It’s 6.37pm and only now have I found time to sit down and write the blog. Forgive the lost weekend: I had a horrid pain, and had to lie down very still in a darkened room. It comes sometimes. It’s some ancient parasite which I collected in the days when I used to get on aeroplanes and fly off with my passport dog-eared from use.
Now I should have something good for you but there is only the sound of swish and blast as the end of the day rushes past me, laughing mercilessly.
There was HorseBack work. There is a new course and some familiar volunteers and a most fascinating new visitor. The visitor is a racing man, so of course that meant that I opened my mouth and did not shut it for twenty minutes. Along with time management, I must learn the art of rationing speech. I put it down to not getting out much. I am entirely intemperate in conversation when I meet someone who rivets me. Must must must learn to pause and listen, instead of issuing a stream of undifferentiated chatter.
There was book work; 597 new words, dead darlings falling bloody to the floor, severe editing. I dream of it now and can’t get it out of my head, which is tiring but good.
The sun shone. The lovely Young Gentleman from last year has reappeared, much to my delight. Despite the fact that he is a very serious student of engineering, he still looks at Red with the light of adoration in his eyes. ‘I’ll be jumping her by the middle of summer,’ he says, smiling. I explain that she was a flat racehorse and I have not yet taught her to jump. That is nothing to him. Until he met her last year he had been frightened of all horses. Now he dreams of my girl. It gives me more pleasure than I can cram into these mere sentences.
So I continue on, always half an hour behind, rushing from post to pillar, smiling widely, talking too much, never getting even close to the end of my To Do List. I grow fretful and scratchy about my organisational frailties. Then I look up at the blue, blue sky of Scotland and remember my luck.
Are rather equine, surprise surprise.
This is dear Polly the Cob, who has just arrived from World Horse Welfare, and who was having her very first session in the round pen:
Stan the Man:
That wistful look is because he knows I’ve got biscuits and I’m making him sit and stay before he can having any.
And one more of my glorious girl:
I managed to fit in fifteen minutes of groundwork with her, and she is so responsive now to the softest of cues that it makes me laugh out loud. Here she is, a socking great thoroughbred, highly bred, out of racing and polo, and she is so willing and delicate in all her movements, so clever and eager to please.
The thing that makes me laugh the most is when I vary the pace when I am leading her. I go fast; she goes fast. I slow down to a treacly trudge, what Buck Brannaman calls his old man walk, and she at once matches her gait to mine, putting each hoof down slowly in perfect time. It’s one of those very very small things, although I believe it’s absolute foundational training, but it makes my heart burst with idiot pride.
PS. For those of you new to the blog, this is the story of The Young Gentleman: