One thing I love about Mexico is the combination of the ‘manana, manana’ on the one hand, and the not messing about and getting the ball rolling on the other. I’ve learned to put into practice the idea of ‘better late than never’ when it comes to turning up to class or having done the reading, but not to wait around when there’s something fun to be doing!
Yesterday I managed to accomplish something I’ve been dreaming of for many years which would have taken me many more months if not years and cost me a lot of money – but I did it in less than an hour here. I went horse-riding. I knew more or less how to walk and trot (months of lessons when I was in primary school taught me that much – but no more), and especially over the last year or two I’d been wanting to learn properly how to ride, but wouldn’t be able to afford – or put up with – the hours and hours of practicing the basics before being able to move on.
Well, yesterday I caught a bus to Bosque los Colomos with the intention of doing a bit of pony trekking, paid for an hour (about £5). The cowboy who owned the horses asked me if I knew how to ride, and I explained that I knew a bit but hadn’t been on a horse in about 10 years, so he said, ‘okay, I’ll lead you for a bit’ and off we went (no helmets or anything here, by the way!) As soon as I’d got the hang of controlling the horse, which is done a bit differently here, he says, ‘do you know how to gallop?’ and I say, ‘no, I’ve never done it before!’ Salvador replies, ‘okay, we’ll just do a little bit!’ and off we go, galloping through the woods, with me clinging on for dear life (no helmet).
But it was so much fun! By the time the hour was up I was doing it without Salvador leading me, probably not doing very well to control the horse, but at least I was doing it! I’ll keep going back to learn the proper technique but I’m confident that progress will be fast, and I’ll be riding like a true cowgirl in no time. Just need to invest in a hat and some boots.
So riding without a helmet might not exactly be ‘living on the edge’, but it’s a good place to start. I’m not about to do anything outright dangerous but it’s great to not be inhibited by ‘health and safety’ regulations that prevent anyone from doing anything. People don’t need to be constantly reminded what could go wrong in any given situation – I think that people would do well to take a risk every once in a while. Chances are, everything will be fine and you might end up with a great experience.