I think my father discovered Groupon. Or City Slicker. Or Wikideals, or some other online site boasting a variety of discounted deals and specials. Of late he’s been on a “let’s do this new outdoor activity as a family” vibe and he bought us all horse riding vouchers recently. NOT that I’m complaining. I’m just saying, are we poszh? Are we the Kardashians? Do coloured people even ride horses? (Other than the ones that cart around those fruit and vegetable wagons in the Southern suburbs. Where do those guys EVEN come from?)
Needless to say, I was really excited because I’ve always wanted to ride a horse. A joy that can only be attributed to My Little Pony and Xena, because that is where it all starts for me.
For some reason, many little girls are overcome with a strong and almost magical fascinaszhion with horses and ponies (and in later years, dolphins. Dolphin posters and calenders everywhere. Everyone wanted to be a marine biologist. Skielik. You can’t even spell biologist). Maybe the love stems from the My Little Pony dolls or the TV show, but all I know is, I was obsessed with that brand and subsequently horses. In my mind a horse was merely a unicorn that lost it’s horn and everyone knows you don’t get any more magical than a unicorn. They were majestic, beautiful creatures, ridden by princesses, warriors and brave mythical beings on their way to epic wars. And of course rich white girls on TV.
Similarly, Xena, a strong female who could kill you with her boobs alone, wielding her sword and riding in to battle on her mighty steed, was my heroine. Sadly, to the extent where many afternoons spent by my Gran after school would include taking the broom or my “staff” and flipping it around to practise my fighting skills. The sister used to watch on in shame, get bored and then go inside. She knew Xena was a one player game. Also, she didn’t have the necessary broom skill. Could she even flip it around?!
My father gets a little intense when we have family outings. (He over invests. Hmmm, I wonder where I got that from?) For the week leading up to our escapade, he spoke of nothing but buying carrots, galloping like zorro, and using terms like “aya perdjie!” (He didn’t gallop like zorro. Although there was a moment or two where the paap begryped him and his horse was a little too excited. I obviously sniggered. But quietly).
On the sunday in question, we set forth to the stables, just passed the N1, making extra certain we had those carrots. LEKA FAMILY ROAD TRIB. I was dressed for the occasion, obviously donning my My Little Pony tank, because the opportunity was too good to be missed.
Upon arriving we could hear whinnying, quacking and squawking and the land itself was smelly and sandy and animal filled, which was lovely, because HORSE RIDING.
We were introduced to our guide, each issued a riding hat and were assigned our horses. Then she (the guide) explained some basic horse riding techniques and awaaaaaaaay we went. I was lucky enough to ride the beautiful blondie Sonja. Sister got Valentine, the teenager got Sweetheart, Marm had Troy, Dad had pumpkin and Bro Beans brought up the rear on Vetkop. You don’t understand how mudge I love that perd’s name. His head, perhaps could be too large for his size? Or maybe he’s just stubborn. It’s amazing how each horse had a very distinctive personality. Of course I chose the Bossy one who wanted to ride ahead and almost galloped away with me. Can a horse kidnap a human?
For two hours we “rode” along a trail in fields surrounded by fields. More fields, some fields, grass, some more fields. And mountains. It was a really surreal experience, to find myself atop a gigantic creature, surrounded by lovely natural scenery.
And suddenly I was a kid again, finally fulfilling my horse riding dream.
IM XENA OMG IM XENA THIS IS THE BE – WHYD WE STOP?
And in answer to my question my family started laughing and yelling “Your horse is pooping”. So no, I wasn’t Xena. Xena’s horse would never poop mid trot. Which brings me to a great equestrian observation: horses will excrete, uh, things, mid walk. You will literally stop in the middle of nowhere, as horsey horsey relieves itself.
We mostly “walked” at a steady pace and then occasionally tried trotting, where we increased the speed for a bit. Let me tell you, I literally hopped out of my seat with every step, bouncing around like something that bounces a lot.
After the trail ride we got to visit the horses and feed them carrots and Yoh they are vraate! Like calm down Sonja. This whole time you were ignoring me and now when I have a carrot you like, totally notice me? Whatever. You can’t sit with us. Their lips are gross, soft and wet and move like vaccuums, tickling your hand while they inhale their treats. But like a good kind of gross. Like, “oooh, this is nature, I am one with the animal” kind of gross
And yes. Your nether region will take a beating. Seriously, expect bruising and awkward walking. Come with protective butt gear. Ask for the butt guards in Total Sports.
Animals do not care about you when they want to poop. They will just poop. I guess they’re a lot like male humans then.
P.S. Apologies for the lack of pictures on the actual horses. They all just look like indistinguishable blobs. Like someone took the pictures with a blackberry. Waaaaaa.