Now that the temperatures have dropped from hellish to chilly, I've gone back to playing polo most weekends. My riding has improved enough over the last year that I've gone from beginner to intermediate status, which means that I can usually stay on the horse as long as it doesn't do anything stupid, like spin, leap forward, or run backwards.
However, the pool of available horses in Oakdale is constantly changing as Mike wheels and deals and tries to find homes for the horses of retirement age. This means that I can never figure out which horse is safe for me to ride, and I have to rely on people who know the string better.
Here is an actual conversation I had with Mike and Shauna yesterday. I had gone over to grab my helmet after tacking up the horse...
Shauna: Who are you riding this chukker?
(Both Mike and Shauna stop moving for a moment.)
Shauna: Who told you to ride Starlight?
Shauna: He told you to ride Starlight? Really?
Mike: What did you do to make him mad at you? Are you standing in the way of his promotion at work?
Me: So... you think I shouldn't ride Starlight?
Mike: Oh, no. You'll be fine.
With friends like these, who needs enemies? Anyhow, I rode Starlight and it all went well. Or, at least, I didn't fall off. I count that as a win.