Is it because I came to the wettest county in Ireland when I was 23?
The short answer there is yes. Yes it is. Today has been pure rain. Typically it stopped raining after we’d come home from the stables. I got soaked to the skin today. I was so cold and wet and drained. I got in a scalding hot shower when we got back. It felt so so good!
This morning Anita, Ginny and I took the campers to the Kenmare Horse Fair. Sonny and Josh ended up coming too as we had more kids than anticipated which meant we needed an extra car and extra adults for supervision. It was lucky they did come to be honest, because the kids were on top form. Honestly, herding children through wet streets full of dodgy horse dealers is much harder than herding hungry horses in the morning.
It was certainly an experience. I’m not sure I really enjoyed it all that much. It was pouring with rain the entire time which coloured the trip somewhat. A very grey colour! It was interesting to see such a massive range of care taken over the horses at the fair. Some of them seemed very well looked after; they were in good condition and were being treated fairly. Others, however, looked seriously mal-nourished and abused. To be honest I was surprised to see so many looking so healthy. I’d kind of expected it to be a street full of skinny nags. There were a couple that caught my eye as being potentially really nice. So it was worth going I think, just to have the chance to try my hand at sizing up whether or not I would buy a horse.
For the most part though, it was a case of just shepherding the girls around and trying not to lose any of them. The four I was in charge of were quite young and asked me a stream of never-ending pointless questions. In the end I found a sweet stall and let them buy whatever they wanted. Hell, I didn’t see why they couldn’t have a bit of fun and buy massive rainbow lollies if they wanted to. They’re on holiday after all.
This afternoon I helped Ginny in a jumping lesson for the more experience camp riders. It was lashing down with rain and I ended up trying to lift super heavy, mucky poles back into broken cups at the same time as videoing and photographing the riders. That’s when I got really truly soaked. I think my waterproof was so incredibly saturated that it had ceased being waterproof at all. I just felt clammy and cold and realised that I had water dropping from my eyelashes and my chin. Wet wet wet!
When we came home I threw myself under the scalding hot shower and stood there for a while just warming up. It felt good to get warm again. I somehow ended up then massaging Sonny’s shoulder for him (again) and then Tillie’s back. Until Ginny appeared and asked us whether we thought we’d forgotten anything. After we stared blankly for a while she dropped a hint “where are the horses?”
We’d forgotten to turn them out. We got as far as putting them in the small paddock and had never actually got around to chucking them out into the big field. Oops. I’d been cleaning bridles in the tack room to avoid the rain because of my no longer functional waterproof so I assumed Tillie and Rieke had done it. It’s been a very long day for all of us though. That’s our excuse anyway. So Tillie, Ginny and myself had to run up to the yard and let out some very disgruntled ponies. There was a lot of snorting and stamping when we arrived. We felt suitable chastened.
We then danced and sang beautifully the whole way back.
I feel more human and more alive than I have done in a very long time. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am being given opportunities every single day to have fun and laugh and embrace life. Couple that with the fact that I am actually able to do the embracing part, and you’re on to a winner. Maybe it’s because I’m becoming increasingly sociable. My tolerance for other humans is certainly on the rise, shrieky pre-teens not included.
Come on then world. Show me what you’ve got. Because I’m starting to feel like I can handle it.