It is a long time since I rode a horse, and even then it could be debated whether I rode the horse, or the horse carried me around. I have done a few trails, in Lesotho, when the weather changed everything and the Mountain Club had to rescue us 🙂 a trail in a private game reserve in the Low veld where one rider fell and broke her arm; one short (very short) trail round this sphinx and pyramids in Cairo, on Arab stallions (so they so much smaller than I anticipated – thankfully) which was thrilling, frightening and left me black and blue for several long painful days 😦
These were some forty years ago –
which as I said, makes it a long time since I rode a horse 🙂
It is also a long time since I wanted to ride a horse!!!
One of the benefits of getting to the age of maturity (others use the word old) is that the short term memory fails one; so I cannot remember whether I decided faint hearted (see blog: ‘me, faint hearted?Me – Faint Hearted?) was a term I applied to myself, or in fact one I did not use to describe myself.
Which is probably just as well, because I had a glorious day today; even if I find myself ready for bed before the sun is!!!!
You see I received a very generous birthday present a year or so ago – a gift voucher for a horse trail ride with Hepburn Lagoon Trails. This sat in a drawer waiting for me until, it would appear the stars aligned, and I received through the ether – sometimes I have no idea how things ‘find me’ – an email about a horse trail in Mongolia. Now wouldn’t you, too, be tempted? Well, one thing led to another and I found myself driving across Melbourne, roadworks notwithstanding, to finally arrive at a little bit of paradise.
Keiran is just the kindest, may I say sweetest person – patient, encouraging, friendly, confident and clearly competent with great horses. With, minimal formality (ready paperwork) we were helmeted, booted and allocated ponies. Some instructions and we were off.
I will not pretend, I was apprehensive, and wondered again why I hadn’t put ‘novice’ down on the form instead of beginner – the alternatives; intermediate or advanced were easy to decide on. Keiran had us all trotting after a few minutes; reminding me that I should not double bounce on the saddle (did he really believe that banging my nether regions around like that was by choice 😂😜) and it didn’t take long for me to find a more comfortable rhythm.
It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of riding through bush, the breeze through the grass, the light playing patterns with the trees, the sound of the horses, the views offered by the extra height of being on horseback. I love walking, but this is different; this huge animal and me; for those few hours joined, trotting, cantering, walking, just ‘being’ – there is conversation between ourselves, and there is silence as we absorb a silence – that of the bush. The bell birds, kookaburra, wedge tailed eagles being swooped by magpies, rosellas. Fields of oats, cattle looking at us, horses calling from far off paddocks.
And then it was over; and we had to ‘get down’ and feel our legs again. !
I shall let you know in the morning how these old bones feel, but for tonight, I shall sleep well with memories of a glorious day – Mongolia still calls, but reality may leave a stronger calling card tomorrow.