Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The unscheduled dismount

It's part of riding, they say. Get straight back on, they say. You have to do it seven times before you are a real rider, they say. Yes, falling off a horse is the everyday risk of my hobby, the risk which seems unfathomable to most.

You're so brave, they say.

Don't you think about your children, they ask.

Of course I don't relish the eating of dirt, the tumble at a gallop, the meeting of the ground or the polite unscheduled dismount but it is what makes the sport all the more thrilling.

Oooh, well sat, they say.

Hang on, they shout.

Ooooooh, awwwwww, ahhhhh, they thrill when the rider falls into the water jump. Possibly the most humiliating of all.

I have fallen off many, many times in my life. It doesn't make me a great rider, or a brave one and of course I think about my children before I hit the ground.

This video of me leaving the saddle happened this week, the reason for the hilarity is that I landed on my feet which any Olympian gymnast would have been proud of. A beautiful dismount, knees bent to absorb the landing and then standing up straight - I still had hold of the horse and got straight back on to finish the round before I had time to contemplate the kids.

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