Tuesday, 29 January 2013

HorseBack and horses and no words left.

Been working all day on stuff for HorseBack. It’s always the hardest kind of writing I ever have to do, because it’s for such a serious purpose. This is not just for me, for my own vanity or success or amour-propre. It’s for an organisation which really does transform people’s lives. It’s a keen responsibility.

They are all so no-nonsense and funny and matter-of-fact down there it’s sometimes easy to forget what an extraordinary thing it is that they have undertaken. Since I’ve been working with them, I’ve watched a man with no legs trot off into the wild Deeside hills, talked to a gentleman whose body is filled with bullet holes, observed a laughing fellow guide a horse round an arena using his last remaining digit. People come there for whom the simple act of sleeping is a rare luxury. So these words damn well matter.

My brain is now so stretched that it is about to crawl out of my ears and hide behind the sofa, so there is nothing left for the blog. You are good people; you understand about priorities. I know that I do not have to apologise for this.


There are, however, some pictures. Almost a little photo essay, you might say. Because today was the Red Letter Day when Autumn the Filly got her first saddle on her back.

We were expecting a bit of a buck or a jump or at the very least a tossed head. But her trainer has worked so well with her on the ground that she mostly just went to sleep as the big foreign object was placed on her. Yeah, yeah, whatever, one could almost hear her saying, her ears in firm donkey position.

Hmm, and you want me to react to this how?:

29 Jan 5

I suppose it is faintly interesting:

29 Jan 6

But NOT as scary as you thought:

29 Jan 7

Really nothing to see here. Move along:

29 Jan 8

I’ll just do a bit of collected circling:

29 Jan 8-001

At this point, the Horse Talker arrived, who is the owner of Autumn, and the filly pricked up her ears as if to say MUM:

29 Jan 10-001

Look what I DID:

29 Jan 9

It was actually quite hard work, I suppose:

29 Jan 10

Meanwhile, Red was off in a doze, eating her hay:

29 Jan 11

When the thrilling decision to do some free schooling was taken:

29 Jan 12

And it was - Come on everyone, LET’S GO:

28 Jan 10

28 Jan 11

28 Jan 13

They have been very still lately, with all the weather. They had so much fun cantering about that, afterwards, Myfanwy clearly thought she was Queen of the World:

29 Jan 14

Which she almost certainly is:

29 Jan 15

And then they just hung out for a bit, very pleased with themselves:

29 Jan 15-001

But of course the main thing was that Stanley the Dog HAD HIS BALL:

29 Jan 20

Oh, yes:

28 Jan 21

No hill today. I would love to say it is lost in music, but in fact it’s lost in the cloud.


  1. Lovely photos of the horses, with all their different activities! And of handsome Stanley.

    Re your work with HorseBack, I've just read a novel by Joanna Trollope about soldiers who've returned from Afghanistan. (I think Joanna T. is rather maligned - she's actually very good on relationships). It's "The Soldier's Wife" (2012) about a soldier returning to his family on leave, and his difficulty in communicating with them after what he experienced in a war zone; also about the disruption wives and children face in having to move house so often. She points out that soldiers nowadays, with swift flights, have no intervening time to gradually adjust from war to civilian life, as they did when returning home was overland. Anyway, just thought you might be interested.

  2. I love watching horses move as a herd. It's very therapeutic and calming somehow. Very "all is right with the world" sort of thing.

  3. Oh, gorgeous photos! I would say, without a doubt, that Myfanwy is absolutely Queen of the World.

    So enjoying reading about your work with HorseBack. x

  4. I love that last photo of Stanley. Those moments when dogs have silly faces but try to maintain some dignity crack me up! I miss the Pigeon (and I have two gorgeous rescue dogs of my own) but I am so happy that Stanley found you.


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