Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The emptiness of change

Life can change so fast sometimes that it reminds us to live in the moment and not become complacent.  It is good to be reminded that everything changes in every moment – form arises and dissolves.  Last Tuesday I had a great time with both horses working on ground exercises with them in the arena.  It was so good to be with Red, working with him more closely than I have in a while.  He is such a fascinating mixture of sweetness and belligerence, willingness and stubborness.

Then by Thursday I was too ill to drive to the yard.  It hit me so fast, and I am still recovering.  We went up together on Saturday, but I was too shaky to walk down the field for Dee.  I wish I'd had my camera with me.  It was such a wonderful thing to watch her walk up with 'ö-Dzin – not too close, but continually looking across and checking he was still there.  Then she waited patiently for him at the gate and put her head in the head collar. 

The weather is also so changeable – one day quite warm and then snow the following day.  There is a magical quality of seeing the world through flakes of falling snow; the greyness of the sky with hints of rainbow colours; blazing red-gold sunsets; brave buds and sprouting plants.

And then there are the sadder changes – the emptiness of loss.  Two of my blog friends have lost their horses in recent weeks: first Cilla of Front Shoes Only lost Lizzie last month, and now Linda at 7MSN has lost Lyle.  I feel I know these people and have loved their horses even though I only know them through reading their blog.  A little cold shiver runs down my back mirroring the wetness of my face as I read of their loss.

I'm blogging when I should be going to bed because I didn't enjoy being in bed last night,  I didn't sleep much for coughing.  But tonight is another night and so it will be different.  There is no point in anticipating an unpleasant night – I might sleep deeply and well.  Even if I do not sleep it is still a new night, a new experience and will not be the same as last night.  I may feel refreshed and have my strength back in the morning.  Whatever the night or the morning brings it will be a unique experience and there will be something to appreciate through my senses if I am open enough to embrace that. 

And so... good night.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Fun and fine weather

 We have been having fun with the horses over the last few days.  On Thursday we called Dee in from the 12 acre field.  She probably started ambling over as usual, but then the whole herd decided to follow her, so she put on a turn of speed.  The picture shows them heading round the corner at full pelt – Dee at the front closely followed by the rest of the herd (Red is in the red rug on the right).  We climbed the ridge and let them head past us – we didn't fancy getting in their way!  Dee stopped as soon as she reached us and the rest of the herd broke like a wave around her and settled down.

She's looking good – a good weight and with a nice shiny coat.  There are a few places where her rug has rubbed a little – but nothing serious.

Today we called her and there she was waiting at the gate for us when we got to the bottom of the field.

She walked up on her own without a headcollar.  'ö-Dzin kept trying to jog ahead to get photographs and she thought this was a great game and started trotting by him every time he tried to get in front.

Today was the day to try out the new saddle.  We've bought a Thorowgood Maxam.  It came with a wide gullet, but we have changed this to a medium for Dee.  Nicky checked it for me and said it looked a good fit on her.  The Thorowgood website said to try the saddle at all paces to check that it didn't move or lift up at the back.  So we did that.  It gives her good wither clearance and fits really well.  I decided to pop Dee over this little jump a few times as a final check.  Dee so loves to jump and she really enjoyed this.  The arena is waterlogged so there wasn't much room to get a good distance for a run up on the jump, so this one was a bit of a bunny hop.

On our way out we gave Red a few treats.  He'd been out on a hack for the school.  He decided it was too slow being given a treat one at a time, and decided to snaffle the rest straight out of the tub!  Today the weather has been bright and sunny – and even quite warm.  If it continues like this we may actually ride them both out next weekend.