#11 – Ride a horse.

They say that horses are intelligent creatures, don’t they?
Wait, am I thinking of dolphins? Or velociraptors?
Clever girl.

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Anyway, one of the things I really wanted to do was ride a horse. I think I was inspired by Django Unchained. I can’t think what other reason I have for wanting to do anything. Ride a horse. Become a free man. Eat some white cake.
The opportunity to ride a horse came to be on my actual 30th birthday. Clarissa had offered before but I had never committed. Here’s the thing about saying you’re going to do something, sometimes you actually end up doing it.

I don’t trust horses. I feel like they are plotting something. What do they know that we don’t? Why are they always standing about, watching everything? What have they seen? They say “oh, if I could be a fly on the wall”, try being a fucking horse.

The first thing I noticed about Bentley, my noble stead, is that he was massive. Apparently he’s small for a horse. He’s bigger than a vacuum cleaner or a Paul Schiernecker so in the grand scheme of things, I’m declaring him big. He also didn’t like me. Horses do what the fuck they want, don’t they? Unless you’re some kind of cryptic horse whisperer, threatening that they’ll become Iceland Lasagne, horses rule the roost. Clarissa made me dress him in a little S&M waistcoat and then we took him out into the ménage. That’s basically where they train horses and idiots, dressed in pea coats, who haven’t been on horses before. It’s a fenced in square, covered over in sand, so if you land on your tuchus you’re not going to die.

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I assumed I would be a naturally gifted horse rider. I quickly realised that the reason I thought I would be able to ride is that I once spent an entire weekend eating chicken nuggets and playing Red Dead Redemption. It turns out that you can’t tap A to make it go faster. Instead, you have to be horrible to him.

Basically, there are a lot of instructions to follow. I was busy trying to send pictures to my brothers and didn’t hear a lot of them. It’s sort of like riding a bike. You put your hand out to the side to make a turn. You also have to talk to the horse. This is where it becomes different to riding a bike. You don’t talk to a bike. I’ve seen people talking to bikes but they were in Amsterdam.
You are supposed to be sure of what you’re saying, which is difficult when you don’t ever feel sure of what you’re saying. I mean, how can I be in charge, he’s been horse riding a lot more than I have, and we both know it.

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After much persuasion (Clarissa to me), Bentley started doing what I wanted. He still stopped at the gate because he hated me and he always diverted off the course but other than that, we had a good time. I even managed to get him to trot.
The only harsh thing is that to do so, you have to give them a little kicking. At first I was really apprehensive because it’s like someone punching me in the kidneys to force me to run.

Basically, riding horses is excellent. Now I’m gonna go and hunt some foxes and poor people.

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