I clung to the saddle as Major tore down the path in front of us. My muscles burned and sweat dripped into my eyes, but I could not let my horse slow down. Not when the heaving sound of his labored breathing tore at my heart. Not when my face and arms stung from low-hanging branches ripping at them. Not even when a monstrous fallen log loomed before us. Leaning forward and ducking low on Major’s neck, I extended the reins. With a grunt, he launched us into the air.
I loved this opening paragraph. Leaves me asking who this person is and what they are running from. Definitely hooked.
For the barest of moments, time hung suspended, leaving only the soaring.
His hooves slammed back down, but he stumbled on the landing. I pitched forward, nearly flying out of the saddle. I flailed and tried to straighten while my horse regained his footing. My left stirrup dangled uselessly beside my foot, but I pushed Major back into a gallop, even as I struggled to recover my balance. We could not stop. I gripped Major’s sides and clutched handfuls of his black mane as the next bend in the trail swallowed us whole.
Then the path opened up, and I let out the reins. Major shot forward, racing beside the river on our right side. It led all the way through the Golden Woods to Braythel. If I could make it to that kingdom, I might have a chance. Digging in with my heels, I urged Major on. I had to get to Braythel.
Everyone that knows me knows I'm a sucker for fantasy like this. I loved this opening. I have nothing to critique because you did a great job at starting in the action. The writing is clean and the voice is strong. I'd keep reading. Great job.