I am doing something radical. I am taking the whole weekend off. Even the Bank Holiday. This feels so transgressive that I expect the knock on the door at any moment.
Having made this decision, my entire physiognomy changes. Instead of the usual trying to beat time frown, my face relaxes into a goofy smile. My shoulders come down. I no longer need to ask myself ‘How long will that take?’; I may just do things, without looking at the clock.
I decide to take my horse for a walk. I don’t think this is usual practice, but I adore it. We just amble along, taking in the sights, two old moochers together. I actually think it is quite a good bit of foundational training too. It teaches her to respect my space, and to match my pace and pay attention to me, and it lays good corner-stones of trust. She’s still a bit leery of new places, and I like to take her to them on the ground first. But mostly, it’s just fun.
Off we go, round the block. We see cyclists and hikers and ladies with Dalmatians. Actually only one lady with a Dalmatian. (This always reminds me of my blogging friend Miss Whistle, all the way away in California, as if no one else in the world has a spotted dog.) The sun shines with blinding promise. The sheep do their sheepish thing. The mare is as relaxed as an old hound. I chat to her as if she understands English. She loves a bit of chat.
I think of all the serious horse people: the dressage riders teaching their equines to do flying changes; the jumpers working out the perfect stride for a double; the cross-country experts keeping up fitness as the season roars on. What proper and meaningful goals they all have. Whilst what I mostly like doing is taking my girl for a walk. I think this really may be a case of each to each is what we teach.
This is what we saw, on our peregrinations:
The colours are too absurd to be true, but that really is what it looked like. That’s when I run out of fingers on which to count my luck.