I tell the brown-and-white beast to walk, and miraculously, it does. I’m riding! A horse! It’s more comfortable than I’d imagined. Bumble has a broad back, a slow wave of a gait. I hadn’t anticipated this, the easy rise and fall, the sleepy smell of sweaty flank. It should be alarming to be up this high, but it’s weirdly calming. Does being lifted from ground level elevate your attention, to a stratum where larger thoughts reside? I smell clean air. I whisper into Bumble’s fluffy forelock: “I don’t know if I want children.”
This paragraph represents a correction from the original:
A feature on horseriding evoked an improbable scene when it referred to the rider whispering into a “fluffy fetlock” (‘I pretend I am in control. I feel like the Marlboro man’, 13 September, G2, page 2). A fetlock is part of a horse’s leg, and therefore not near its ears.
Samadder has discovered, as I have, that horseworld involves learning an entirely new vocabulary. And sometimes you get it wrong.
Ride on, kindred spirit!