Having been happy enough to go for an easygoing plod on Saturday, even though the weather here continues extraordinary, I really wanted to not ride out last night. Being in the lower arena would be perfect, another perfect thing in a series of perfect things: perfect sky, perfect temperature, perfectly lengthening day. We ambled down through the car park, ready to go, until we got to the gate, which was closed.

Options: wait ’til the instructor gets there; hope that the rider in the arena, who will have to leave because the lesson is about to begin, will hop down and open it for us; one of us hops down and opens it for us.

Or, you edge the horse up to the gate and reach down and open it.

Now, I knew how to do this in theory, and I’ve watched others in practice, and I don’t know, I guess I was all giddy from all the vitamin D, but I thought, I can open that gate, and Connell’s not so high, I can totally bend down from the saddle and open that gate, so I nudged him forward.

I shimmied him up parallel-wise, and there was a bit of a scuffle to keep him in place — no more than a second, but it made me go whoa, not to him, but to myself. I leaned down and I worked the thingie out of the yoke, sat up, turned Con around, and swung open the gate.

I am grinning like an eejit, sitting here writing this. It’s the little feckin’ things, I’ll tell ya. Disproportionately delighted with myself, maybe, but even still, that was pretty good.

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