Today was day 5 of my holiday, and my dad decided that, at 23 years old, it was time for me to finally face up to my fear of horses and have a ride on one.
Horses have always creeped me out. I don’t know why, but any animal other than dogs give me the fear, and don’t even get me started on birds or any sort of animal that can flap its wings about in your face or poop on you from above.
Horses are something else though. They can kick. If you fall off one you’re kind of screwed, and to me, they’re unpredictable.
I guess as someone who speaks a couple of languages and enjoys talking to people, the simple stare of an animal and the fact you can’t work out what they’re thinking or what they want triggers something in me that I’m scared of.
But, on this holiday I have learned that my little brother N is obsessed with horses. It’s his birthday next week and when I asked him what he wanted, our day took a turn for the horse (why am I so funny please?) and the end result was a carrier bag from the toy shop full of toy horses of all colours and sizes, and a phonecall to a nearby ranch to book him in for a horse riding lesson.
Boom. Everyone’s happy.
Except dad. He’s never understood my fear of animals, and hasn’t grasped the fact that I was even scared of our own dogs until just a couple of years ago. So, N wasn’t the only one booked into a lesson today.
I’m not even going to lie to you, I’m such a scaredy-cat I made N go first. Was I heck getting on this beast that was taller and biggger than me… my asthma started playing up even with the thought of it.
I did not dress well for the occasion. I had a playsuit and Vans on- not the best combination for sitting on a plastic saddle in 35 degree heat, but the girl wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
Horse riding is hard. I got a proper good core workout just from trying to stay upright and not fall off, and, apart from the sweat-inducing terror that gripped me for every moment of it because I was terrified of falling off and breaking my back, I actually quite enjoyed it!
We did find out half an hour later as the skin on my face and elbows began to break out into hives and my eyes started to close up that I am indeed, allergic to horses, but at the end of the day, I conquered my fear. I got on the horse, and didn’t cry once!
How did I do it?
Mainly by telling myself ‘if your toddler brother can do it then so can you.’ 😂