Today was a glorious day. The sun shone, I woke galvanised, I got things done. After yesterday’s slightly dulled acceptance of some really pretty good news, I felt suddenly fired with purpose. Not just that work, but all the work could be done.
A pitch for another project, a salvage mission after the Great Set-Back of late last year, had been weighing on my mind. The set-back had left me bruised and bashed, and a horrid, tense procrastination had set in. Finally, the thing fell into my mind as if someone had sent it through the post. I wrote 1706 words in two hours, which is almost physically impossible. It sometimes happens like that. When an idea has been cooking long enough, and the sun comes out, literally and metaphorically, you can write as if someone is dictating the thing in your ear. This was one of those very rare moments.
The galvanic momentum even led me to get dull, logistical tasks done. I dyed my hair dark auburn and cleaned out two cupboards, and threw away things which were two years past their sell-by date. (They hide in the back of the kitchen cabinets, and occasionally reappear to mock me.)
I even worked out my Cheltenham outfits, because that is where I am going, on my trip south. I am going to see the mighty Sprinter Sacre in the flesh for the very first time, and you can’t just wear anything for a titan like that.
I spoke to the Beloved Cousin, I discussed politics and disgrace with my mother (her mind runs much on the matter of Lord Rennard), I did my HorseBack work.
Then, with an astonishing and most uncharacteristic jump on the day, I allowed myself two whole hours in the sunny paddock with the herd. Lately, time has been so pressing that I run down, at top speed, work, feed, groom, walk Stanley the Dog, and then hare back to my desk. Today, I could let my shoulders drop and enjoy the horses.
There was the great moment of the first time The Horse Talker sat on her beautiful filly. That is recorded for posterity, as such a moment must be, on the previous post. It was filled with great joy and serious achievement, and I could not have been prouder of the filly if she were mine.
Then I worked with my own good girl. We had a little moment in the woods yesterday. There is a particular combination of stimuli which sends her into orbit. It happens very rarely, but when it does, it is quite spectacular. It seems to be to do with being on her own, in a new place, with any sense of confinement. I sometimes think she is perhaps having acid flashbacks to her racing career; maybe she is remembering the tight rattle of the starting stalls.
Whatever it is, I decided we needed to go right back to the beginning and work on trust. That way, when she has these little emotive floods, she will know that she can rely on me to deal with them.
Back to basics we went. She was dozy and compliant and willing. So I took it up a notch, and improvised with the desentising. Off came my cardigan, to be turned into a flappy, unpredictable object. This highly-bred thoroughbred mare stood, stock still, untethered, until she was literally wearing the woollen item as a fetching hat. It might have been a little beneath her dignity, but it showed me that the bond of trust was there. I even blindfolded her with it, and she allowed herself to walk behind me for a few steps without being able to see.
This was not complicated dressage. It was not competition work. The movements I did with her were small and simple. But they were profound for all that. I had held a tiny flutter of worry after our bronco episode in the woods. Was I doing something wrong? Did she not believe in me at all? Had I failed her as the Good Leader? Today, she was so kind and attentive and still and immaculate that she set every corner of my mind to rest.
She got a lot of love, as you may imagine. She gives me so much, it is the least she deserves.
The Horse Talker:
The girls, watching the show, like two old ladies at a matinée. I swear they almost handed each other a nice box of Maltesers:
Myfanwy was not as impressed as she might have been:
Heroine of the day, the lovely Autumn:
My dozy old girl, pretending she has never had any bronco thought in her head, ever:
Stanley the Dog was a bit left out of all this. He is still uncertain about the horses, not being able to decide whether he wants to play with them, chase them, flirt with them, or live in fear of these huge red and white creatures, so for serious work, he has to stay away. He was rewarded with some serious stick action:
The hill. Even after two days of a balmy seven degrees, it still has snow on it: