We were making our way to the bottom arena— the indoor is getting new kickboards, and besides, it was a glorious evening, one of the first of the nights slowly making their way towards the midsummer height, and not one of us would have wanted to stay inside.

Not even the horses, perhaps especially the horses. There’s a paddock right next to the car park, both of which we pass when we head down, and it was chock full of ecstatic equines, jumping, grooming, knocking each other about.

There was a particularly exuberant round of mad cantering in circles as we passed, and Rebel’s head went up, ears aloft, and I felt him raise his shoulders, puff out his chest, and send out a questioning rumble — I say! Jolly good! Jolly good fun!

He took two steps forward.

I felt like Miss Hannigan, but I immediately put the leg on, and turned his head away from the rabble. Sorry, dude, you’re stuck with me for the next hour.

He took it very well, considering. We had a fine lesson, including a bit of a hack down the lanes, during which I realised that the taste of freedom was blowin’ in the wind, and no effing way am I riding Rebel out. He behaved well, and was more responsive than usual — but only because he chose to, and decided to be.

Uh uh. Back to Delilah for the summer, Delilah who gets rather fizzy in the fields, but never to the degree that I think she’s not listening to me.

Ah, Reb. I look at Delilah, at Mercury, even at Jack, and they’re all nine-to-fivers. You’re a freelancer like me, aren’t you, dude? Nothing like a change of pace, nothing like doing something different to let the giddiness of freedom go to your head. Yeah, I know— me, too. As much as I’d like to play hooky with you, I’m just not up to it yet. So you pull someone else around the fields like a freight train. Maybe we’ll see how we go, next year.

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