Thursday, April 17, 2008

rhythm beads

I'm going for my first ever horse riding lesson tomorrow with M. Bois. He keeps more than a dozen horses on his 26-hectare property higher up, surrounded by woods and fields with a spectacular view of the mountains right up the valley. It's an amazing place.

We've been there for apéros a few times, thankfully in summer when we could sit outside. I wouldn't want to be couped up in his house for any length of time without wearing a surgical mask or a very high polo-neck. On the one occasion I ventured inside to use the loo it was like entering a cave. The kitchen/dining room had bare splintered floorboards covered with thin patches of linoleum and the walls were so caked in soot and grease that I started gagging. I decided I'd be safer going behind a bush outside rather than risk the horrors of his toilet. The downside of going in summer is that M. Bois wears micro shorts and no underpants - it's like car crash couture - you just can't help staring!

I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about the lesson so I've just gone on a horsey website to gen up a bit and find out what I can do to minimise the risk of ending up in a wheelchair. It recommends as follows:

Rule #1 - inexperienced riders should get lessons from a professional
Rule #2 - always wear a properly fitted equestrian helmet
Rule #3 - wear a boot with a good heel to keep your foot from slipping through the stirrups
Rule #4 - stay alert
Rule #5 - never ride alone
Rule #6 - never leave the trail; holes, unsafe surfaces and hornets' nests may exist in open fields.

It also recommends, when riding during the hunting season, to make lots of noise and use 'rhythm beads' ("choose from a delightful variety of bead types, including semi-precious stones, and match the bead colours to the owner's and horse's personalities and the unique bond they share") on your horse to let hunters know that you're not a deer.

I wonder if M. Bois will invite me to look at his rhythm beads

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