We had words, Fletch and I, last week. He very definitely told me he didn't want to do dressage but would rather fly around a cross country course. It had after all, been a very long time since he had done cross country - but not as long as me. The last time I attacked solid fences at great speed was when I was 18 years old, that's 23 years ago, so I was understandably shitting myself when an opportunity arose to take the Big Ginger Ninja for a schooling session this weekend.
So we are going out again are we? Not much of a retirement is it? I'm no spring chicken woman, that said - neither are you! Better not be poncing around a stressage arena. Oooh, what's that she's putting on my legs, protective boots eh? This looks promising.
I tried very hard not to be nervous and quietly asked Fletch to look after me, I whispered to him that I had polo's, apples and even a mouldy carrot in my bag if he was a good boy. I think he understood as he nosed around my pockets for the mints, I gave his head a fond rub and trusted him that I would be safe. Cross country is probably one of the riskier equestrian activities, but also the most fun. I put on my armour of a back protector, an air jacket, my hat and a good pair of gloves before leaping on in an ungainly manner with all the extra equipment. Fletch stood tall and grew another hand as he looked around him, seeing the cross country fences in the distance.
Yeah, this is more like it. I think we may actually be going over there towards those fun looking jumps. Yes we are! Yes, yes, yes!!! I promise I will behave, see not even one spook. I promise I will be good..yeeeeeehaaaaaaaah - see not even an explode into canter - let's go, c'mon. Let's go, let's go...which one? That fence? That's a tiddler, hang on woman - wooooohoooo ...where next?
I had the most incredible ride that day. Fletch didn't put a foot wrong, he was big, bold and brave - helping me find some inner strength and nerves of steel I didn't know I had. We jumped banks and ditches, we flew a trakener and barrels, we even jumped the huge tyres which on the ground are menacing. Fletch got me out of trouble, he corrected my riding, he was honest and fun - I'm not sure who had the biggest grin on their face when we finished!
That was AWESOME....phew, let's go round again...again, again, again! Awwww, we're going home -boooooo. Well I guess you're getting on a bit and puffing like a good'un up there - you need to get fit like me - see hardly blowing and I did all the work! Now don't get ahead of yourself woman, I treated you today and got you out of some sticky situations. You need to trust me, this is my job so allow me my head a bit more and enjoy the ride. I know I'm fabulous, yeah, I am great, yes I know I'm handsome - you keep telling me, where are those polo's? You what, you want to be Mary King when you grow up? Ha! You've got a lot to learn lady, but good job today all round. If we do that again I may behave myself in the dressage...I said 'may'!