We were cantering over poles at X, preparatory to jumping, and as I returned to my spot to stand with Delilah, I felt like the saddle was… sticking to my butt?

I stood in the stirrups and reached around, to the consternation of my teenaged lesson-mates. ‘I think I’ve sprung a leak!’ I shouted, and they laughed, and the other grown up lady in the ride confirmed that I did, indeed, have a gaping hole in the arse of my jodhs.

Naturally, when I was putting them on that morning, I thought to myself, ‘Damn, I’ve had these ones a good long time!’ The brand I bought in the past literally used to come apart at the seams, and that was easy enough to fix. And I always wear black knickers, because you never know. In this case, though, ‘you never know’ isn’t really true; it is best expressed, I think, by the phrase ‘anything could happen.’

Since anything could happen, I had a pair of track suit bottoms in my rucksack, against the day when anything did happen. One has to be well-prepared if one is slogging to the yard by bus, because it’s a long way home. So: paracetemol, tampons, band aids [actually, must check that], a tube of topical stuff for bruises and/or shallow cuts, extra elastics for my hair, cough drops, and plenty of napkins from McDonalds, because the presence of toilet roll in the loo is somewhat whimsical.

I’ve never worn out the seat on a pair of jodhs, and we all agreed that it meant that I am really riding from my seat now. Excellent! One of the girls said I should try to patch up the jodhs, but when I got them home and inspected the hole, I saw that it was pretty much beyond repair. I could just about put my head through the gap. I mean, it looked like I could do that, not that I did, because, you know, that’s just weird.

I’ve checked my emails, and I only bought this batch of jodhpurs in October. Three months, and a dead solider already. In fairness, that’s roughly 48 lessons, so if I was being casual about this, a pair would last a year. I think I can expect to be going through more pairs, however, rather than less, as time goes on…

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