Horsing Around


About a year ago a friend of mine invited me to the stables. There's a nice place in Yokohama. That’s where I took this picture. The stables are located on an oasis in the middle of the concrete and steel expanse of the city. I can't remember the name of the park, but there's a tennis court there and green open meadows. For no small fee, anyone who makes a reservation can ride. Almost anyone! I was told that I was too large for their horses. It shocked me to hear that. I'm pretty sure there were cowboys in the American west that were much larger than I am. At 188 centimeters and 100 kg, I'll admit that I'm not small. I'll also admit that going on a diet might not be such a bad idea. However, I was surprised that the horses couldn't carry me. Is there really a difference between Japanese horses and western horses? Perhaps they were just being overly cautious. I've only ever been horseback riding once in my life. At that time, I was only 93kg. Also, I was in the UK and not Japan. I was surprised by how much more difficult it was to ride than I thought it would be. In the movies, it looks like someone's just sitting on the back of horses while they run. But there's actually a whole system of movements and maneuvers a rider must do to catch the rhythm of the horse as it moves. I think riding a horse cross-country would be exhausting. At one point in American history, mail used to be delivered from town to town by a group of bandit fighting mailmen called The Pony Express. After riding their horses like that, day in and day out, those guys must have been some lean, six pack having mofos.

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