I'm not entirely sure why Fletch thought he had to level me, I certainly hadn't got too big for my boots or cocky about my riding, I still respected this massive ginger beast and was looking forward to a day out competing. This was my third, but biggest and boldest, One Day Event I ever had the courage to enter. Yes I had nerves jangling away inside, but the amount of time I had prepared for this, I felt I was ready.
We had spent hours hacking up and down hills to get Fletch fit, I had cantered around the fields practising my forward seat and I had spent a small fortune on lessons and schooling sessions on cross country courses. I love and cherish this horse, happy to pick up his poo and groom him until he gleams and polish his tack until it shines. And then he dumps me into a fence in the warm up arena in front of everyone yesterday. In front of him, in front of the kids, in front of my friends and their children!
And then he did it again in the show jumping phase of the competition. Elimination and the walk of shame from the arena. I hung my head low, my ego (not that there is much of it) and body bruised.
But across country he was a demon. Flying everything in our way, galloping between fences and me whooping, having a thoroughly good time.
That's horses for you, and if I choose a sport where most of my luck depends on a half a tonne of animal - then I have to expect a few steps backwards, a few crash landings and mortifying moments. But it's all worth it to gallop home safe, flying the final fences enjoying every minute of the ride.