I guess I’m like most girls who grew up mesmerised by movies such as The Horse Whisperer where the gorgeous Robert Redford, who plays the title role of a talented trainer with a remarkable gift for understanding horses, is hired to help an injured teenage girl and her horse back to health following a tragic accident.
So when KK surprised me with a guided horse ride along the beautiful Noordhoek beach, I was thrilled!
Having never ridden a horse before in my life, I was incredibly nervous. KK and I were joined by two other girls and we all got kitted out in helmets and shoes before being given a brief lesson by our guide. Then the horses came out…
My horse was a magnificent dark brown stallion called Raka. It was roughly 1.4 meters to his back and his legs were massive and strong.
Off we went, first taking the streets to get to the wetlands which would take us to the beach. The sound of the horses’ hooves trotting on the tar was spell-binding. It was even more stunning when we got to the beach and hearing the horses wading through the waves.
This is unfortunately where my fairy tale ends…
About 90 minutes into our ride, Raka started becoming restless and I was struggling to hold him. He just wanted to go! On a couple of occasions, the guide had to shout out, “pull the reigns!” but to no avail as Raka wanted more. As a safety measure, the guide held on to my reigns because she feared that Raka would gallop off. I was relieved because I could feel that he was not happy and it was as if a rubber band was being stretched under me, ready to let go!
The problem started when we got to the wetlands and the path was not big enough for two horses to walk side by side. She had to let him go. Within minutes, he jumped away and without warning, threw me off! (KK’s version of the story is that I fell off but I’m going with my version).
I got the fright of my life! I jumped up so quickly and luckily, was unhurt (yet). The trainer managed to catch Raka and calm him down a tad, but recommended that we swop horses. Great idea.
I woke up the next day and felt like a truck had hit me. Ouch, my body ached!
I still love horses. I am still fascinated by them. I would even go as far as recommend the same horse ride on the beach because it was so beautiful. The experience was a ‘wow’ moment in my life. Noordhoek beach is absolutely breath-taking.
But as for horse riding, this might have been my last ride on a horse for a very long time. I think I’ll go back to day-dreaming about them… and about Robert Redford of course. 😉