I ANNOUNCED nervously to my pals Christine and Mae "That’s us booked for a horse riding lesson.”

Christine seemed excited whereas Mae and I were more than a little apprehensive.

“I’ve only ever been on a donkey on Blackpool beach,” Mae informed us.

“And I am scared stiff of horses after my childhood experience,” I added.

The girls were all ears as I told them the story of when I was about 10 and my dad suddenly appeared at our home with a Shetland pony in the back of a truck.

Now this was unusual because I was one of six children who lived on a newish housing estate, and the only place to keep the pony was in our back garden. 

"Well surely you're used to horses then." Christine thought this was obvious. 

"Not at all." I assured her. 

"Because the feral pony hated kids and used to chase us about the garden trying to bite and kick us until eventually my dad got rid of it. 

“That’s why I am so nervous.”

“Have you been on a horse Christine?” Mae asked.

Christine told us about an incident some years back.

“I had a dozen riding lessons and was just starting to build up my confidence when my then boyfriend announced one Sunday that I was joining him and his mates on a hunt.”

“A hunt?,” I knew this was serious.

Apparently, completely out of control, Christine ended up jumping over fences and waterholes before finally finishing three hours of gruelling riding.

Arriving at the equestrian centre, the riding instructor Lucy took our details and enquired as to our horse riding experience.

“Can I have that small horse as I’m really nervous?,” I pleaded.

“Well, you’re right to be nervous,” she pointed out.

“Because this sport must not to be taken lightly as it is one of the most dangerous sports you can participate in.”

My friends and I stared at each other and I wished I was somewhere else.

“And the small horse is for the five year old next to you,” she added.

“This is your horse.”

Jake looked reasonably placid and stood still as I clumsily got on his back.

Round and round we went and I thought I was doing OK until…..

“Let’s step it up a gear,” Lucy announced.

Jake started to trot, and as I was completely out of sync with him, every part of my body shook.

Even my eyeballs!

Meanwhile Mae patted her horse on the backside for halting when instructed which made him shoot off!

Finally dismounted, every muscle in my body was taught and the sweat was pouring off me.

“Fancy booking again? Christine asked.

“Em….. Christine I can barely walk,” I puffed.

“You’ll need to give me a few days till the pain subsides.”

“Definitely not,” Mae was crystal clear.

Having showered and changed I met up with my friends for a well-deserved drink and almost immediately a long, hilarious conversation of horse related puns began.

“Hi Richie.” I smiled at one of the guys I hadn’t seen for a few weeks.

“I don’t think you’ve met my friend Mae.”

“We’ve just been horse riding.”

“You’re right Janice I’ve never met herbivore.”

“How did you get on?,” he turned to my pal who responded like lightening.

“Neigh bother,” she retorted.

“Although I think my horse was a bit un-stable.”

“Was he un-stable furlong?” Richie laughed.

“No,” She shook her head.

“But the mane thing was, I didn’t make a foal of myself.”

“Hold your horses.” Richie replied.

“Are you telling me tails?”

“No, I’m shoe-er I’m not,” Mae added.

“But hay, I did struggle to stay in the saddle.”

“Let me ask you another equestrian?,” Richie couldn’t help himself.

“Did you manage mare than one jump?”

Quick as a flash my pal replied.

“If you must know, I managed every hurdle.”

The tears were running down my cheeks as I got my bit in.

“Stop winding her up Richie or she’ll go off in the hoof.”

“No I won’t Janice, Mae pointed at Richie.

“I’ll just whip him into submission.”

But Richie was on a roll……

“Is it not pasture bedtime Mae?”

“Hay, I’m a thoroughbred and can keep up with the best of them,” she laughed.

“Canter taxi come a bit earlier?,” Richie turned to me.

“After all, she is sounding a bit horse.”

“Right that’s the last straw,” Mae stood up for effect.

“You should learn when to rein it in Richie.”

Every now and then after we had seemingly finished our childish chat someone else would add in another silly retort until we finally went home.

However, the next day I got a Facebook message from Richie.

“How’s the nags head this morning Janice?”

“Fine,” I replied.

“I’m just a little horse with laughing.”

Richie then asked how my funny, mad pal Mae was.

“You’re right Richie, she is mad but I’m afraid I’m saddled with her!”