still, I’m feeling good. Accomplished. Alive. I return to the beach on trembling legs. Heart pounding. Sun setting. Then I notice a young boy galloping toward me along the tide line on a striking white pony. His legs are wrapped around the animal’s powerful neck; he has just a handful of the pony’s mane. Part third-world acrobatics, part equestrian wrestling, and Sumba all the way. I offer a wave as the horse tramples past, and the child risks his grip to return the gesture. His teeth are perfect.