So here I go - the start of my 50 things to do before I hit 50 - and I am straight in there with one of the biggest: the one day event*.
It must be one of the biggest indulgences ever and also one of the scariest.
I mean - what if?
What if I fall off? What if I break my leg/arm/neck? That really is going to cause a problem. Who will look after the kids/dogs/house?
Dear Charlie tells me to stop being so negative after I confess to him my worries as I drive him to the station at 5:45am. And then he tells me something else. He says he is proud of me. He's full of admiration that I am doing something I love even though it could be dangerous. He says I shouldn't worry about it being indulgent because if I do then his relatively new found passion for cycling is also indulgent and dangerous.
"Life is too short to stop doing the things we love just because we may get hurt or injured doing it! If we did that we'd land up doing nothing!"
I get his point.
But I still worry.
Probably not helped by reading about someone who was out riding and had a very bad fall. And it was not clever watching all those YouTube clips of people falling off their horses while doing cross country...
So in a few hours I am going to start my odyssey, my personal quest in the year running up to my 50th birthday with a one day event.
I am scared.
But I am also excited.
I am going to challenge myself to go further than I ever dared to and if I fall off...
*A one day event is a horse riding challenge whereby a rider competes across three riding disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross country.
Dressage is a bit like ballet but for horses and shows how well a horse and rider can work together. It is judged on the bearing, demeanour, discipline and elegance that the partnership brings to arena. The test consists of a sequence of movements to test the suppleness and obedience of the horse.
Then there is the show jumping bit which is a test of agility, precision and control of both horse and rider over a course of show jumps.Finally there is a cross country section where Horse and rider must negotiate a course of solid obstacles within a certain time limit. This part of the one day event is designed to test the fitness, technique and all round ability of both horse and rider.