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Horsing around

One advantage of being in Bangalore, I’ve quickly discovered is the plethora of things to do. Besides getting back into my old loves – badminton and swimming – I decided to get into another activity, horse riding.

So bright and early on Saturday morning, landed up at the Race Course and enrolled at the Bangalore Amateur Riders Institute (BARI). About 1/2 hour went in locating BARI, which was at the far end of the huge field.

Several jockeys were out early morning racing their horses. Up close, I can tell you, they look a little scary, especially when they are galloping hard. And horses don’t neigh as much as they wheeze. It’s not a very pretty sound.

After doing the necessary (that is, paying up, filling form) we were led to Trilla, a 16-year-old horse. She seemed pretty calm, except for a strange noise that she would emit once in a while. I think she was irritated with the flies. Or it could have been me.

I had seen swashbuckling heroes getting onto their mares effortlessly (in movies, they don’t exist in real life, sadly) so I had that romantic picture in mind. Up close, I realised that the horse was much taller than I had earlier envisoned. And with my height, I had to struggle getting my foot into the stirrup and hoisting myself into the saddle. Now, I know, it should be relatively easy. Like the above mentioned swashbuckling hero.

Not so. After about 5-6 attempts I was huffing and puffing, looking furtively at Trilla to check if she had noticed my rather clumsy and unsuccessful moves. She didn’t bat an eyelid. Finally, with some help I managed to get into the saddle. Wow! At the end of it, I felt I had achieved a major milestone in equestrianism.

That was, in a nutshell, my first and rather brief foray into horse riding. Next lesson: sitting on the horse and looking cool 🙂


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