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Monday, March 2, 2009

My first ride on a horse

My first ride on a horse

My first ride on a horse dispelled forever whatever previous notions I had about riding horses. I had thought that it was easy to ride a horse just like the cowboys on television. I realized how wrong I was through a rather painful experience.

I was down in Australia visiting my relatives when they decided to take me horse-riding one Sunday. I was thrilled. So we hopped into my cousin’s car and headed towards one of the many riding schools on the outskirts of Melbourne.

We managed to book five horses at a riding school. The man in charge asked whether we knew how to ride a horse. Everybody said yes except me. I had never seen a live horse before that time, let alone ridden one. The man asked me to mount the smallest one.

I mounted up surprising myself at my ability. I thought I was already an expert. The man gave me the reins and said, “Pull the reins to the right to turn right, pull to the left to turn left”.

I nodded confidently and took the reins. Next moment I lost the reins as the horse pulled them from my hands. The silly horse had reached down to graze on the grass making me lose my grip. The man laughed and returned the reins to me.

After a while, my cousins started to move their horse slowly towards a large field. My horse followed. Initially I felt myself wobbling a bit but I kept my balance. This was not going to be easy, I thought. How right I was!

Gradually the other horses picked up the pace. My horse followed suit. I felt my bottom bump up and down against the saddle. Still it was manageable. Soon the bumping became uncomfortable as the horses moved faster and faster.

Suddenly I saw my cousins begin to gallop their horses. I wanted to protest for I was definitely losing control my horse. Before any words left my mouth the silly horse of mine began galloping too. I hung on for dear life as I was bounced up and down on the saddle. However hanging on for dear life was not enough. I lost my right stirrup and immediately began to slide down the horse’s left flank. I clutched desperately on the horse’s mane but it was no good. The next moment I fell off the horse.

I landed with a mighty thud onto the ground. For a moment all I saw was white clouds against blue sky. Then I realized I was lying flat on the ground. I picked myself up. Except for being winded a bit, I was otherwise unhurt. I was lucky. I looked around and saw four riders and five horses galloping into the distance. They did not even know that I had fallen.

I turned around and headed back to the riding school on foot. I had had my share of riding that day. Before I reached the school I heard horses behind me. My cousins had discovered my disappearance and promptly returned to look for me. They laughed loudly at my misfortune but were glad that I was not hurt. They urged me to remount the horse but I declined. I told them to carry on without me. Then I took the reins of my horse and led it back to the school.

For the rest of the week, I had to rest my sore bottom and aching muscles. My first ride on a horse was certainly an unforgettable one.
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