Real life and work are rather getting in the way of the blog. I am running around, perennially about fifty minutes behind. I make lists in my head and then forget them and then yell, internally: Bugger it. But the sun shines and the snow continues to melt and I work well with my mare.
She throws down a bronco challenge; spring is in her, and she decides to put on a little show. I deal with it, look at her beadily, and say: is that the best you’ve got? It’s always good when a session is not perfect; it’s only when they do something unexpected that you know exactly what it is you can deal with. She’s never mean or aggressive. She’s not being naughty or defiant. She’s just doing the things that horses do. And sometimes she likes to remind me that she damn well is a thoroughbred, however much she does a bit of a donkey impression from time to time.
I sometimes think the mistake people make with horses is to let the ego rule the day. The humans make it all about themselves. That horse, they say, through gritted teeth, is trying to get away with it, making a monkey of me, taking the piss. Actually, horses have no concept of piss-taking. (Although I do maintain that Red has a fairly well-developed sense of humour.) They are just being their equine selves.
Mostly, they are trying to tell you something. What Red told me this morning, as she leaped and bucked on the end of her rope, was that it is spring, and she’s been standing still in a snowy field for too long, and she’s got twinkles in her toes, and she would really like to be galloping about instead of trotting in collected circles.
And I told her: that’s all very well, madam, but we are actually following my plan, and this is what I would like you to do now, and once you’ve done it, you can gallop your head off. So I got her back and finished the work and by the end she had her dozy old head down and was paying attention to me and all was fine and well.
Still running late, I went up to HorseBack. The minute I was out of my field and in the car, all the To Do lists came swarming back into my head like angry bees. Then I spent half an hour talking to my friend in the cowboy hat about horses, and how they think, and how humans can read them like good books, if only we may take the time. Some people don’t want to take down that book and slowly read. But I do. It’s a book of which I never tire and from which I learn every day.
And then I felt soothed and better, because it was a good conversation with a clever man, and a fascinating session with an interesting horse, and all the To Do Lists can go hang.
My mother’s Easter table, from yesterday’s lovely lunch:
The man in the cowboy hat:
Quite hard to believe that this person is capable of leaping three feet in the air when the mood takes her. I rather love it that she is: