I had never been on the back of a horse. Donkeys on Southport beach 40years ago yes. A camel in Tunisa yes, but a pony/horse no. For no reason except the opportunity has never arisen.
So I put it on my list. Something different. I admit I was expecting this to be a challenge I wouldn’t get around to doing.
A chance conversation with my friend in the bar one day and she tells me that she used to go horse riding as a child and now that she has a little time on her hands now she was going to have a few lessons. I asked if the stables took beginners and before I knew it I was booked in.
I had to cancel my first appointment (circumstances beyond my control) which made me extra nervous when my lesson finally came around. My friend Karen went first…errr… when her horse (Travis) was led out of the stable I couldn’t believe it. Aren’t horses big?!?!? Of
COURSE I know that, I feed horses grass when they are in a field, I have watched my own children ride once when we were on holiday. But with the prospect on getting on myself…gulp.
Her lesson went smoothly, she trotted arround going this way and that, asking questions about her posture etc. Looked very impressive but then it was my turn.
Travis was put about and a lovely gentle giant Denzil was brought out. HUGE. I climbed up the steps and got on. Oh so dignified – not. Blimey it was a long way up. The structor then led up into the the schooling area. When I say led she was not holding onto Denzil in any way. Denzil either knew where he was going or he was following her voice and her lead, I chose the latter to believe.
Off the yard and down a step, ouch – nearly slipped off, this was not easy, down a path, this was bumpy and into the yard, oh my, 30 mins was going to seem a long time. Did I say she was not holding on? It was just me and the horse – the big horse.
During the lesson, I learned how to start, stop, turn, steer between buckets, how to hold the reins and how to use the ‘bit’ to communicate with Denzil and not hurt him. Such a sweetie of a horse. Just as I was thinking that he was SO placid he probably doesn’t know how to go quicker than a slow clip clop, the instructor suggested I went for a ‘trot!!!!’ It wasn’t long just about ten yards or so – twice – but I my brain rattled so much it was very disconcerting.
And that was it – I had enjoyed myself hugely, and I felt I had come on in leaps and bounds. But I felt I had only scratched the surface, although this is not a hobby I shall take up (too expensive and I am a little too old in the tooth) I had enjoyed myself enough to give it another shot. So I booked a second lesson.
Afterword – That was a Friday – by Sunday I could. not. move. Legs and back were agonising, could not turn my neck. I tried to persuade myself that it was a combination of Yoga on Wednesday as well as the horse riding, but I somehow suspect not. Monday was a washout, couldn’t sit, stand or lie comfortably and by Tuesday my legs were feeling Ok but I really thought I had done something seriously to my back. I hadn’t had sleep for 3 nights and was miserable. Hmmmm am I ready for lesson 2?
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