I didn’t change the clock on my spiffy MacBook Air, so it’s 01.35 a.m., and I’m returning home after two weeks in the States, so it’s not like I’m going to change the clock now that I should be getting back on it. We are delayed beyond belief, even for JFK, and the Baby Jesus only knows when we’ll even take off once we get ready to go, which isn’t for feckin’ hours.

This is all fine with me, because it occurred to me today that I may have forgotten everything I know about riding.

I was thinking about getting back, and how much I missed the yard and the horses and the whole thing, and I got this, this, like, stomach flip of doom, this flash of crippling panic: what if I don’t remember what to do?

I pictured myself grabbing up the reins, grabbing mane, putting my foot in the near stirrup, and getting up there, and this, at least, came back to me, but I don’t know, I’ve got this feeling that I’m going to get up there and just… sit there. Like: now what?

The thing is, there’s a jumping league yoke on the 4th of January, and when I heard about on the 11th of December, it sounded like a great idea — but even then, I thought to myself, You’re going to jump in front of people after you haven’t been riding for two weeks?

Yeah. Taking into consideration that I’m not entirely sure I remember where the gas pedal is, I think I might give that a miss.

Unless… I ring up and see if I can take Delilah out for an hour, just do some stuff in one of the arenas…

I must feel fairly confident, somehow, that I haven’t totally forgotten anything that I’d think I could take a horse out by myself — which I’ve never done, by the way. I’m letting some crazy story I’ve decided to make up to get all hyped up, well, hype me up for no reason. If I calm down enough, I can feel it, in my back, in my seat, I can feel the knowing come back to me.

If I close my eyes, I can get up there and go forward. If I close my eyes, and stop the chattering hysteria, and stop making noises about being nervous — if I close my eyes, I can feel myself up there, and it feels like… home.

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