Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Day 96 & 97: Hairy musings

It's the week of farmer's tan here in the South East of England - I am already sporting a few lovely patterns over my neck and shoulders which coupled with various bruises courtesy of a spooked pony don't look promising for the choice of outfit for a family event I am attending this coming weekend ;)

Horse hair is absolutely everywhere, coats being shed in carpets, whirling in the wind and finding their way into places where they really should not be! You might think that the clipped horses are somehow a respite to groom but their short. prickly, cacti like stubble is even worse than soft and long natural strands.  

And so it's spring. Maybe for one week only but I'll take it. Even though I am usually too immersed in my work to bother about the weather unless it takes my voice away or drenches me solid, the warmth of the sun and a soft, light wind made me suddenly realise today how I missed them both. 

Another thing I do miss is the connection you have with your own horse. I have given up on going back into horse ownership for a while and I don't regret it. It's not something I would want to do right now. But there are aspects of it I do miss. You can ride many other people's horses, help them iron out some issues, help them move better and derive a lot of pleasure from doing so. However, there is nothing that quite compares to training with a horse you've been riding for several years, 6-7 times a week, in all conditions, in various places, on various show grounds. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of absolute understanding and cooperation despite many mistakes made. 
Whatever makes them tune in to you, whether it's some primal need to move in unison to avoid being eaten or simply a heightened awareness and drive to stay balanced and safe, once that tune has caught you, that is it. You hear it in your head like notes of a favourite song that doesn't go away. 

Singled out, minute muscular effort that yields the response nobody seen called. A thought answered. Unspoken direction, executed. I miss that connection because you can't just have it. You have to earn it over time with consistent non verbal conversations until they become whispers and blinks. 

One thought for a canter. One longer blink for slower power. Miss that. 



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