Back from the south, and still struggling to catch up with all my work. The blog may continue spotty for a few days. It always takes me time to get back into my familiar rhythms, which is why I go away so seldom. (Well that, and getting crazy homesick for the red mare and Stanley the Dog and these eternal blue hills.)
No time for writing now, but I’m putting up a link to one of my HorseBack UK posts from this morning. It was a delight to be back among the veterans again. They never cease to leave me in a state of awe and wonder. They have seen so much and faced things I cannot imagine and remain so stoical and so funny through all the challenges thrown at them.
And two quick pictures of my glorious red girl. She excelled herself today – immaculate for the farrier, and then as relaxed and easy and loping as I’ve ever known her, on our ride. Even after sixteen days apart, I can still get her out of the field, leap on her back, and canter her across the wide green spaces in only a rope halter, and she is as kind and responsive as a dream. Clearly the dressage squirrels have been squirrelling away in my absence.
As I rode her bareback down to her paddock, feeling all that great thoroughbred power under me, I felt a passionate gratitude to have such a sweet and funny and mighty creature in my life. It is the dumbest of dumb luck. I may have been flirting with match-fit polo ponies down in the south, but, as I stand with the noble red head on my shoulder, and feel the gentle spirit which flows out of her like starlight, I think that nothing can come close to such a love as my heart holds for this mare.
I have quite a lot of rules for life. Mostly: be kind, and appreciate the small things, and keep buggering on. One of my most important is: never, ever take anything for granted. I don’t think I could take Red for granted if I tried, but every day I do thank the fates for bringing us together.
And I was quite proud of this HorseBack picture, from this morning. I am keenly aware of the limitations of my photography skills, and am an amateur in every sense, but sometimes I get lucky, and this was one of those moments:
This was a desensitising exercise. The lovely mare in the picture used to be quite spooky and reactive and sensitive. You can see from her ears that she is doubtful about the socking bit of plastic all over her back, but she is deciding to trust her human. I always find this kind of thing very touching.
And finally, for the Dear Reader who loves chickens, a rather splendid HorseBack fowl: