Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Can think of nothing but the weather. I am so delirious with excitement about getting Red away from her muddy, bare livery paddock and into her new lush surroundings that I rather ignore the snow warnings. Anyway, I always think people exaggerate these things.
Sure enough, snow starts to fall in the morning. In a panic, I drive halfway across the county to an excellent equestrian establishment to buy extra rugs and feed. Then the snow stops and the mercury rises and I feel like a bit of a fool.
A brilliant woman with a lorry arrives after lunch, and we take the mare up to her new quarters. I lead her out. Cue very, very surprised face, and most theatrical jump at the sight of an unexpected blue Landrover. She is back in unknown territory. Up goes the head, scanning the horizon for threats. I talk to her and gentle her and give her treats. The great nieces and nephew come out and stare at her in awe.
Into the new field, Red gets her head down, and within five minutes is relaxed as an old hound, pulling away in delight at the good grass. Every so often she puts her head up, and stares into the distance, as if searching for Morven, which is lost in the mist. As I leave her, I look back, and see her gazing out to the west.
At home, I think yearningly of her. I remind myself that horses are tough old things, and that they are much better and happier out in the field. But now the snow is falling, and my heart falls with it.
Then two emails arrive. One is from The Old Fella, who sold her to me. He is the best horseman I know. Don’t worry, he instructs; all his horses stay out all winter. He believes in the field. I calm down and little, and send him a long and grateful reply, with, as usual, far too much information in it. I don’t know if, when we shook on the deal, he knew that he was going to get endless long and winding emails about the mare’s progress. In the last one I sent I wrote a lyrical ballad about how much I love her.
Then, The World Traveller, who can see the mare from her window, sent a bulletin. Head down, happily munching away, she wrote. I shall keep an eye on her, she wrote. I feel passionately grateful.
The snow is slackening a bit now. At least there is no wind. We are going to build her a shelter in the next few days, and she has a good clump of trees to doze under. She will be fine. But all the same, I resolve to go up at seven tomorrow and take her a big bucket of alfalfa, to keep her insulated from the cold.
Bloody Scotland. The mildest winter in years, the hottest spring day on record, and now there is idiotic snow. I shake a fist at the weather gods.
No time for pictures today, I was too busy running around on horse business. (Just in case the agent is reading: did also do a huge amount of book.)
Here are a couple of quick girls for you: