The Best Hour in Ages

As I gaze longingly out the window right now, the sun is shining and I don’t have my lesson until much later. SIGH. This is the perfect weather for a lesson: sun, blue skies, cool temps.

I have long been obsessed with the weather, but since taking up horseriding it has leveled waaaay up.  Not that it stops me or anything, but I like to be prepared: if I get drenched it’s nice to have a dry T-shirt to change into.

This post is a call back to an earlier year, but in fairness, this exact situation unfolded two weeks ago, on a Saturday, and we’ve given up even entertaining notions of being able to stay indoors. 

***

I know that weather is only weather, but holy wow, the weather. It is horrible. As of this writing, the sun is breaking the stones, but that’s just for now. Who knows what it will do later? It could — because it has — turn into November in July in the snap of a finger.

Not that it stops me, or any of us, showing up on Tuesdays.

On Tuesday afternoon, it had looked like the gray, the suffocating gray that has been hanging over us like a shroud, was about to blow off, out to sea… and then it didn’t, it started lashing rain about half an hour before we were to begin, and ugh, it looked like we’d be stuck indoors.

Now, this is a huge improvement for me, and I am not sure when this happened, but I used to prefer riding indoors. I think the walls made me feel safe. It’s not so much that I feel unsafe indoors now, it is more like I now feel safe out-of-doors. Also, the outdoor arena is bigger, and I felt like jumping. Not like we can’t jump indoors, because we do, but — bleh. We’ve been very, very lucky in our Tuesday night weather, even throughout the winter, and this just — it was crap, just like the weather.

And it’s not like we all haven’t ridden in onslaughts and downpours. Did I post about that time I went on a ride out in Bath, England in a deluge? Yeah, so once, I went on a ride out in Bath, England, in unbelievable, relentless rain. I was doing a residential school week in Bath University as part of my psychology degree with the Open University, and we had free time, and I went to the equestrian centre to which I had gone the previous year at the other res school week I had to do for the degree. I got the same horse, Colt, and off we went, myself and the ride leader, and it was insane, complete and total lunacy, but I needed to be out on a horse — there was too much head-stuff going on, doing the course work. I was soaked straight to my knickers in three minutes. We passed a car that had helpfully stopped to let us go by; the driver rolled down his window, looked up at me, and said ‘You’re mad.’

That is one of the best memories of my life thus far.

Greetings from beneath the hood.

Anyway: so, it’s been done, riding in the rain, but who wouldn’t rather be outside inclement weather?

We went out anyway. The rain had turned to mist, and as we warmed up, it was an exceedingly pleasant feeling to have cool water falling on the skin. Plus, Cathal and I were on it: bending like nobody’s business, clean strikes off the right rein in the canter — brilliant. We started jumping, and it was… it was effortless. I was in the space where I was doing what I was meant to be doing without really thinking about it, and Cathal was juiced to jump. In fact, I had to circle him before we headed for the fences, he was so juiced.

Plus, I was doing the thing where I look in the proper direction whilst in mid-air over the second fence, and hey, it really helps the horse get the correct lead upon landing.

It was such a great hour. I think I’ve still got the endorphins floating around in my system. It is so great when it is great. It’s okay when it’s not, even though great is preferable; it’s okay when it’s okay because it’s still being there, on the horses. But when it’s great! When it’s great, nothing matters. Locusts could have started raining down upon us, and it would have been fine. Well, the horses might have been bothered. Right, okay, no locusts.

But is it so great when it is great, when it is effortless, when everything I’ve learned to date seems to be there in my actions, and I don’t have to think, and everything goes.

Wish I could be out there now, in the sunshine…

***

Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency… and Horses is AVAILABLE NOW.

Preorder your copy today:
> In the US, click on over to Trafalgar Square Books’ site.
> In the UK and Europe, visit Quiller Publishing’s page.

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