They do say that even a fish wouldn't get caught if it kept its mouth shut. How true. Almost as soon as I had said 'Of course, no problems - I'll come with you' I regretted opening my trap.
'You'll be fine' said my lovely neighbour Di, briskly and firmly sealing the deal.
I quickly added '...but I'm not going to be much use to you' and my voice trailed off as I muttered something about not being much good with horses, terrified of them in fact.
"That's OK' she said 'I'll deal with Rocky. I need you there In Case.'
So there I was committed to a day with a horse - and as it turned out hundreds of them and their besotted owners, minders and associated hangers-on. My role was, I think chief spur carrier, wrist watch bearer, confidence booster and potential horse box driver should Di damage herself in one or other of the horsey challenges.
I am a stranger to the world of the horse - the horse-loving gene is absent. Frankly the things scare the pants off me - all hooves and teeth. I make lengthy detours to keep a field and a fence between us and being in confined spaces....well, we won't go there. You can understand then that if the Eventing programme at Sapey in Herefordshire was a challenge for Di and Rocky it was equally so for me. (Not helped by the fact that when looking for this link I find that a young rider was killed on the cross country course a couple of years ago - dangerous stuff. I rest my case.)
The drive down there was wonderful. Sitting high up in the lorry, as a passenger, I looked out on the spring countryside. We ticked off the counties; Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. A gentle rolling landscape of bosky valleys, rich red ploughland and fat contented lazing lambs. A rural idyll.
Old fruit trees, sadly many are neglected now, were coming into bloom; there are many orchards here. Fresh green leaves and frothy white blossom unfurled in the sunshine. Sapey is near Tenbury Wells where the mistletoe auction is held in the late autumn - many of the orchard trees have clumps of this strange plant high up in the branches.
We leave this world behind though and enter the world of British Eventing.
There is Dressage. To me, an outsider, it's absolutely incomprehensible - and try as I may I couldn't make head or tail of the trotting about in a confined space. Is it to do with control and discipline? In a warm-up ring a couple of dozen horses and riders circled, each in their own 'bubble'. I was reminded of the Red Kite Feeding station at Rhyader - the circling birds and the circling horses were very similar. I found a sunny spot in the lee of a hedge - out of a bitter wind, drank hot chocolate, ate flapjack and tried to make sense of it all.
Next up was Show Jumping - I understand that. A change of costume and a chance for both horse and rider to let off a bit of steam.
Di does very well. She and Rocky are not placed but she is pleased with his first performance of the season. I am brave enough to hold him while he has a nibble at some grass so am quite pleased too. I do not have to drive the lorry either - phew! It has been a long day. My face is sunburned and I am generally windswept. I probably wear a delicate whiff of horse too.
I've really had a very interesting day. I'm still baffled and no nearer understanding why grown men and women should be so obsessive about horses though. Any less scared? Nope, not much.
Would I go again? I heard myself saying, as I got out of the lorry when we reached home, 'Anytime Di, anytime' - and you know? I think I meant it.