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Friday, 21 February 2014

Equus Addiction

Snarly, Aarti, Minali, Grumpy, Me and Balloo

The circle of riding fanatics were me - Sandip, Minali - Uday, Kilkol - Charlie, Beenu - Rajeev and Aarti who was the only one whose husband unfortunately did not share our passion. The men rode in the early morning while we ladies had to report at  three o'clock in the afternoon. I huffed and puffed for about two weeks until I got my riding legs back and from then on all the passion and love I had for the animal and the sport came flooding back and actually took over my complete existence. Luckily my husband shared my excitement and the crowd we befriended felt the same so we ended up talking, sleeping and dreaming of horses for the next eleven months.
Ladies had their share of falls and most got fed up and left, but us diehards continued and nothing was so terrible that we would think of even missing a day. The 'saabs' who instructed us were quite rude and uncouth and women who moaned and groaned too much were told unsympathetically by them to stay home and 'belo rotis'. These gruff men became the focus of much discussion and were given appropriately nasty nicknames to match their surly demeanours.There were no mobiles in those days so mother would telephone me at a predetermined time once a week. Even these calls were taken at the extension number at the stable office where Minali, Beenu, Arti and me would sit around with flasks of hot tea to be enjoyed after the ride.
Over time the animals grew familiar and beloved  and we would vie for our favourites though we were sternly reprimanded that we should be able to control all types of steed. Once a week we were taking out of the confinement of the ring to go out on a hack into the beautiful countryside. These excursions were sometimes through the neighbouring tea gardens or up an unfamiliar hill but were always breathlessly thrilling since the horses seemed to feel the freedom and were always raring to go. During the couple of term breaks in the college year we opted to stay back and ride while most everybody else left to explore the rest of south India. During these periods we had the most fun as we could choose the  best horses and get away with things that would normally not be allowed.
I must admit though that I don't think I have ever made so many trips to the hospital as there was always some one or the other from the equestrian crowd who had suffered a broken bone or some other injury. Minali and Kilkol both had nasty falls along the way while Sandip too ended up in trouble but that was towards the end of the course and is another story.

Confusion in the riding arena


1 comment:

  1. Eva, finally got to read of your glorious Wellington days! Wow, got transported to those days so effortlessly owing to your fluid style, marvellous! Really looking forward to your next instalment! Love & hugs.