A worrying trend is emerging in the Knackered Riders Club and I’m really not sure what to make of it.
It all started a few months ago when Ailsa bought a pair of waterproof jodhpurs that were shiny on the outside like the old punk PVC look and fleece-lined inside. There’s quite a lot wrong with that in my opinion. Firstly they could make you look like you’re going to some dodgy nightclub, which is not great when you’re actually on horseback, and secondly the thick lining is in danger of making your legs look chunkier than they really are.
Ailsa bought hers in a buff colour which, to be honest, didn’t look too bad and she’s slim as a whistle so the offending articles weren’t really that noticeable. I had almost forgotten about them, but with wintry weather blowing in at a rate of knots, Jonathan has now followed suit. I have no idea where he got his shiny black pair from, but according to him they are already the best thing since sliced bread.
Togged up to cope with the wind that was literally cutting us in half, I was alarmed to see that Ailsa sporting her plastic jods and Jonathan following on in his matching pair. They looked like they were either going to do something water-based or illegal. I brought up the rear in a traditional checked pair, in normal cloth I hasten to add.
Studying my strange friends from behind, I seriously wondered about the wisdom of Jonathan’s purchase. OK, he was warm and dry whereas I was getting wet already but should a 47-year-old man really be wearing skin tight plastic trousers in public? I’m pretty liberal, working on the live and let live principle, after all what people do in the comfort of their own home is up to them, but once they set foot outside the door, things change.
I mulled it over as we trotted along. Apache was on his toes and shied at a plastic bag flapping on the fence as we climbed higher and higher to the top of the hill. Was I just being old-fashioned? Quite likely looking at my own dress sense which could at best be called unadventurous. I decided to ignore them and hope we didn’t see too many walkers out on the trails around Mellor.
Unfortunately my head in the sand tactic didn’t work as I was greeted with another horror when we got back to the yard. Sarah, one of the helpers, was there resplendent in her own pair of new jodhpurs. And yes, you’ve guessed it, black plastic. “They’re pleather,” she told me proudly. “What on earth is that?” I asked. Apparently it’s plastic imitation leather and it’s all the rage among riders who want to be warm, dry and stylish.
‘The problem we have now is that the horses seem to be forming their own club, the Knackered Horses Club’
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I’m still not sure myself. I know they make sense but it just seems wrong. And how slippery are they when the dreaded pleather becomes wet? Will Jonathan slip round and end up underneath Nobby’s belly? Will Ailsa slide off when Jeanie gets excited and bounces up the lane on legs like springs? Only time will tell. And who knows, as the winter goes on and I get wet and cold every single Sunday morning, maybe I will get over the shock and get myself a pair. I doubt it but stranger things have happened. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted, watch this space!
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