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The Seven Stages of Ageing on Horseback
Stage 1: Fall of pony. Bounce. Laugh. Climb back on. Repeat.
Stage 2: Fall of horse. Run after horse, cussing. Climb back on by shimmying up horse's neck. Ride until sundown.
Stage 3: Fall of horse. Use sleeve of shirt to staunch bleeding. Have friend help you get back on horse. Take two Panado and apply ice packs when you get home. Ride next day.
Stage 4: Fall of horse. Refuse advice to call ambulance; drive self to urgent care clinic. Entertain nursing staff with tales of previous daredevil stunts on horseback. Back to riding before cast comes off.
Stage 5: Fall of horse. Temporarily forget name of horse and name of husband / wife. Flirt shamelessly with paramedics when they arrive. Spend week in hospital while titanium pins are screwed in place. Start riding again before doctor gives official okay.
Stage 6: Fall of horse. Fail to see any humour when hunky paramedic says: "You again?" Gain first hand knowledge of advances in medical technology thanks to stint in ICU. Convince yourself that permanent limp isn't that noticeable. Promise husband / wife you'll give up riding. One week later purchase older, slower, shorter horse.
Stage 7: Slip off horse. Relieved when artificial joints and implanted medical devices seem unaffected. Tell husband / wife that scrapes and bruises are due to gardening accident. Pretend you don't see husband / wife roll eyes and mutter as they walk away. Give apple to horse.
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