Whoa!

Whoa! What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

The title of this prompt suggested horses to me.  They respond to this command, if you are lucky.  Other commands are “Trot on!”  “Gee up!” and signals transmitted via the knees of the rider or the reins.

Pony trekking has a certain appeal to many people.  About half a lifetime ago hubby and I decided to go on an activity holiday which included riding ponies.  To me pony trekking indicates travelling a distance by pony.  Our holiday involved several fairly long sessions riding and looking after ponies.  I think it was described as pony trekking.

We arrived at the guest house where we were staying on the Saturday.  In the evening someone from the stables came and had a chat with us and the next morning we went for our first ride.  As far as I remember there were a number of local youngsters and someone from the stables with us, all on horseback – or should that be pony-back?

We were fitted out with riding hats and shown how to hold the reins.  Our stirrups were adjusted and we went out round the local streets in a line.

The pony I was riding was a bit naughty.  Every time we stopped, she started to eat the privet hedges around the nearest garden.  I was not really in control of her, having only ever had one riding lesson almost twenty years before.  I didn’t want to hurt her mouth by pulling hard on the reins.  During the week I was told to hit the pony harder (not the same one); “It’s a horse, not a mouse!”

Apart from my embarrassment at not being able to prevent the pony I was sitting astride from eating other people’s property, the ride was uneventful until we turned off the road and back onto the lane leading to the stables.  We had been travelling at walking pace.  In case you don’t know, horses walk, trot, canter and gallop in ascending order of speed.

Without any warning my pony began to gallop.  The lane was metalled.  I decided that there was no way I was going to fall off onto tarmac.  I had lost my stirrups, which were waving about wildly.  I’m not sure what happened to the reins.  All I remember was that I was leaning forward on the pony’s neck, clinging on to her mane.

Hubby was on a docile pony with the rest of the group.  He said that I really should have seen the expression on our instructor’s face!

Written for 365 Days of Writing prompts.

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