alm askEvery day, after Alma’s been riding, she takes Askur’s saddle off at the house and one of us rides him bareback to his field by the lake.  She usually lets me do it; it’s an enjoyable little trip of about half a kilometre.  When you round the bend at the place in the photograph above, the road starts to rise and he begins to trot.  Yesterday when this happened, the centrifugal force made me lose my balance.  I’d like to say I’d been thrown, it’s more dramatic, but it was more that I slithered down his left side, as if I was a dripping pocketwatch in a Salvador Dali painting.  I hit the ground heavily with my shoulder and I watched as Askur trotted on without me.  I was winded and it really hurt.  It was in my ribs.  I got up and walked in a circle going Ow! for about half a minute.  Then I followed Askur.  He was waiting at the gate to his field and he looked slightly unsettled.  I patted his withers as if to say that I didn’t blame him for my stupidity.  Without a saddle there’s not much to hold on to, but there is the mane.  The thing is, I forgot.  Askur responded by putting his chin on my shoulder and clasping me to him with his head and neck.  I think he was relieved; I imagine some of the small girls at the riding school where we bought him used to get angry when they fell off, even though he’s the kindest horse.  I led him into his field, took the bridle off him and gave him another pat.  This morning my ribs still hurt.  askur @ lake