It’s the kind of rain that Ireland has elevated to an art form: a drizzling flurry of precipitation that encourages one to eschew hood and brolly, but that, nevertheless, results in a good soaking.

The mountains were wreathed in mist, the sky a bowl of gray laying directly on the top of one’s head, with a chill in the air that made one begin to panic that none of the Christmas shopping had been done…

I couldn’t have cared less. It was Thorseday. And I was ready for Rebel.

It appeared he was ready for me, too. It was a quick mount, followed by an even quicker realisation that his back was cold — weirdest feeling, the feeling of chill coming up through the saddle! We walked around, me standing in the irons, and once he’d warmed up, we walked around large, me hoping that he’d trot without too much aggro.

Well: his ears were up, and his feet were up, and I tapped him lightly with my heels, and off we went.

He was the business! No messing into the canter, and oh, his canter! My bum was effortlessly sat upon today, around and around, and we jumped, and we jumped in the canter, and I felt, for the first time, my legs securely around him as we approached the fence…

Oh, I’ve been here before, I know, I know. Just as surely as I know that night follows day, a day like this is often followed by something along these lines.

I thoroughly enjoyed it while it was happening, which is good for me— excellent, for me. And I don’t take his amenability personally, any more than I take his apparent animosity personally, these days. He was in the humour. I made full use of his good mood. I learned that the bigness of his jump throws off my balance, and that’s why I land on his neck with my hands. Work to be done, there. Oh, how we cantered! And I’d like to think that I’m better at him now, for good, maybe beyond having been good at him today.

My hair was wet down to the ends of my plaits, and I was delighted!

And then I went to Reiki the horses!

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