[RIDING STABLES, EXT., DAY. MY FAMILY AND I ARE HACKING OUT AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT TO MY MUM. THE HACK LEADER HAS JUST LED OUT AN ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS HORSE, WITH A THICK NECK AND MASSIVE FEATHERY HOOVES.]
ME: Blimey. You’re quite big.
HORSE: Fear not, small human female. Although I am large and powerful and may initially seem more suitable to being ridden by Gregor Clegane, I am in fact a gentle giant. Did you happen to bring any offerings about your person, concealed perhaps inside this blue woolen outer-garment you wear?
ME: No snacks. Sorry.
HORSE [RESIGNED]: Ah. I thought as much. T’was ever thus. And yet still I permit myself to hope – perhaps if I look inside your hood –
ME: Aww, your nose is so nice and soft.
HORSE: Even though you failed to bring me a Polo mint, I will patiently tolerate your stroking of my nose, for lo, I am the nicest, most chilled-out horse in the stable. While you scramble up onto me and then ineptly adjust your stirrups for what seems like several years, I will stand like a rock and stare serenely into the middle distance. You are safe with me.
[WE RIDE UP THE LANE. IT IS QUITE MUDDY AND SLIPPY.]
ME: You’re not going to fall over, are you?
HORSE: What is this thing you humans call “fall”? I know it not.
ME: Fair enough. This is quite a steep downhill slope though. Are you sure you’re not going to –
HORSE [PATIENT]: I will not fall. I will not slip. I will do nothing to alarm you. The dainty mare your daughter rides may prance about and insist on leaving the yard before everyone else is ready, but I am above such foolishness. I am calm and unflappable. Were I to be sold, I believe the description which would be applied to me would be “bombproof”. Are you asking me to trot?
ME: Well, yes. If you wouldn’t mind.
HORSE: Although trotting did not feature in my plans for the afternoon, I shall oblige. Let us circle this field twice, then come to a gentle halt and await the arrival of your small son, who I see rides upon a pony whose legs are but short and stumpy.
ME: I can see a wind-turbine. Can you see a wind-turbine? Aren’t horses supposed to be scared of wind-turbines?
HORSE: I see nothing of interest.
ME: Well, okay then.
[WE DESCEND ANOTHER SLIPPY HILL]
ME: Do you want me to let you have your head, or do I have some role in steering you down this hill?
HORSE [REASSURING]: Fragile human female, be at peace. I have navigated this hill many times. I fear it not. It is of no – HOLY FUCK WHAT IS THAT
ME: What? What?
HORSE [SIDLING AROUND SHOWING WHITES OF EYES]: I SEE SOMETHING BLUE AND EVIL
ME: You mean the forget-me-nots?
HORSE: NOBODY SAID THERE WOULD BE FLOWERS
ME: You’re spooking at flowers? Are you serious?
HORSE: THIS WAS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT WE DISCUSSED
ME: Come on. Be brave. Walk past them. You can do it.
HORSE: DON’T LET THEM GET ANYWHERE NEAR ME. I AM SERIOUS
[WE MAKE IT PAST THE PATCH OF FORGET-ME-NOTS]
ME [TRYING NOT TO LAUGH]: Feeling better now?
HORSE: I feel splendid. As always. Why do you enquire?
ME: Hey look, I can see a rabbit. Can you see the rabbit? Is it frightening?
HORSE: I do not know the meaning of the word “frightening”. Let us discuss other matters. Perhaps we might trot again.
ME: And a blackthorn in blossom. Are we cool with the blackthorn in blossom?
HORSE: I have literally no idea what you are talking about.
ME: Or how about that primrose? Any problems with the primrose you’d like to discuss?
HORSE: I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar.