Woke this morning to the sun glittering on the silver road, the kettle providing dual purpose today, filling my flask with the much needed first coffee of the day and also, cooled a little, sweeping the thick layer of frost from the windscreen as I squinted against the low golden sun and got the day off to a crisp, white start.
Reaching the farm, it was a cheerful Charmer who greeted me this morning from his stable, all bright eyes under his floppy gingery fringe and feet lined up at the stable door ready to greet the day and his waiting fieldmates. Got our usual weekday-morning routine underway, handing him his first handful of pony nuts as I changed into my wellies and waterproofed up, the second to keep him amused while I threw on his rug (his cosiest one today at -3 degrees and a hint of snow to come) and buckled it up, headcollar on and ready to go. Watching our step across the white sheen of the yard, we walked side by side towards the gate where three of the boys stood waiting, ears forward, idly watching our approach.
Safely in the gate and the last couple of handfuls of treats successfully extracted from my pocket by Charmer’s incessant expectant nosing – always looking at these times 5 years old instead of 20 in his excitement – one of my favourite moments of the day was upon us, just that brief breather inside the field, setting the boy up for his day out and taking a moment to look out to sea, watch the sun rise and properly begin the day.
Over at the water trough there was ice to be smashed, and as is inevitable at this time of year the walking was over a tricky combination of mud and pockets of ice, so when I did get back to the car – work boots back on, heater up full blast and travel cup steaming happily in the holder – it was all much appreciated and a relief to get cosy.
Still though, for me there is nothing better than those few moments in a muddy field with ice-cold fingers, standing beside my scruffy little pony and looking out at the world at the first light of day.