I took a half lease in a former racehorse horse called Sam who frankly was rather beyond my riding ability. I came a cropper when he went for a gallop in a much too small field one day, suffering a nasty break to my arm. It scared me off for a good 15 years.
I recall going to the stables to collect my belongings, arm in cast, and everyone sharing their tales of broken legs, arms, toes, fractured collar bones and concussions and thinking "Are you all completely mad? Why do you still ride?"
Fifteen years on, I know the answer.....I ride because I must. Despite the risks, there is nothing quite like being around horses, the exhilaration, the bond and the trust that you have to build each time you ride. The nerves that kick in when the bar is raised a notch higher than you feel comfortable jumping and the rush when you clear that jump.
I would still love to live that dream again, although I might sense check my love of a thoroughbred!