I must admit I was dragging my feet to the yard today.

Just general malaise, a poor awakening, a rush out the door, a day spent indoors, changeable weather, and a feeling that none of my friends are up there, anymore.

I mooched around Delilah’s box, her bum firmly presented to the world at large. I gave her offside hind a good scratch, she was billowing with scurf, and I felt somewhat better being partially covered with it. Not everybody can end a day covered in dusty horse hair, so that felt like something.

I sloped around the place, trying to give Tango some affection, which he reacts to extremely. There’s a lesson for us all: don’t go knocking around people who are nice to you. Can’t give the guy a decent pat, he’s all over ya.

Then Nikki called to me across the barn, asking if I’d tack up Mercury. Ah. There it is.

The simple act of slinging his bridle over my shoulder was the thin edge of the wedge. By the time I was walking down the aisle, saddle in arms, I was filled with that wellbeing that erases everything, expunges a sluggish day, wipes the slate clean.

He’s such a good guy, Mercury. He flattens first his offside ear, then his near, and the bridle goes on as neat as you please. Saddled up, he lets me stand with my arms around his neck, and we both just breathe for a while.

On Delilah, then, and the flappage of leg and elbow— since I’m paying attention— are fully gone. I found my seat again and we were on to the jumps.

Three! One on either side of the arena, and one diagonally in the middle. I think my shoulders were better, and my hands, though still requiring my concentration, seemed less hard. We went around, first over the one at B, then the one at E, then the one at X, in canter, and once again the thing happens that always happens: with so much direction to think about, the doing of the actual riding becomes… it simply becomes.

I could do that all. day. long. Over and over, with no thought to boredom [which may have been the overriding emotion today], no thought to ever wanting to stop.

Most of the next lesson had gathered at the outdoor, and they walked back up with us at the end of the lesson. They’re one notch above, and I think about joining that lesson sometimes…

‘Have you thought about jumping in the summer league?’ asked one of the women.

Have I ever! And to think that she thinks I’m good enough to do it! This day has been utterly retrieved from a mire of dullness and enervation. I am full of life, full of the joy of life [full of endorphins!] with the journey home coloured by a series of mental images that may make it hard for me to get to sleep tonight.

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