|A horse called Henry|
My fear is a horse called Henry. Well, that would be making it too personal for Henry, who until this morning had never actually met me.
My fear is horses, or horse riding to be strictly accurate. (I would have just said riding but these days there are such connotations regarding the use of riding that you have to put horse in front of it especially when you are on Twitter or you get all sorts of comments which have nothing at all to do about the noble art of equestrianism).
I haven’t ridden for 20 years or thereabouts, and the last horse I rode was very young during a schooling session with the Kings Troop in London.
We got on well in the arena and I was quietly confident; that is until we had to jump and I fell to pieces quite spectacularly and pulled up a quivering shaking mess. I haven’t ridden since.
|Henry awaiting his lunch|
Why was I a mess when everything had gone so well? The problem stemmed from the ride previous to that particular one, which saw me wrap myself round a post and rails breaking three ribs and necessitating a trip by ambulance to the hospital.
I thought I was fine about horse riding. But obviously the way our minds work is way deeper and far more complex than I ever imagined. My body just refused to do anything and I careered towards the jump out of control and only stayed on through sheer luck. I cannot say I was ever a bruising rider or even a confident rider. I was cautious but after the debacle with the Kings Troop I just sort of drifted away from it.
But years later I got the boys riding and somewhat to my surprise they enjoy it so I got them lessons at the local Riding School, Newton Hall in Swilland run by the redoubtable Rossie Theobold.
As I watched them I started to wonder if I could join them remembering how much I loved it as a child. In fact remembered how much I yearned for a pony of my own. Horse mad like many young girls.
So today I tried it again, faced my fears down on an old boy called Henry.
Blooming heck! It was HARD work!
|Stoic Henry eating lunch|
I know it was only for half an hour but I and my legs had obviously forgotten how physical it is especially on a slow poke that you have to keep kicking in order to keep moving forward. If you want a real work out forget the gym, go down to your local riding stables. By the end of 20 minutes I was drenched and could barely nod my head let alone speak when the wonderful Jordan, who was instructing me, suggested a walk round the yard to cool down. I might add that this was purely for my benefit not Henry’s who seemed as unperturbed by the whole experience as he was at the start. Stoic would best describe him.
The wonderful thing was in my efforts to keep him awake I totally forgot to be afraid and now I am looking forward to repeating the whole experience all over again – I must be mad!