I’ll never learn. I don’t know if it’s me creating the actuality from the thought, or just being aware of the logic of the allocation of the horses, but I woke up on Wednesday and knew.

Three days in row as I’m off on holiday- today in fact, right this minute just about, blogging from Dublin Airport again, which hasn’t nearly the number of internet kiosks that it ought– so up to the yard on Wednesday night, hoping that I wouldn’t have to abase myself to get a lift down the mountain, and knowing. Just knowing…

It was pissing down rain and I was huddled up against the gate of the indoor. Another rider came up and stood next to me, and within seconds, I heard her softly breathed, ‘Oh, no.’

Oh, yes. Tango is back. Back and… better than before?

I’d seen him on Saturday in the 13.00 lesson, and had much the same reaction, except I shouted and made the little girls laugh. Tango was back, and he seemed to be going okay.

‘What are you doing here?’ Ruth asked, but not in a bad way. I think I’m becoming something of a mascot up there. Fiona asked me the same thing, was I riding every single night now? Hmm- no, couldn’t manage it, really.

Anyway. We drifted in to the indoor and Ruth said, ‘Sue…’

And I knew. And I took Tango.

And he was awesome.

Well, mostly awesome. He started jigging around at the very end of the lesson, swinging his head all over the gaff, hopping backwards, sidling across the arena, a dressage test from hell, I had to take my stirrups back. Yup, did just about an entire lesson on Tango with no stirrups. I found my seat on him immediately, and after having had seven months trial-by-Rebel, I was not tolerating any messing. I think he appreciated my new assertiveness.

I feel so comfortable on him. He’s huge, 17-18hh, and solid, a real Irish Sport Horse [I’m guessing] and I feel so secure up there, I really do.

The other ladies in the lesson were gobsmacked at how well he and I did together. ‘You should be very proud of yourself!’ one said, gaping. And I said, you know, I am, because I’ve fallen off him half the times I’ve ridden him, and we did that lesson with no bloody stirrups. So, yeah, I am proud of myself.

And I woke up on Thursday and tried not to conjure him up again, but no joy. I think it’s gonna be me and him now. He is still stroppy, easily annoyed, and his buck is… strong, and he is spooky [on the way back to the barn, a guy was mixing cement and Tango took one look at the spinning, scary thing, and basically scrambled around 180 degrees. It was freaky: one minute we were looking south, the next we were pointing due north. Sheesh.]

Paul had me canter around the arena in light seat, and it felt positively cinematic. I was up on my feet, legs on Tango like a cheap dress, and moving moving moving with him, forward, forward, my hands floating. It wasn’t as thrilling an achievement as the night before, and he is hard effing work, my legs are jelly today, but if I can get him to go, realy go, then I know I’ve really come a long way.

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