Monday, 14 January 2013

Between the ears

The really cold weather has returned, chilling me right to the core, making me tense and my back start to ache in protest. My lips have become dry, chapped and sore while the biting wind strips another layer of skin cells off my cheeks, ageing me by a few months. My hands are dry and papery, flaky and red raw and the ends of my toes no longer exist - in their place are painful, hot stones screaming as I take steps through the frosty grass. Dear God, winter is hard.

You may find it very strange that even though the weather conditions are unfavorable, being part of the outdoors is the only way to stay sane throughout the chilly time. Albeit, on the back of the horse.

Pulling on jodhpurs, over tights, adding two pairs of socks, a thermal vest, two tops, a fleece and a windproof jacket - I am cursing to myself. Why do I do it? I could stay inside, the central heating on, stay warm and stroke the cats, maybe. I curse as I defrost the car, I curse under my breath removing the three rugs off the horse (they're damn heavy you know), I tack up, leap on and walk out of the yard, the horse as fresh as the air itself. 

And then I calm, my body eases itself into the saddle and heaves a sigh of relief, for this is where I feel right, looking in between the ears of a horse. The rhythmic clip-clopping down the country lanes undoes all the pent up emotions and  I uncoil slowly, taking in the surrounding countryside, breathing deeply. 

And after I dismount, I feel whole again, ready to face what may lay ahead in the rest of the week.

As Winston Churchill once said:

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man!"


  1. I think it's a bit the same with dog walking - even on the dreariest day when I curse the waterproofs and the wellies, I feel refreshed and revived (unless the dog has done a runner, of course!)

  2. Haha!

    Yes the outdoors is good for the soul, even better with an animal.

  3. Sadly i don't get out as much as i would like to but i like it when it is cold and dry like it today then then it is all good, makes you feel alive

  4. It certainly does!

    Too frosty to ride today, too dangerous for the horses but a walk around the hop fields was magical!