Have you ever been horse riding?
Neither have I, well not in my adult life. But last week I finally found the time to use the surprise Christmas present (a voucher for a ride in Richmond Park) that was given to me by my thoughtful husband.
As he knows, I have always looked on in envy as the riders gallop through the park, so I was obviously thrilled when I opened the envelope and realised exactly what the horsey card inside was worth.
So now that I have found time for some “me time” (sadly 10 months later) I booked myself in for a private ride in the Park. I was a little nervous of course, horses are incredibly powerful animals, but at the same time very excited to be revisiting one of my childhood joys.
I turned up late, consequently a little stressed and out of breath, to be presented by a rather large horse called Pod. On noticing my concerned expression, my lovely instructor Paige assured me that he really was a gentle giant and not to be put off by his size (easy for her to say, her horse was tiny in comparison!). Anyway, after help from quite a few steps I did manage to mount this gentle giant and off we set into the park.
True to her word Pod was lovely, but at the same time I could sense a certain level of constrained energy bubbling inside him (very similar to our middle daughter) and I kept having to put the visions of him bolting off into the trees dragging me behind, one foot in stirrup, to the back of my mind.
But of course, everything was just fine and when I did relax it was lovely to see different parts of Richmond Park, parts you don’t see when walking. I was also amazed at how different things look from from a higher height, more magical, and how much closer to nature I felt.
I have to admit I was very rusty, and I soon realised that it not quite the same as riding a bike, but we managed to trot a few times and eventually I found the rhythm again.
The hour went quickly and before I knew it we were back at the stables. When dismounting Pod it soon hit me that the hardest challenge was yet to come…… My legs had turned to jelly and getting back to the car took a great deal of concentration. Grateful that I had not cycled there (now that would have been interesting) I slowly, shakily, made my way home with a great big smile.
So I guess the question is, was the surprise present a success?
Yes! I am already booked in again next week. Thank you baby!
Recommend: Stag Lodge Stables, Richmond Park.