Thursday, October 26, 2006

On Matters Equestrian

John Horseman_1
Mad Pup on horse in Co Wicklow, Ireland, c1959. MP's brother is holding the bridle.

I've never had much truck with horses. Somehow riding them never appealed. When growing up, I didn't seem to have much in common with horse-owning members of my peer group and I hated the intrusion of any program with an equine content (show jumping, racing, showing)on television. In more adult years I think it's fair to say that horses and I maintained a mutual disinterest and in addition I held a view that if God had intended us to ride these beasts, he wouldn't have allowed us to invent superchargers. So up until now my sum total of equestrian matters is (i) as a 10 year old, I sat on a cart horse of some description on my Uncle's farm in Ireland (see above picture) and (ii) a few years back I was bitten, yes, bitten, by some nag whose nose I was offering to stroke. Curiously enough I have ridden, and been thrown off, camels.

Recently, however, I've become curious about the whole riding business. I'm not quite sure why but it's proabably something to do with an interest in the Old West. So I've decided to add horse riding to "things to do before I slough the mortal coil" list. I mean it can't be THAT difficult, can it? Yes, I know it makes yer bum sore but so what. I have sore muscles all the time after aikido. So I hope to manage a lesson or two before the end of the year: watch this space for updates...

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