Getting on and off GM was a real challenge for me. The Instructor always had to hold GM because she would smirk and walk off otherwise. You would think mounting and dismounting would be the easiest part of the lessons. Not for me. Mounting GM was a chore. I envisioned a fluid motion of stepping into the stirrup and then swinging my right leg high over her rump and gently placing myself into the saddle. This never happened. I always ended up taking a hunk of hair out of her mane as I tried to pull myself up. My right leg did not swing clearly over her body. Instead, it was more like I was kneeling on her back and then dropping my leg over her side while the rest of my body collapsed on to her shoulders and neck. Not a pretty sight.
Dismounting was the same challenge in reverse. However, there was the added component of slipping your left foot out of the stirrup before you hit the ground. “Remain upright and turn!” Fail. “Swing your right leg over, clearing her body!” Fail. “Lean your stomach against the saddle!” OK, I could actually do this part. “Kick your left foot out of the stirrup and gently slide down!” In trying to kick my left foot out of the stirrup, I pitched myself forward, tipping myself over the top of the saddle. My head was fast approaching the ground, my arms flailing about and my legs were sticking up in the air. Fortunately, The Instructor was able to grab my arse and pull me back into position before I did a head plant on the opposite side of GM. I stood in front of him and my classmates, pulled up my breeches.... and then started to laugh.
I soon realized that wearing oversized T-shirts was not the best fashion statement for someone who was mount/dismount challenged. My T-shirt would become entangled in straps and stirrups as I slid down GM's body, exposing my blue/white belly and super duper sports bra to anyone looking my way.
What was I thinking…..?