When I started riding thirteen months and three weeks ago, the sheer indulgence I felt going horseriding once a week was eminently satisfactory. Less to do with cash flow than fitness, it was just right, just the right amount of time in between, and frankly, for someone with magpie tendencies, exactly the right amount of commitment to gauge whether or not I was going to stick with it.

Then I went to the States on holiday, and had to make up the two lessons I’d missed.

Suddenly, twice a week didn’t seem so wacky. I had begun to experience, after two months of tutelage, the drive to go straight back and correct whatever it was that I recently had not fully comprehended or executed or had gotten shouted at about. I could go straight back on the Tuesday and incorporate the new aid, or work on the heels-down thing. And once we started jumping, well, the chance to go for more was like fire in my veins.

And now… the week stretches out between Tuesday and Saturday, an abyss of days in which the exhilirating effects of a good hour’s go trickle out of my system. The sheer health I feel around the horses— mental as well as physical— have become my primary source of endorphins, and by Thursday, I am gritting my teeth, waiting for Saturday.

Ah, Thursday! I’ve made a point of expressing my desire to get into the 19.45pm lesson. Money-wise, I’ve scored a couple of nixers, primarily a column in a Friday supplement to the Evening Herald, reviewing beauty products. Tough job— somebody’s got to, etc etc. So it’s feasible.

Time-wise? I’m lucky in my day job, and have yet [pound timber] to put in any late nights. And I’m fairly confident that the boundaries I’ve set around Tuesday will stretch to Thursdays. I suppose the thing I need to mull the most is the effect that three nights at the yard will have on my social life. I’ve got the life-work balance sorted, but life includes friends, right? And a romantic relationship, which is feeling more achievable at this stage. Obviously, a hawt horseman would lash this all into cracking order. And I don’t have to tell you that taking horseriding lessons is a veritable Sahara for eligible fellas.

This is tricky, but you know I’m going to do it anyway. I may even give that other stable a buzz, see how it goes, until I get a late-week spot at my home yard. It would be good for me to go back to ‘Pluto’ and improve on my canter aids with him. Yeah. Yeah, sure. It’s obvious that a commited rider would go on back and work through a problem. I am behooved [ah ha ha ha… ah… huh] to do so.

That’s sorted. Thanks for listening.

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