It's been a while, but I just haven't felt like writing. As my sister put it the other day, I'm trying to "recalibrate what 'fine' means". But - I was reading an old thread on my favorite discussion board and came across one of my favorite true stories from my childhood -- and I thought I'd share...
I've only ridden about three times in my life, but the first time was a WONDERFUL experience!
I was in 6th grade at British school in HK, Black Beauty was my favorite book and those plastic horses were my favorite toys. Two of my friends had riding lessons every weekend (as you do, if your British) and they invited me to join them one weekend, saying they had reserved the quietest, sweetest horse for me to ride. However, when we got there we found a birthday party for a bunch of six-year-olds in progress... using "my" horse of course.
The only other horse available hadn't been exercised yet, and they were worried that he might be too antsy for a new rider. Well, he WAS the only horse available, and I wasn't going to go out to the riding place and NOT ride, uh uh no way!
SO... they got me up on his back, and walked us out to a little paddock with a well-trod circle in it, and gave me lessons about the paces and how to ride in a circle. I enjoyed it, but I honestly never got the bouncing thing (until later) -- ANYWAY, after about 30 mins of this, my friends wanted to get out and really ride, so we headed out of the training paddock and turned right onto a short path that joined with the main path to a much larger paddock that adjoined the one we had been using, with a large gate/hedge in between.
But, as soon as we turned right again, my horse looked down the path and went "SPACE!!! I'VE GOT SPACE!!!" And took off at a gallop down the road! Other than that morning's training, my only "riding instructions" were from watching movies like "National Velvet", so I hunched down and leaned forward over my hands like a jockey, and the horse (not surprisingly) took this as "GO FASTER"... so he did. It was BEAUTIFUL, if just a mite scary!
My friends were screaming "Pull the reins, pull the reins" and I noticed the entrance to the other paddock coming up on the right, so I started pulling hard right. The horse pulled into the paddock and did a u-turn and headed straight back down ... and OVER the hedge into the training paddock! Where he calmly trotted around the training circle again. I stayed glued to him and alternated between gasping for breath and laughing out loud. Brilliant!
I'll never forget Fiona Hutton's injured tone when she finally caught up with me again: "You never told us you could jump!" Of course, *I* had nothing to do with that jump, it was all horse... and I thank him for an absolutely exhilarating experience! And after that, he had gotten his ya-yas out and he was just sweetness and light.
Man -- just remembering that story makes me all happy inside. I really need to ride again!
Thanks kaspinet for the awesome ani!