On the way back from Kei Mouth, we stop in Cintsa to go horseback riding. We are three in a group of eight, and when the owner Penny shows up, she matches us each with our horse. Craig will ride Contessa (I am not making this up), David gets Fat Freddy, and I get Girly. Girly looks like a handful and I ask Penny if she’s skittish. Penny tells me that Girly was a rescue horse who has rehabilitated and won’t give me trouble.
Rehabilitated like Amy Winehouse, apparently. From the moment I get on, we have issues. Girly’s got major baggage and I don’t know what I am doing, which is a great mix. First she won’t go, and I really can’t bring myself to kick her very hard. Then she gets into a fight with another horse. Penny gets fed up and says she’ll swap horses with me, which is a huge relief. Not only because of the horse, either – for some reason I got the short straw and drew the crotchless torture saddle as well.
We get down to the beach and Penny tells me to hop off. “I’ll take Girly and you can ride Dusty. I’m just going to swap saddles.” D’oh.
Penny puts me and the torture saddle on Dusty and I hop on. Girly immediately attacks Dusty and kicks me in the leg. I am holding on because Dusty is rearing and whinnying, and I would pay a lot of money to see the look on my face at that moment. Craig is laughing on the edge of hysteria but he manages to choke out these encouraging words: “You are going to die today.”
I didn’t die that day, but the crotchless saddle took its pound of flesh.