This is a post I have looked forward to writing for a long time! This week, a few days short of a whole year since the last time I sat on my little black pony; I was back in my all-time favourite seat, viewing the world through my all-time favourite pair of fluffy ears! 💙
Back in the saddle again!
I had last ridden on the day we put the clocks forward in March 2017, just before I had found out I was pregnant with our little girl and hung up my riding hat until her arrival. It was a lovely little hack; up bright and early on a sunny Sunday morning and clopping down the daffodil-lined track, just me and my boy. I didn’t know then the significance of it, but – since I generally tend to be snap happy whenever I’m around Charmer! – I have photos to remember it by all the same, and have looked at them often in the past year.
Riding, March 2017
It was always at the back of my mind that in taking such a long time off riding a 21-year-old horse – and one who’d come close to retirement once or twice before – I was definitely running the risk of not getting back to it; and I tried to be realistic about the fact that those lovely memories might well come to be of our last sunny day exploring. I’ve never been a competitive rider, and the working side of horse-owning has never been the main drive for me – as long as I can spend time with my boy I’m happy. But it will always be a bittersweet day when we have our last amble together, whenever that is, and as I edged closer to being able to get back on, with Charmer still up for it too, I’ve been so looking forward to it, and so very glad we’ve made it.
We’re still living in the aftermath of the snow and flooding of a few weeks ago at the farm just now, on a 24 hours in / 24 hours out routine to try to help the fields survive; and I’ve been meaning to try to fit in a little ride one of the mornings Charmer’s been in, just safely in the sand school at a quiet time of the day on the yard. But when I got there the night before last – planning just to put him out and get his stable ready for the next day – there was still some light in the sky, there was no-one around and it seemed the perfect moment; so I put off the mucking out and decided to go for it.
I couldn’t believe how happy I felt slinging the saddle over the stable door once again – and couldn’t believe either that this wasn’t met by pinned-back ears from Charmer, who I was very sure considered himself fully retired! He just looked mildly interested, as if to say, “Oh, this again? Fair enough, it’s been a while,” and stood waiting patiently to be tacked up.
It was an absolutely amazing feeling to settle back into the saddle, after the longest break from it since I started riding as a child. More than that, though, being on my own Charmer’s back – reunited as our adventuring team, patting his fluffy neck and watching him toss his head – was beyond wonderful.
We didn’t do much, just a ramble round the yard and grass school, but it was really lovely. Charmer makes me laugh so much – I had no idea how he’d react after such a long time, and was half-prepared for fireworks, but I did have a feeling he might take it all in his stride; and he certainly did, just setting off at his usual unflappable pace. 💙
Tomorrow brings the arrival of British Summertime once again – and this year, thanks to the winter we’ve weathered, the daffodils are not all in full bloom in just the same way; the change in the season seeming to be a long time coming. Yesterday though, the very first of them were beginning to open at last, a sure sign that spring will find its way here, any day now.. 💛🌾🌼
Have a lovely weekend all.X