I try out a lot of stuff – Horse Riding, Biking, Gaming, Reading, Movies, Partying. There are so many things to do, that I end up doing only a small part of each activity. A case of having too much to swallow.
One of my muses is Horse Riding. I always wanted try riding. It looks so extraordinary, the man on a beast, almost flying. Riding was once a necessary activity, all travel was on horses. Human beings were born to ride these amazing creatures.
It all started…
The first time I tried to ride was when I was in college. We were on a class trip to Bangalore-Mysore. In Mysore, there was this guy, who lets you sit on a horse for a short walk for the price of Rs 20/- . You know, like the ride you have in the local fair or exhibition, where the guy holds the reins of the horse and walks around, while you sit on the horse with a silly grin pretending to ride it.
But this time I paid the guy a lot (almost 100/-) to let go. So he did, he let go of the horse, and as an added bonus, slapped its leg. For a brief 3 seconds, the horse jumped/rode or whatever. But the feeling was just out-of-this-world. I knew then that I will do this again one day.
Time will tell
Few years later, I started off learning to ride in Bangalore. The first thing you realize – ooh aah ouch my !@#$ ass!
Riding is not easy, the movies make it look very simple. It is not hard either. You just have to learn for a short while and riding will start getting into you.
The first time I tried, I was exhausted and drenched in sweat in 30 minutes. Trotting, the first stage, requires you to move up-down-up-down with horse’s movement. If you don’t, consider your butt getting a good whopping.
But in-spite of getting bounced around for 30 minutes, there were a few seconds where I managed to get in rhythm with the horse. Thats it, I was hooked forever!
Life is perfect when you get in rhythm with horse, somehow you are in-between the flow of life.
There are 3 stages to horse riding
1) Trotting – This is a standard first stage, where the horse moves quicker than walking.
2) Cantering – This is a faster than trotting and very scary too. I actually feel that I could fall off at any moment.
3) Galloping – This is riding like the wind. This is what you see in the movies and in Horse racing shows.
Run! Run like the wind!
Few months back, I went to Indore to join a bunch of guys hoping to jump out of a plane, we wanted to sky-dive. Unfortunately, the gig was cancelled at the last-minute. So a few of us decided to travel to panchamadi, a hill-station in Madhya Pradesh.
Two of the guys were having a look at some caves. I had no interest in historical stuff, so while waiting for them, I convinced my friend to have a quick “horse walk” and he did. The guy in charge, wanting to make extra money, asked me to take out the horse and I was in no mood for walking the horse. Didn’t that guy know that I could “trot”.
Interestingly, he was willing to give me a horse which just gallops. This got my attention. But no I told him I could not gallop, I could only trot. He didn’t give up, and actually went on a quick gallop. Wow! it looked great from where I was standing.
But I wasn’t sure (hoping he will convince me). He did. He even wanted to bet that I’ll be fine.
My life versus Rs 30/- . A new low even for me. Recession does that.
So there was this white horse, beautiful and restless. One guy was stopping it from running away and the other guy had his hands over its eyes.
The horse was ready to tear away at any second and then they let go….
All over in 30 seconds
The beast started running immediately, I was holding on to dear life, it’s hoofs were thundering on the hard road, the wind was in my eyes. All eyes turned towards me – will I make it?
Every second the horse was increasing speed, it ran for 100 meters and then jumped into a ditch, turned around and started back. All on its own. I was useless, an idiot who was hanging on it’s back.
The damn thing was so fast and unpredictable, and I so clumsy, that my right foot was beginning to loose its grip from the stirrup. I could not stop this horse, I did not have time or the skill to correct my right foot.
My friends, the owner, the spectators were about to witness a disaster. My right foot was about to come loose and I would be thrown down from a height of 6 feet at the speed of 50kmph.
Somehow I held on for a few more seconds, and just like that it was over. The horse reached our starting point, the guys quickly stopped the animal. I was safe!
It was all over in a few seconds, the fastest 30 seconds in my life.
Once More. Please!
The first gallop in my life was superb and scary as hell. But just like a junkie, I was hooked, I wanted to go again. This time, I made sure my footing was correct and firm.
I knew what was going to happen – the horse was going to run like a mad beast, jump into the ditch, turn around and then dash back. I was ready for it.
Only, there was a new factor into this scheme of things. The horse started of as usual, it was running towards the point of turning and then there was a car coming towards us. Holy Crap! Now what?
I was helpless, had no control or influence over the horse. I was left to its mercy.
What would it do? Would it slow down? Would the car slow down? I hope they can see my panic and stop well before our turning point.
But no, life is not easy, the car did not stop, the horse did not stop. It jumped into the ditch and turned around. By this time, the car was right next to us on this narrow road. What perfect timing..yaar!:-(
Then the horse did an amazing thing. It just ignored the car, increased it’s speed and leaped over the ditch to overtake it. Oh WoW! I was proud of this white beast.
Now for no reason, I got back my confidence. I was going with the flow, cutting into the wind. I even let go of my left hand. I was living a dream. I was galloping!
A picture is worth 1000 words (the post has more than 1000 words). But a video tells all.