The Crop Chronicles: Fallen Soldier

I actually remember this like it was last week when it was still okay to go up the yard…

(Also, this was little over a year in to my horseriding career, and I didn’t realise that you could pick crops off the ground like so many daisies…)


TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER, 2007  The fallen soldier is not me, it’s my crop.

I am dead bummed. Particularly so soon after recounting its miraculous appearance on the road last year.

Lest anyone think I broke it on the back of a horse, let me tell you that I broke it on myself.

We were jumping, Rebel and I, and Emma had us ride a circle in trot and then ask for the canter, and then head to the jump. As I need to work on circling in canter, and as she was still working out the stride, Rebel and I were going around and around, probably on a ten metre circle, and he slipped in some muck, and I jiggled in the saddle a fraction, and my whip, which had been laying so quietly across my thigh, slipped up, and as I wobbled a smidge forward, it poked into my ribs and cracked. In three places.

The only photo I have of riding crops, oh well

Bugger! I had a fondness for that manky auld thing. I don’t think I’ve got any superstitions around it, no magical properties invested in it, but… ah, well. It had been such a find, especially as my first one hadn’t even made it out the flat, that I was quite attached to it.

The girls laughed at me mourning my crop, and Val reminded me that I’d found another one in the portakabin a couple of weeks ago and had given to her. I hadn’t needed it, I had a perfectly fine if abbreviated whip, and I guess I’ll have to buy one online now. Won’t get it in time for Saturday.

I’ve been through countless jods and pairs of gloves, and I sold on my old hat without a qualm, having been made the present of a super black velvet dressage hat complete with bow— I had to earn that, and so I did— and I’m on my second pair of short boots, much superior to my first pair of paddock boots… but I didn’t feel the need to replace my lovely found object with a shiny new model.

It was all in the timing, you see. I needed it, and it was there, well-used, discarded, but like a sign from the universe, there it lay in the road at my feet. Maybe this is a new sign that it’s time I moved up, and on.

Still bummed, but any excuse to surf the web for riding gear is a good excuse altogether. I’m off shopping, then, if you’ll excuse me…


Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency… and Horses is AVAILABLE NOW.

Order your copy today:
> In the US, click on over to Trafalgar Square Books’ site.
> In the UK and Europe, visit Quiller Publishing’s page.

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