Viglinks

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Horse Riding, Polo and Women * 75

Horses and Women have been part of my life for long years. I started off early on horses from a young age and perfected my skill later at the military academy. I also picked up horse polo at the academy, though I dare say I was not a champion in this field of sport.
Horses drew me closer to women and after varied experiences have concluded that riding a horse can be an exhilaration that is almost akin to a conquest of a woman. My first experience of horse riding was when I was in my 6th standard. My dad an officer in the. Indian armed forces got me enrolled with his influence at the local BSF horse battalion. After initial pains and aches, I began to love riding horses. I realized I had a good vibration with my horses and I understood them as they understood me. I realized the rider had an invisible bond with the horse. I realized this as I galloped across hills and dales at Mhow. 
When I entered the academy, I had a head start over the others who had just begun t ride horses. I was an adept rider and so the instructor gave me a lot of leeways. I was left alone for long periods. At the academy our chief horse trainer a Sergeant Major was an Englishman who had come on an exchange program from the English army. He was a hard taskmaster but gave me a lot of latitudes as I had a way with horses. He also introduced me to his daughter who was a blonde and as good a horse rider as anyone can come across.
By a quirk of fate, we were often thrown together and when riding we developed an intimacy that has lived with me down the years.So often we would ride to the distant hills and then tether the horses to a tree when we followed up with time in each others arms.
Sally( I will give her this name , not the real one) was also a wonderful polo player and that's how I got hooked on the game. It gives me great pleasure now that I played  horse polo as it is a game which earlier was the preserve of the Maharajas like Bhupinder Singh of Patiala and the maharajah of Jaipur. This was the most exhilarating term at the academy. But all good things come to an end the Sergeant Major got transferred back to England. The going of Sally affected me and I never developed my Horse polo after she left, but riding continued. Even now whenever I am in Mumbai I ride at the Amateur Riders Club, Mahalaxmi and also at Singapore at the Police academy. I thus remain fit and thank my dad that he forced me to learn to ride.
Riding has its spillover effect.The first is physical fitness and greater stamina. These two are the ingredients that drive life. I have been saddened that this sport is out of reach for 99% of my countrymen and only if one joins the police or armed forces can one have access to horses and be a rider or if one is rich. The last category has tons of money and some like my  Parsi friend own dozens of stallions. Some also have horse farms that that develop race horses. I have ridden a few and I can say riding a race horse requires greater skill as the horse once in gallop can be mastered only by a skillful rider. It can also be dangerous as was seen when a horse threw the Superman Star Steeve Reeves off his back and the great star broke his neck. Certainly this is a macho sport, but in my view the thrill is great.
There is a spillover  as I have found women are attracted to horse riders. I won't dwell on this aspect much as its a personal matter. But if one has seen the Hindi film " Zubieda" starring Manoj Bajpai as the Maharajah and Karishma Kapoor as his love says it all.  A horse is a great animal, he senses the mood of the rider. I remember I was in a surly mood at the Mahalaxmi after a tiff with my girl and the great beast sensed it. He refused to gallop and sauntered around to where my girl was on a horse. What an animal, who can believe it ?
Lastly a bit of baring the soul. Horses and women go together. But this is a different game and there are exhilarating moments and sad ones. Sad when one of my friends captain Sangha died playing polo after a fall and happy at some of the loveliest women who I have dated were also riders like me. The best was a date from royalty at Bhopal in an exhibition match. 
Lastly, what can I write further? I will just add that horses and women go together and I hope many young men and women can ride this sport. India is the laggard and it's about time we caught up with the world. Let's not forget those great Indian Hindu warriors like Bindusara and Chandragupta who were great horse riders. For Hindu kings and warriors it was a manly sport, so let's pick up the threads.