Back in the saddle

So it’s no secret that I used to be a completely horse mad individual! I used to have posters up on my walls, I lived in jodhpurs, even when not riding! I even used to pretend to BE a horse! Me and my equally bonkers friends would clip clop around the garden, making jumps out of buckets and brooms and the like. I used to spend my weekends shovelling poo at my local stables, whatever the weather, all just to be able to spend some time around those beautiful animals and to maybe get a free ride, if we were lucky! Those were the days! I remember my friends Mum picking us all up from the stables and holding her nose all the way home! (Ahhh… nature!) My Mum would have a bath ready for me and I would be instructed to strip at the door, leave my stinky boots outside then everything went in the washing machine and I went in the bath! I wouldn’t mind coming home to a pre run bath nowadays… jus’ saying’… 😉

Anyhow, I digress…

It was total slave labour! 8 hours hard work and we used to get 60p to spend in the tuck shop on sweets and hot chocolate and then maybe a free ride, not every week though! (We lived in hope!) We all genuinely loved it though and in hindsight it was also such a great learning experience for us all. We learnt how to graft, we learnt that no matter how hard we grafted, sometimes we wouldn’t feel rewarded for it, err hello, life!? We learnt how to respect other peoples property, we learnt how to care for animals. We took on responsibilities that I refuse to believe haven’t had some impact on who I am today.

My absolute dream was to be a jockey… sadly I grew about 3ft which swiftly put an end to that career path!

So anyway, horse mad!

Cue a call from my agent last week telling me that I had a callback for a role I had auditioned for a while back (and then genuinely forgotten all about as I didn’t actually believe I had a hope in hell of getting it!) and that I would be having a horse riding test on the Monday and a stunt test the day after that! Primary thoughts…

‘Holy hell! I might be in a feature film!’

Then not half a second later…

‘Holy crap… Can I still ride?!


Both Dan and I have been threatening to take a lesson practically since we met so it was the perfect excuse! We booked in an hour long shared private lesson at Trent Park Equestrian Centre and it was amazing! I spent the whole hour with a stupid grin stretching across my face, from ear to ear! Cantering around again was just ridiculous fun, even if we were both a tad rusty! *Aherm* The horses were beautiful and our teacher, Maria, was amazing, I would highly recommend her! You can see that she really has a great bond with the animals and that she genuinely wants you to get the best out of yourselves during the hour.

Cut to this morning and I was driven out to a gorgeous little yard in the countryside where a lorry load of film crew horses were waiting. Those animals… wow! They were so responsive and have been trained to do an amazing job, almost irregardless of who their rider is! Walk to canter, trot to dead halt. Not much more than a squeeze of the legs or a slight change in hip movement needed, what a joy to ride! I can safely say that the bug has returned, for both of us! Even if nothing comes of this job (boo hiss!) we will definitely be saving our pennies and making it a more regular thing!

Now, excuse me whilst I go run a bath and try to figure out how I will ever walk normally again…

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