Even the best advice sometimes needs a little tweaking, according to the circumstances. Like ... how are you meant to get back on the horse when it's actually 50km away and was last seen heading
rapidly in the opposite direction?
There's a saying about getting right back on the horse if you fall off.
I think it means get straight back on, you know, immediately, but there are times when that's not entirely possible.
For example, when I was a teenager I had a horse that used to assist me to dismount, then he'd run away.
That always caused a slight delay in the getting back on, as I had to find him first.
After my most recent unplanned dismount it took almost a year to "get right back on" the horse. Well, not the exact same horse as that would have been silly. But a different, more sedentary horse.
It took so long because shortly after the horse had the unfortunate impulse to have a lie down with me underneath it, it did a runner. And by the time it had stopped haring about the paddock I was in the back of an ambulance heading hospitalwards.
By the time I got home the horse was no longer in my employ, and I was in no fit state to get right back on anyway ... not having a wheelchair accessible horse-mounting-apparatus at my place.
So there was a bit of a delay.
And in the meantime, plenty of folk said: "So I guess you won't be riding again?"
Which, under the circumstances, was a pretty good guess. But they weren't taking into account that it's not riding that did me a mischief, it was the falling down that did it.
When it came time to try out riding again, I had the perfect mount in mind: safe, dependable, rock steady ... it was the plastic saddle stand at the local saddlery shop.
The staff there had kindly suggested it, so I could have a wee sit and see how it felt.
So I sat, and I felt right at home. And while a plastic saddle stand would be a nice safe option and I wouldn't have to go out in the cold to feed it, I had loftier goals in mind.
A friend had kindly offered me a sit upon her middle-aged, middle-sized, very quiet horse. He was regularly used to give horsey rides to her toddlers.
Yes, I told her, I think I can handle that.
So I turned up a couple of weeks later, daughter in tow to photograph my moment of triumph.
Remember, he's totally safe, my friend reminded me. "The triplets ride him and they are just toddlers."
We caught the horse. He seemed huge. Way bigger than I remembered him being.
And there was steam coming out his nostrils, and fire in his eyes.
"No, there is not," said my daughter.
"He's actually half asleep. We've woken him from his nap."
We lined him up next to a gate post so I could climb aboard. He was stamping and pawing the ground in anticipation.
"No," said my daughter. "He has just twitched to shoo a fly off his knee. And now he's asleep again. For goodness sake get on with it."
Slowly I slid one leg across the huge animal's heaving back ...
"He's flaming well snoring Mum! You've bored him to sleep. Get on, my camera keeps timing out and turning off."
So I got on. And I smiled for the camera. And we went for a little walk.
Okay my friend's husband led me, like pony rides at the A&P Show, and I clung to the horse's mane for dear life.
"He's quite safe," said my friend's husband. "The triplets ride him."
I told him I had heard that, somewhere.
After about five steps he asked me where I'd like to go.
"Back to the gate post please," I told him, because I could feel the horse starting to wind up and he was eyeing up the fence like he was about to take a running leap at it.
My daughter rolled her eyes at me. I was beginning to wonder why I had brought her along.
We got back to the fence post and I slid off the horse on to shakey legs and turned to give my steed a thank you hug.
He seemed somehow smaller than when I got on, and the steam coming from his nostrils appeared to have evaporated. I couldn't see the fire in his eyes either, as they were closed.
My daughter was leaping about cheering. She hugged me and said, "You did it. You got back on a horse!" I was beginning to remember why I brought her with me.
At home, I looked through the camera for my "triumphant grin" photo.
There I was, sitting on the horse, but where was my grin? The terrified grimace I wore looked like I had been confronted by a fire-breathing dragon or something.
Very, odd, I thought.
Ah well, I'll get a better photo taken next time.