It feels so different, to get on Delilah. I sit there, relaxed, the reins in good grasp, but in the waiting to go: nothing.

Not nothing, exactly, but the absence of doubt; perturbation; anxiety.

I know as well as anyone that what you bring to the horse is communicated to the horse. It was the first thing I knew, even before I got up on one. It’s only lately that this has truly been brought home.

I sit on Delilah and know that she’ll listen to me. I know she’ll canter when I ask for the canter, I know that she’s not going to buck under any circumstances. Okay, I know that she won’t always accept the canter aid on a circle, nobody’s perfect, and I know that she shortens her stride about fifty per cent of the time before a fence [annoying, but I’m not falling, literally, for that anymore], and on Saturday she just wasn’t bothered, no matter how I tickled her bum with the long stick… but I trust her.

I trust her. And in trusting her, I just get on with it. She’s not going to do anything that requires I worry in advance. And in not borrowing trouble, I have no trouble. I keep good contact, I have found my seat in her bouncy gait, and I look up, ahead, not trying to read her mind through the back of her head.

It’s liberating. I simply adore her. But I can’t help but get that niggly feeling… It’s too easy…

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