Monday, 14 November 2011

In which there is a ride

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I started a whole philosophical post about the human condition and the choices we make in life and the consequences of those choices and the misunderstandings that can trail in their wake. Then, I decided I was much too tired for all that nonsense, and anyway, might be at risk of boring you into catatonia.

The real big news of the day is that I went for my annual ride, so I am now walking like John Wayne after a hard day on the range, which is not my greatest look. The ride was a huge success, not only because my horse was immaculate, and had an unbelievably smart new saddle, but mostly because The Pigeon outdid herself. I was not sure whether to take her, or not. I hate being precious about dogs; they are tough descendants of wolves, after all, which is why it is really sacrilege to dress them in costumes or carry them about in handbags. (Do the people who do that kind of thing ever think about canine dignity?) But she is thirteen, and even though she is very energetic and her joints are in good shape, I’m not sure she should be gallivanting about the countryside like a puppy.

In the end, I thought I’d give it a shot. It was only an hour, and all on level ground, and we were going gently as the horses had not been ridden for a bit. I was a bit fretful that the younger dogs might dash off and leave the poor old Pidge panting in their wake, or that she might cleave to my side in the strange fields. I had a slight worry she might stop, three-quarters of the way round and give me a baleful, old lady look, as if to say: What were you thinking?

Turns out, she is not descended from wolves for nothing. She galloped off ahead of the pack, and remained defiantly in front for the entire hour; wading through mud, slithering under gates, cantering through the high grass, wagging her tail in triumph.

Old lady, schmold lady. When we got back, I was staggering with stiffness; the Pigeon could have done the whole thing all over again. If I was only slightly more absurd than I am, I would have thought that the younger dogs had a look of respect in their eyes.


No time for pictures today, as aside from the physical activity, I did some work, and tested The Godson on his vocabulary (he can spell and define abhorrent, somnolent and onomatopoeia, which last even I sometimes have to look up), so I'm afraid the camera did not come out.

This is from our walk yesterday. Birthday Girl on the left, Youngest Cousin on the right, Pigeon watching:

14 Nov 2 13-11-2011 12-53-12

Dogs running through the valley:

14 Nov 8 13-11-2011 12-33-42

Beloved Cousin with her two girls:

14 Nov 9 13-11-2011 12-43-39

Godson's dog:

14 Nov 10 13-11-2011 12-43-58

Rather fine chickens, I think you might agree:

14 Nov 6 13-11-2011 12-31-27

Pigeon, a couple of days ago, clearly contemplating her Big Walk:

14 Nov 12 12-11-2011 13-17-22.ORF


  1. A really nice read Tania...thank you.

  2. Jacqueline - you are so kind; thank you.

  3. These are such lovely posts.
    And I love the image of you walking like John Wayne. :)

    Oh, that Pigeon has just such a look about her. When I looked at her with the other two beauties, I thought she really is quite wonderful. Enough gushing!
    Enjoy your time x

  4. Pidgeon is beautiful! And also such lovely pictures of the valley in your post.
    Thks for sharing.

  5. Em - you are so very kind; thank you. And I'm afraid that as far as I am concerned you can never gush too much about my Pigeon.

    Deep Sea - what a very lovely comment; thank you so much.

  6. One of the things I miss most about my youth is horseback riding. Living on Long Island means horseback riding is only for the wealthy. Unless you want to pay by the hour to ride some cement-mouthed hack in a line behind other cement-mouthed hacks through the woods. Which really isn't riding.


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