/

My Cowboy Days Are Over

141 views

“Do you remember the first time?” That’s the question Jarvis Cocker posed. While he may have been enquiring about a rather different life event the sentiment of his own response, that he couldn’t remember a worse time stands for my equine experience.

My first horse ride was also my last. It was a riding centre in the Lake District and, in our mid 20s, we were the only adults in a horde of excitable children. My mate, who had ridden as a child, suggested it after seeing a leaflet.

I was introduced to horse; it looked dangerous up there on its back. However, horse also looked old and decrepit, the lack of any visible exuberance was OK by me. I received various instructions to keep it in line, stop it eating those plants, be firm with it. Horse didn’t listen and we quickly came to an understanding; it would do whatever it liked and I would let it.

While riding the weather worsened with thunder and lightning accompanying the steady drizzle. The fact that it was June was of no relevance to the four seasons in one day weather system of the English Lake District. I was the only person that seemed worried by the downturn in conditions, the kids loved it, they weren’t as far off the ground as I was.

The English Lake District. Wow.
I call a tnocs.com flash-road trip… and we treat JJ to ride all weekend for free. Who’s in? -mt

After 90 minutes of miserable traipsing around the lakeland fells we returned to the stables, my relief at surviving the ride was palpable. It was also premature. I had one foot out of a stirrup when there was one more rumble of thunder, one last flash of lightning and horse lost it. With a hitherto unsuspected turn of speed we were off, horse spotted an open gate into the fields and locked on course. Already in the process of dismounting I was left hanging over its side, one foot stuck in a stirrup, the other leg waving above me while my hands clung desperately to the saddle. Time slowed down, the whole course of events took a few seconds but I had time to process everything, the sense of danger sure sharpens the senses.

I noted horse’s intention and the gate post rapidly coming my way. It was a narrow gate and though horse would easily go through it I wasn’t sure my novel riding position would allow me free passage. Assessing the gap I decided whatever happened this was going to be painful but I’d prefer to take my chances with the ground. Freeing my foot I had a brief sensation of flying rudely interrupted by bouncing off the ground, into a wall and somehow, in one seemless movement, ending up on my feet shaking but amazed at the lack of immediate pain. Checking my body was unbroken the children stared on in awe at my impromptu stunt riding demonstration and my mate fell about laughing.

Other than the vivid purple bruising that appeared down my entire left side by the following morning I somehow emerged physically unscathed but the mental scars still linger. There’s no way I’m ever getting up there again. My cowboy days over before they ever began.

 Let the author know that you liked their article with a ‘heart’ upvote!

47
0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!

JJ Live At Leeds

From across the ocean, a middle aged man, a man without a plan, a man full of memories, a man like JJ.

Subscribe
Notify of
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dutchg8r
Member
Famed Member
dutchg8r
Offline
April 5, 2022 11:13 am

I dunno JJ, you sound like a natural born ranchhand to me. 😉

There’s a question – do cowboys exist in England? Do they make leather Wellies??!! Or is it just left to those of the canine persuasion to keep farm animals in line?

cstolliver
Member
Famed Member
cstolliver
Offline
April 5, 2022 12:04 pm

Ouch! Glad you made it out with all senses — humour, included — intact.

Aaron3000
Member
Famed Member
Aaron3000
Offline
April 5, 2022 6:49 pm

Haven’t been on a horse since I was 15… Been considering getting back in the saddle again, but your adventure is making me think twice (these old bones are a little more fragile than they once were!).

blu_cheez
Member
Famed Member
blu_cheez
Offline
April 13, 2022 12:51 pm

I’ve only ridden horses a couple times. On the last ride (on my honeymoon), the horse steered me towards a tree branch, which I grabbed as I slammed into it. So, now I’m hanging about seven feet in the air holding on for dear life to a tree branch, and, I swear, the horse does a victory dance, and all the other horses start braying and whinnying.

Stupid horse. My wife thought it was funny, at least.

Last edited 2 years ago by blu_cheez
5
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x