While we spend our riding lives trying not to fall off, every rider knows that sinking feeling when you know you’re not going to be able to recover the situation. You’ve wavered, you’ve clutched and now you’ve decided you’re just going to have to go with it.
Here’s what might well be going through your mind:
1. Again? Really?
2. Cowpat or grass? Cowpat or grass? Cowpat or… yep, cowpat. Thank you, universe.
3. Oh good, I’m so glad I put on a clean, light-coloured pair of breeches this morning.
4. Is anyone watching this happen? Then I’ll pretend it didn’t, and never, ever speak of it again.
5. Oh no, someone is watching me! How can I pass this off gracefully? Work in a somersault? Pretend I spotted a tenner on the ground? Say I’m training for a volting team and did it completely deliberately? Spring to my feet and shout ‘Tah-da!’ before giving a little bow and leaping nonchalantly back on?
6. Ah yes, probably should have checked my girth before going into canter. And shortened my stirrups, now I come to think of it.
7. They say it takes seven falls to make a horsewoman, so I should be really, really good by now, because I’ve exceeded that already this year.
8. Ooooh, this’ll be interesting, let’s see if my new air jacket deploys… BANG! Yep, that works…
9. No, no, no, no, NO! I’m wearing my new T-shirt!
10. For goodness sake, I can’t believe I’m falling off at a walk! I’m not sure if I’m more embarrassed or disappointed in myself…
11. Typical! I was only saying the other day that I hadn’t fallen off for ages
The warm-up arena can be a stressful, hazardous and at times, downright chaotic place for both man and beast. Even
With the competition season underway, most middle-aged riders will occasionally find themselves in a reflective mood, usually vacillating between ‘hell,
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12. Hmmm, must remember to mention to the owner that this horse really doesn’t like pheasants.
13. Oh, so that’s why my instructor kept telling to shorten my outside rein!
14. Well, that’s a definite answer to the question: “Does this horse like going through water?”
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