Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The delights of dressage

The Grey Mare and I have a new hobby.

No, not her dropping me in the long grass when birds fly out of it unexpectedly (which has happened twice in the last month, the first of which necessitated me hobbling around with a stick for two days)... but dressage.

Dressage is something I have thought for some years that the Grey Mare should be able to do. She has resisted. However, we entered a competition and with grim determination (on my behalf) we practised. And we practised and we practised.

In the week or so leading up to our debut, I thought we had just about got it. I thought we might not make such fools of ourselves after all.

The day dawned, I was up at 5.30am, industriously plaiting her mane and tail and polishing her to perfection. She did, if I say so myself, look rather splendid. However, that is where the splendidness stopped.

Having not competed for four years, going away to the competition was just a wee bit too exciting. New place, new horses, and the horror of the white boards - and flowers - around the arena were all a bit too much.

The lovely soft dressage horseness we had almost achieved at home went out of the window and my grim determination returned - to complete the test. Which we did, with a couple of spooks, and a step or two outside of the dreaded white boards when she thought she was going to be able to escape.

However, it has now filled me with a desire to do it again - and keep doing it again until she performs away from home as well as I know she is capable of doing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Merry Meet

It is a fact universally acknowledged that once blogging has caught you in its web, it's not that easy to escape.

I may not have posted for more than three months, indeed I had decided to retire gracefully from the blogosphere but I have made friends through this secret society, and last night I met up with three of them.

@themill, a near neighbour and similarly retired, and I travelled down the A1 together to a lovely pub where we met Hadriana's Treasures, who had made a 50-mile trip to be there. Expatmum had come the furthest - from Chicago - but on this evening, had just popped up the road from her mum's.

We talked about blogging, the seductive thrall it has, friends, family and oh, normal things.

Despite my lack of posting, I also speak to Gill and Karen regularly too on that other thief of time Facebook.

As The Eagles once said: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave ..."