Quite literally in fact.
For some unknown reason I was actually a little anxious about heading into the college yard this morning. I honestly don’t know why, but I got that strange tightness in my stomach and tremble in my hands that I only get when I’m nervous. I needn’t have worried though. It was good to be back. Weird, but good.
For the most part, the day was spent settling back into the college routines and methods for doing things. It all came back pretty quickly to be honest, it just felt strange sometimes doing things in a different way to how we worked every day for five weeks. It’s good we went in though, as it means we’ll have a much better grounding for when term actually starts. We’ll know all the new horses and their specific needs and we won’t feel so afloat in terms of fitting back into the yard.
We also got to do some cool horsey stuff. One of the new mares needs to be long-reined every day and have back exercises performed on her so Tillie and I got to help out with that. We both got a chance to long-rein, which neither of us had done before, and watched the exercises so that we would be able to do them if we were asked to.
We also exercised two horses that are coming back into work after being lame. It involved basically just walking around the school on them, but it was nice just to get back on top of something. What was really nice, and totally unexpected is that we were given some great comments about it. Eileen came over while we were riding and praised us on what we were doing, remarking on how we were able to give the horses a long rein to let them stretch without throwing away the contact.
Vicky told me later that they watched us get on and turned to each other saying “well they’ve come on a lot.” It was really heartening to get such positive comments from them as it gave me a sense that I really am getting somewhere, and I really am spending my time in the right industry. Which is reassuring.
We then spent a fair while waiting for two more new horses to arrive. Tillie and I had already been told that we were going to be used as guinea pigs and chucked straight up on these new horses to see what they were like and how they went. Six weeks ago that would have terrified me. My heart would have sunk, my stomach would have constricted and I would have sat there telling them “no way, I’m not good enough a rider for you to do that.”
Not today though. Today Tillie and I looked at each other and said “awesome, let’s go.” So we let the horses cool off a bit and settle down in their new surroundings before throwing their tack on and hopping up. I had the lovely Chester who is an 18 year old chestnut somethingorother. Not sure of his breeding, but he’s pretty chunky at the moment. He’s quite a bit horse anyway and it doesn’t help that he’s carrying a little bit of extra at the minute (grass belly). He takes a lot of leg to get going, but he was a nice ride. Pretty smooth comfy trot and although the canter was a bit strange and upright, it was nice enough to sit to. I think he’ll be a nice addition to the college yard once he’s relaxed and used to the work etc. I liked him anyway.
I am spending the next couple of nights at Tillie’s house as we have our re-enrolment at college on Tuesday so I figured it made sense to stay out this way. So once again I am outstaying my welcome at someone else’s house, eating their food, drinking their tea and taking up their time. Hurrah. Being at Tillie’s also gave me the chance to go and play with a foal.
He’s so cuuuute! Even if he did headbutt me really really REALLY hard in the nose. Which pretty much killed me. I survived though…just. It was pretty awesome to walk him and spend time with him though. It’s not every day you get to play with a super cute foal. So big yay to that.
I was also reminded how beautiful it is here too. Okay, so we may not be situated on the Ring of Kerry surrounded by mountains and lakes and stunning views like that. But we hardly live in an ugly place.
It’s all about perspective.
And I’m starting to get the hang of that.
I still miss everyone and everything. Huge amounts. But looking forward is getting a bit easier.