SEPTEMBER 2007 We’re jumping a course. A course! It’s my second one, and
I. Love. It.
I’m on Delilah, and she’s not crazy about the sand arena, it’s hard on her and therefore it’s harder for me to keep my arse in the saddle in the canter. But we’re going great guns the second time around, or maybe its the third. There’s only three of us in the lesson, the woman on Rebel opts out, the guy in Mercury is new, and only jumps two fences.
I’m doing five.
I’m coming around to make a sixth, once more over the green striped cross poles, and Nikki’s shouting encouragement, the sun is setting in the West and the moment is absolutely cinematic, I am with Delilah, there is no separation, I think of her only nominally, we are moving together and the riding, the action is in my conscious awareness but it does not need to mediated or monitored in anyway… we’re perfectly lined up for the jump, Delilah is going, I’m not looking at the fence— and I know what it is this time, I understand what happens: Delilah begins to slow down her approach, and instead of keeping my seat and giving her a tap on the shoulder, I start to jump it for her. I know I’m doing it as I’m doing it, dammit, I’m too early, and she jumps, and my chest is at her ears and off I go, somewhat over her head and to the right.
Everybody goes, ‘Ohhhhhhhh!’ and I jump up, so annoyed with myself, but Nikki says I would have gotten a ribbon anyway.
My sixth fall.
I meant to pace more slowly the posting of these last two entries in my catalogue of falls, but… [drumroll, please…]