The day galloped away from me and all my plans went awry. There is no time for words now, so here is a quick look at the day in pictures:
The light dazzled and changed, from the brightest, thinnest blue:
To a deeper amber:
And back again:
The chickens seemed happy:
I was supposed to go for a serious schooling ride, but then my small helper came out to see the ponies, and we were having so much fun that we all stayed on the ground:
Notice my duchess taking the opportunity to have a little doze.
It was actually a really, really good day to do groundwork, since Red was in her happiest, sweetest, calmest mood. We did a lot of work on what might seem a very dull thing, which is standing still on command. It actually makes a huge difference to my horse life. It also makes me almost faint with pride when I can put the rope on the ground, tell her to stand, and walk away, whilst she stays still as a statue:
Admittedly, it does help when she goes to sleep.
She stood for ten minutes straight, whilst I took these photographs. The Pigeon was exceptionally impressed:
The Pidge had a bit of a sunbathe:
Then the Small Helper gave the pony a tremendous brush and comb and a whole lot of love:
Myfanwy showed her appreciation by doing a great camel yawn:
It’s like one of those pictures on the internet where they invite comedy captions.
Herself grew dozier and dozier:
Her happiness, as always, demonstrated by the wibbly lower lip, which sent the Small Helper into peals of laughter:
I despaired of taking a single picture where she did not have her donkey face on. The relaxed face brings me great delight, because it means she is content, but it does not look that pretty, involving a goofy look and ears sticking out at right angles. At last, she spotted something interesting to the west and I managed to get her looking beautiful, with her ears pricked:
So, it was a sweet and happy and gentle day. I watched the racing, and it was fine. The dear old veterans Borderlescott and Beckermet were running, and even though, at the age of ten, they could not quite hit the front, both of them ran on well to finish not far off the pace, and both of them still have all their great enthusiasm for the sport, which is a great credit to their trainers.
I muddled about, backing every single thing which finished second, but then suddenly realised that I had cleverly done my accumulators each way, and one of them came true.
To my astonishment, I seemed to have won £296 off a two pound stake. That is the kind of thing that would send my father into transports. It made me laugh and laugh.
The especially lovely thing was that the last leg relied on a really nice, honest filly called Lady Kashaan. She was not quite quick enough to win, but oh she battled on to the line, pegging the winner back with every stride, sticking her dear head out and refusing to give up. I love those gutsy, battling fillies, and the whole thing filled me with delight.
There shall be proper words tomorrow.