My daughter (galop 3 level now) was riding with us that day and she didn't have one good word to say about my riding.
You're on the mark there Brian as I learnt to ride unvoluntarily and unceremoniously with the army in Aldershot in the early eighties.
Wrong place, wrong time and I never learnt 'don't volunteer for anything'. I thought there would be lots of girlie soldiers down at the stables. There were....all big bottomed lesbians.
My initiation was an impromptu "sit on that 'orse, 'ibbs, double quick".
Of course it was the regimental 'mustang' and bolted off at lunatic speed round Tweseldown army race course with me clinging on for my precious life all to the rapturous amusement of a number of onlooking officers. A near death experience.
After that I stupidly 'adopted' a horse - ex hurdles 15/2 thoroughbred (like giving a learner driver a ferrari) for my Wednesday afternoon sport this time being based on the 'plain' and rode out of Tidworth garrison stables (16/21 lancers - death or glory...the former being more appropriate) later transferred to Aborfield and spent pleasant rides around Finchampstead and the occasional sortie with RMA officers snob mob at Sandhurst for drag hunts.
I later part owned another 16 hand thoroughbred-Irish hunter cross which I rode around the Berkshire/Hampshire borders.
I gave up proper riding a little before moving out here.
I've ridden some real oddballs though like Cleveland bays (Army gun carriage pullers)and a jet black Trakhener once (the horse used in the Lloyds bank adverts years ago).
Given the time and resources (another life really) I would ride regularly again.
Obviously a move to Normandy would give us the opportunity for a large piece of land and thus daughter will be nagging father for 'my pretty poney'.
Here she is on the same ride.