ACK! Been away so long, WordPress changed their homepage. Freaky!

I suppose ‘summer’ is as good an excuse as any, to invoke against sluggishness in blogging. I’ve mostly been spending the time daydreaming about writing my non-fiction horse book, and waiting to go across to England to do a week-long course. The course is done, and the woolgathering mostly finished… I’ve got a full chapter under way, and am in that horrible state that plagues writers — or at least, this writer — that is, the book is no longer a collection of misty images of perfection, but has begun to be wrestled into form. It’s no longer ideal. Now the work begins…

It has been really difficult to blog, since the headspace is entirely different, but not writing anything at all isn’t getting me anywhere. So I’ll say something about Saturday:

The lesson has changed, it’s not fun anymore, there’s all sorts of randomers in it, and it’s been a hassle to get a lift down to the bus. We’re an hour earlier, but last week I still got home at 5 because of the poxy bus.

Amigo, apropos of nothing, bucked me off. No warning. Okay, he’d jittered around for a bit before we got to this fence — was it jittering? I don’t know, it may have been a bit of rodeo, jumping and bucking… my hands were too high, but I sat back and got him to stop — anyway, one minute I was trying to get a decent line in to the straight pole and the next I was flying over his head to land on mine.

My instructor said she’d give me a lift after she’d ridden her own horse for half an hour, and would I ‘wash Amigo down? Don’t be mad at him!’ I wasn’t mad, and I was delighted to give him a soak. I was disappointed, though. I’m running out of horses I can trust. I did the course one last time, on Delilah, and I just can’t ride her anymore, I’ve gone beyond her. Now what?

I know. I know.

So I gave him a bath — note to self: must toss some baby shampoo in the bag — and then, lacking a head collar, lead him around the lanes by the reins, in the sunshine, allowing him a snack now and then, and running my hands over him, checking him for damp.

It was so lovely. So relaxing. The least I could do for the poor dude, after his third hour in a row. I felt grateful, to be able to give him some TLC, and grateful that I wasn’t going to hold that buck against him [he’s a lamb, but, damn, when he wants you off, you are gone. Even Tango gives you a bit of notice.] We walked, and I talked to him, and I felt like… like, I want this. I want this time, alone, with a horse. I want to be responsible for the well-being of my own animal. I want to be able to give back in attention what is given to me in work.

Gulp. I don’t think I’m playing at this anymore.