Thursday, 6 June 2013
He's not mine, this great, big ginger horse - but I have started to love him as though he is. I share him and pay towards his keep. He's huge, talented but naughty, and has me regularly wondering whether I can cope with his strength, his leaps, his spooks and his almighty bucks. I think I am going through some sort of mid-life crisis, hoping that I have the bravery of a 16 year old and the talent of a 3 day event rider - in reality I have neither. Turning 40 in August is proving to be such a liberating feeling though, making me more determined, more hard-working and even competitive - I want to do this to the best of my abilities while I can, while I am well, while I can afford to, so all in all this could be a really small window of opportunity.
It was all going well with me and Fletch. We have little conversations before I get on, about how nice it would be if he could keep me safe and how I have carrots for him afterwards if I stay on board. He seems to understand this, nodding and nuzzling in agreement but having his own agenda when I climb the enormous 17hh (that's a BIG horse for those of you not acquainted with the hand measurements of horses) - you never know what you are going to get with Fletch - quirky and cheeky or beautiful and composed. Keeps me on my toes you could say.
We have tried dressage together, Fletch and I, and have even been successful at a small local level. He is less than impressed with trotting in circles and would rather be flying over solid fences cross country, galloping and remembering his days as a race horse - but he does the dressage, reluctantly, putting in a spook when he feels like it to make sure we know who's in charge.
And now he is poorly with an infected leg, feeling really sorry for himself watching all the other horses going out for a hack or dancing around the school. The look on his face is one of jealousy, he actually wants to be ridden, to be entertained, to have fun - horses really do love it , all this running and jumping.
It's been 6 days of antibiotics and not much sign of recovery yet - c'mon Fletch. We need to go running and jumping together. The clock is ticking - we need to do this before it's too late.