Things we all did when we were 12 and wouldn’t do now (but still secretly miss)

Remember when you had nerves of steel and nothing in the world mattered so much as having fun? Time to feel nostalgic over one of these as explained by Sara Walker…

1. Trying to ride side saddle. On a conventional saddle. At least it put you in the right position to slide off gracefully.

2. After reading an article that suggested you shouldn’t need a girth if your balance was good enough, you tried to ride without a girth. Seems like your balance wasn’t good enough.

3. Giving a friend a piggy back on your pony as you’d seen it on a cowboy film. Apparently, Sooty hadn’t been watching the same films as you and bucked you both off.

4. Riding for hours. We mean hours. You had literally nothing else in the world you needed to do, so there was no reason to get off your pony until bedtime.

5. Riding in unsuitable footwear. Riding in a skirt. Riding in your school uniform, because going home to change wasted valuable pony time. Spending the next day at school surreptitiously picking hairs off your jumper in assembly.

6. Being obsessed with jumping, and making jumps out of pretty much anything you could find. Park benches. Hay bales. Poles on chairs. Your school bag. Your little brother.

7. ‘Harnessing’ your pony to a wheelbarrow with baling string in a creative attempt to speed up poo picking the field. Being surprised when it didn’t work.

8. Riding bareback. Riding in a headcollar. Riding without even a headcollar, just a rope round the neck. Bringing several ponies in at once, riding one and leading the others. Amazing skills.

Continued below…



9. Only tidying your bedroom if absolutely forced to, but begging and pleading for extra time to muck out and groom. Similarly, ignoring all homework but learning points of the horse and colours obsessively.

10. Coming home from a day at the yard, then playing ponies with your friends — including ‘cantering’ on your own feet and jumping obstacles made from garden canes.

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