I'm in love. I know I have been in love before (well quite a few times actually) but this time it's for real and I am hoping for a long and happy relationship. He has grey hair, very dark eyes, a bit hairy in places, and he gives a really good ride.
His name is Peppermint.
A few years ago my old friend and running partner JennyTom aka Pallie persuaded me to give riding a go again. I hadn't ridden since a teenager, when being fearless and daring I did anything my school friend Fenella suggested and the result was I became a gibbering wreck and stopped going to play with horses.
I thought Jenny was more mature and sensible than Fenella so we started going to riding lessons. Jenny is a good rider and has even owned her own horse. I was wrong about her being more sensible and mature than Fenella though. One bloke described her as 'riding horses like a motor bike'.
Jenny hurtling about on Oscar.
Over the last few years we have tried different stables and even had a riding holiday in Gran Canaria, but my confidence dwindled and I stopped going. Now Jenny has found yet another place to ride and I have found Peppermint. From the moment I hauled myself onto his back I felt at home.
He is so comfortable to ride. His canter is like sitting in an armchair. I feel confident on him. He is also a stubborn little bugger who tries it on. Yesterday he pretended he wanted to poo. He must have stopped four times and eventually squeezed a tiny little turd out.
'He's taking the piss' the instructor shouted.
'It's poo' I shouted back.
He refused to go into the corners, trot properly, walk out smartly.
'Whack him one' Joy bellowed.
'Arh, poor Peppermint' I murmered lovingly as I flicked him gently on his rump.
'Give it a bit of Yeeeehow' She cried.
'Yeeehooww' I yelled. Peppermint shot forward terrified.
'That's it' said Joy. 'Keep it up'.
'C'mon you great white bastard' I screamed.
'Don't swear at him!' pleaded Joy.
Now I'm like a teenage girl obsessed with horses. I want him. I want to ride him. I love him. Soon we are going to start jumping lessons.
'Pull yourself together' said JennyTom. 'Go and have a cold shower'.