This morning, I had visitors, then sorted my patches out,
Ta da da da da ta daaaaa!!!!!!
Horse riding! Lol!
Jean came to pick me up....off we went to the stables, as I said, Jean is a great friend of mine, and used to ride a great deal. She knows loads of stuff about horses, and loads of people who were kind enough to welcome me in their stables and let me ride....Thanks Jean!
We arrived, and were greeted by two lovely people. They brought the horse to me, and told me that his name was Sultan Star. He was gorgeous.
He was all saddled up and ready to go.
'Oooooooooo', I thought,
'Is he the horse that I am riding'.
Well yes, he was!
Lynn, the horsewoman, explained that he was fifteen hands high...and some other stuff.......I wasn't paying too much attention, I was thinking, 'Oh, sh*t!'
'15 hands high?????? One full carol and more high!'
My head reached where my bum was going to be in only minutes!
I spent some time patting him, and explaining to him that I will probably not be his best ride ever, and to be gentle with me, well, I would like to think that he understood that I was new to this, and was going to be patient.
OK...all geared up, over to some steps, I climbed to the top, and Sultan was guided to his position.
Right, all that I had to do was, put my left foot in the stirrup, hold on the the saddle, haul myself up, and get my right leg over.
Phew....managed that with out too much of a 'do'. I was checked to make sure that I was in the right place, stirrups and wotnots all in order.....holding on to the right bits........
OK....managed that....starting to sweat a bit now.......still in control and calm, but Oooooo!
Now then, Lyn is guiding Sultan with the reins, and her husband is on the other side keeping his eye on us.
Well..................Sultan started to move. OMGoodness!!!!!!
He was gentle and slow, and so well behaved, I am hanging on for for all that I am worth!!
Clip clop, clip clop, clip clop, I can hear this, and concentrating so hard........ I am trying to remember all that I was taught to remain calm and controlled, I heard myself saying,
'Deep breaths, relax, breath in, breath out.......'
I was thinking to myself, Oooooo, well done Carol, that's it, you've cracked it.....keep breathing, relax......my concentration was so deep.........
Then I heard a little voice say,
'What do you think then Carol, shall we go on the road?'
By this time, I had travelled all of 30yards.
'Road? Me? Now? On Sultan?'
I replied using what I believed to be a calm and casual voice,
'No thank you, perhaps we can turn here and go back now'.
In actual fact, I sounded like Minnie mouse with a stutter, almost begging to go back!!!!!!
They took me back and explained how to dismount, whilst informing me that it wasn't common practice to provide parachutes for this procedure....(ok, that's a lie, but it certainly fits the scenario!)
I was invited to return for a ride any time that I liked and that I would be most welcome.
I thanked my hosts and expressed my gratitude for the opportunity. Such a lovely and kind couple, a most beautiful horse, although, I may visit again, I am in no hurry to climb on another horse any time in the near future!
Well, I can now say that I have done it after wanting to for so many years!
(Jean did take a picture of me on Sultan, which I will publish as soon as I have it from her phone........and this isn't it!)
We got back into the car and drove to our next destination whilst I recovered...............
Now we at some racing stables.
We were greeted by the owner, Paul and his wife, Rachel and their new born baby.....awwwwwwwww.
Coffee and jammy doughnuts! Yummy!
After a general chat, Paul took me around.
I was expecting to just go around and pat the heads of horses that were poking over the stable door.
Paul took me right into each stable, gave me the names, ages and details of races each horse had won. It was a very up close and personal experience. I was overwhelmed!
I patted all of the horses, and hand fed some, it was awesome!
You know....some times I can't get over just how kind people are and how willing they are to give so much of them selves to complete strangers.
I think that Jean had spoken to Paul about my earlier experience, because, just as we were getting ready to leave, Paul said,
'I have the perfect horse for you to have a go on Carol'.
Feeling a little concerned, I said,
Well, in he comes with this fantastic horse, 16 hands high, and each hoof as big as my head!'
'Errmmmmmmm, thanks, but I think not!'
(This isn't him, but yep, adrenaline is brown!)
After this, I went to see a mare and her foal....what a beautiful sight.
Then, back to Jean's, a cup of coffee, and home.
Thanks for a great day!