My bum still hurts.

Last Saturday, we took the horses out into the field. I was on Rebel. It didn’t feel like a good idea.

He kept breaking out of the ride, cantering off, upwards. I immediately reactivated all my fears about riding out, and I know I ought to have just gotten off him and called it a loss.

Stubborn, that’s me. Wanting to learn, to get over the fear, feel and do it anyway, insert platitude here. My hands started flying about, I had a choke-hold on the reins, and my legs were useless.

As we continued to serpentine down the hill, I breathed, and put the legs on, and rose in the trot with purpose. I managed, I got us down to the bottom. Whew.

And then we lined up to canter up the hill.

Shit. Well, off we went, Rebel throwing himself forward, I grabbed his mane in both hands, and sank my heels—

And then he started bucking. Bucking and cantering. I lost my stirrups. Bollocks! I hung on, eyes glued to his mane, my left hand so high up his neck I was practically holding onto his ear. We made it to the top; the wall that used to be there wasn’t there anymore, he was like to keep going, I sat back, tried to get my stirrups, didn’t yank on the reins when I should have — at this stage, who could blame me? — and Mr Smartypants dropped his off shoulder and over I went on the near side.

Got the wind knocked out of me. He snapped his reins. We walked back down to the indoor. Got back up, finished the lesson, and limped home.

The most amazing thing was that I completely forgot that I can manage him without stirrups. Had I had all my faculties operating properly — and how could I, in fairness — I might have remembered that I am perfectly capable of managing him without stirrups. After that wild ride, though, I can cut myself some slack.

I haaaaaaaaaaaaaate riding out. I just do. I love being in the outdoor arena, jumping. I love jumping courses. That’s my thing. As I have come to realise that as I don’t need to be able to ride every horse on the planet, neither do I have to like very single thing that is doable on a horse. I like power. Speed — not so much.

On Tuesday we went out again. Gah! I told Nikki what had happened, and I got Delilah. We didn’t do much, just up and down the lanes, and then into one of the smaller fields. She took off, chasing Jack, on the second canter, I could hear Nikki shouting ‘Shorten the reeeeeeeeeins!’ and I did, and managed to manage her. She tried to get me off, dropped her off shoulder — silly cow! — but no way was I going down again. I twisted myself up and back into the saddle. Not twice in one weeks, friends. No way.

Lost my seat a bit in my Thursday lesson. I think I can put that down to me sore bum. And then today, with Rinaldo, still didn’t have it back. Learning curve, how are ya?

It’s been an interesting week.

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