So my Monday instructor thinks I can manage the dressage test that’s coming up at Festina at the end of May, and that I should compete.

I ask: ‘Do I have to get the clothes? I haven’t got the clothes.’

She didn’t think so, but then I thought, What am I thinking??? — I am so going shopping!

The jacket is the most expensive element, of course, and so far they seem to err on the side of polyester. Gabardine: that’s just fancy talk for fabric made from petroleum-based products, right? I hate ordering this off the internet; I think I will need someone to give me a lift to Kildare… Anyway, then there’s the breeches, which have to be either white or beige, hmmm, wonder which one I’ll choose. Ugh, it’s a case of the least worst, and I’m not sure it’s the beige. In the beginning of my equine existence, I tried on a pair, and every single dimple of cellulite I possess was brought out in relief like a Della Robbia sculpture, only less enamelled and shiny.

I have to say, that the business with the tie is dead exciting. I had a run there, back in the early Nineties (or was it the late Eighties?) in which I did a men’s jacket and tie with a mini skirt… it was quite hot, men got rather confused and excited at the same time. There’s a fuschia tie with navy spots! Is fuschia uncool? Like, will all the other women sneer at me for choosing it? (Sold!) Plus: there’s a scrunchie to match! I think I might like a snood, but I haven’t come across one yet.

And since I don’t have long boots, I’ll need new chaps; my current pair are made of neoprene and sport hi vis blue stars. These will clash with the fuschia scrunchie.

Oh, and the white blouse (whatever.)

Total? Hang on a sec… £170.30 which equals €197.26. This is what I reckoned.

I am so doing this — and if I’m going to do it, I’ll do it right.

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