As part of my Gold Challenge, I am required to do a horse-based event. Given that I don’t know how to ride a horse, however, that pretty much limits me to dressage…or something equally…well…y’know.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Horse riding can damn cool. CAN BE damn cool. The stuff I see in the Olympics, however…let’s just say it isn’t me. Still, I did agree to try as many of these sports as possible. As a compromise, therefore, I decided to saddle up, but try something a little more badass…like jousting.
Oh, did I mentioned I’m also allergic to horses?
So, I packed my pockets full of anti-histamine, fired up the Datsun and rocketed my way to Warwick International School of Riding, to meet the Knights of Middle England. After a morning of archery and broadsword fighting, I teamed up with Taz – a big ol’ horse – and learnt to ride…with a lance in my hand, naturally.
As well as spearing golden rings (which I completely failed at) and spearing pretend peasant heads off the ground, we did a whole lot of jousting against quintains – the rotating targets. Eventually, some of us jousted against the instructors. Sadly, however, I wasn’t really…reliable enough, to joust another human. It was probably just as well too; by that point the allergy medication had me reeling in the saddle and barely capable of holding my eyes open.
Even so, it was a kickass day, a great introduction to riding and and a huge amount of fun. I then fell asleep driving home and nearly crashed the Datsun into a brick wall. A good day.