I dreamt the other night that I was on a horse cantering through shallow waves, the spray splashing up around me. And I was.
We have been up in Donegal for a week and my daughter wanted to go on a beach ride. I am not a great fan of trekking centres whose horses seem disconnected from their passengers (which is all a rider is in these circumstances) but my steed was a gentle giant of 17 hands who seemed to tune in to me while focussing on his job of cantering over this long beach, striding through deep water, cantering through a path in the sand dunes that only the horses could see and picking his way carefully across some rocks.
Although I would have loved to have been riding Ben along this beach (and sitting on my own saddle) there is something so elemental about cantering through sea spray. The day was cloudy with a sharp wind. There were curlews, oyster catchers and what I thought was a young black headed gull and almost no humans. I did not talk, I focussed on my horse, on his long stride, on the wide sand, the grey water and the birds. And the experience stayed with me into the night.