STUPID WIDGETS Oh, high school Espanol, donde esta? Not that we had any equestrian modules: it was all about el Bosque de Chapultepec, en la cuidad de [la?] Mexico. And, janey mac, that effortlessly floated right up to the top of my neocortex. ¡Santa Maria! I’ve got some brushing up to do.

It didn’t occur to me until I was emailing Shauna with the news of my Christmas horse riding holiday that the horses might not speak English. It now occurs to me that, as in many things, they may be smarter than I linguistically, and could easily be bi-lingual. Tri-lingual, for all I know. But I do like to try to do things right, so I’ve begun scouring the web for vocabulario de los caballos.

I did that without looking it up.

My Mac widgets are kinda useless, producing the above as the translation of ‘giddy up’. Which I’ve never said in my life. I can only imagine the look Delilah would shoot me— withering, incredulous. SpanishDict.com is more helpful, as you would imagine. ‘Trote’ is a bit of a disappointment, as is ‘galope’, but I’m delighted with ‘medio galope’… [canter.] Bridle is ‘brida’ and saddle is the superb ‘silla de montar’. Not that I’ve ever had reason to discuss tack with the guys, but I suppose I’ve asked Rebel if that was his bridle or not when I wasn’t sure. ‘Ay, Pepe! Esto es su brida?’ Hey, I only had to look up ‘your’.

I am so lazy when it comes to language. I lived in Paris for six months, and just about got by. Okay, I didn’t do too badly, I even had a dream in French, once, and my crowning achievement was an argument with a mec in the post office [I lost]… but it’s mostly drained away. The thing is, I can comprehend everything said, via context— both in French and Spanish. When I’m visiting Vanina, and she’s talking to her papa, I can understand because I can manage to get the words to group conceptually without having to know all of them. Gotta say all the words you mean, though. That’s the problema.

I’m delighted my first instinct was to wonder how to communicate with the horse, when it oocurs to me that I should have thought about the things that I’ll get shouted at about. But then the instructors will be shouting at us in English. So no need to work out what ‘Heels down!’ ‘Shorten your reins!’ ‘Leg on!’ all mean… but now I’m curious…

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