Another busy time. School holidays, husband away and I am still at work. I come home to Ben. He walks up to me, and stays. We greet, scratch, he sniffs all over my hair, yawns, relaxes with his head leaning against my arm and we stay together like that. Those moments are priceless and all the more precious as a year ago he would not have done that. He was not so open or so soft and often had a hint of aggression hanging around him.
A few years ago I read a little book by Tom Widdicombe called Be With Your Horse. It is a gem of a book and first alerted me to the obvious fact that the best way to reward your horse is to stand with them, doing nothing, just being. I remember winter nights in Mali’s stable at her livery yard just standing with her in the dark.
I thought I would spend this year competing Ben in TREC events. Due to a long winter, lack of time and saddle issues this has not happened. I will re-join the riding world after the holidays. Thankfully I work part-time and with my youngest daughter going to school this year I will have more time. But I will not have an agenda of competition. I will work to increase Ben’s fitness, strengthen his back, improve his suppleness and also to have fun. It is so much nicer to take things slowly and stay away from outside pressures, which, at my stage, why should I worry about anyway?