...was tough. There really aren't horses there, and the only place I was able to ride in the two years that I lived in Thailand was at least a couple of hours away. In 1997 I signed a 2-year contract to teach elementary Art and P.E. at the New International School of Thailand, which was located in the heart of Bangkok. There was a little stable in a place called Khao Yai, and you could stay there and hike or rent horses.
Again, my friends, who did not ride horses were up for adventure and agreed to go on a few rides with me.
Living without horses for two years was really tough. I wouldn't do it again. In my second year there, I found out that the stable was having a jumping competition. A showjumping course, and then a cross country course that included getting off and shooting things. I decided to enter and was given a very lazy horse and a protective vest.
I had a choice of doing the little course or the big course. I chose the big one, how many opportunities did I get to ride? Might as well make the best of it. I now wonder if this horse had ever jumped this course. My friends overheard the locals saying that I was fearless. Now why would they say that? The horse was sluggish and backwards. I had to get off and shoot things at one point, which went well, but I think I fell off before the last jump because I was so exhausted trying to get him to go. The jumps were pretty big!
I think I actually got a second place ribbon for the showjumping phase. I took a tight turn that no one else tried and made up a lot of time but took a rail.
Luckily there were things to ride besides horses. Living in Thailand began my lifelong fascination and love of elephants. Linda and I going for a ride in Chaing Mai. I loved sitting on their necks even though their hair was like toothpicks sticking through my shorts.