Day Eighty-One

And it’s all change.

No more are the glorious sunshiney days of September. On comes the rain. On comes the storm. It pours and lashes at the windows. It also soaks through my waterproof coat. And through the donkey’s too.
It is wet.

Oh and the crazy thing? I’ve been here eighty one days. That’s quite a few. When you count it up in days like that it sounds a lot anyway. Nearly twelve weeks. Three times longer than originally planned. When I think of things in terms of days and weeks like that, it sounds strange to me. Because mostly I feel like I’ve been here forever. The minute I arrived in July it felt like I’d never left. So while eighty one days is a lot, it isn’t really. Anyway.

I think we can officially say goodbye to summer here in Kerry. It lasted longer than I expected it to, but I knew my luck would run out eventually. I’m not greedy, I suppose I can let it go. I’d be happier if it stayed a little drier though. You know, less bucketing rain and thunder and more grey skies and cool air. But whatever.

It is also a day of au revoirs. Adele has disappeared off to Galway for two weeks today. She hasn’t even seen The Princess Bride and she’s off to visit the Cliffs of Insanity. She doesn’t deserve it in my opinion. Not seen The Princess Bride. Pfft. Who does she think she is?! Well, actually she’s kinda cute coz she left me a really sweet little note on my bed that gave me a smile when I got back from getting soaked trying to catch donkey’s and collect chicken eggs.

Because Juan has also disappeared for the weekend, to Dublin to help Adam with some moving stuff or something. So I am now looking after the chickens, the donkeys and all the horses. Jeez I’m like a regular farmer this weekend. Give me a floppy hat and a piece of straw to chew and call me a hillbilly. Don’t though. Not really.

I am, however, in a happy place. Despite Adele running off to Galway, I have had a good day. Mostly because my gorgeous Skooch was an absolute star for me. I can always rely on him to put a smile on my face. He just works so hard. And he’s always checking whether he’s doing it right. I was trying out some new techniques with him today, stuff that Adele suggested to me yesterday when I was riding Ruby. I ended up having a really good session yesterday actually. Adele asked if I wanted any pointers to which I said she was always welcome to give me some advice if she had any. So she helped me out with getting what I wanted out of Ruby. All it took was a fresh perspective and being reminded to do certain things, plus having little bits explained in a new way that made perfect sense, and I was able to relax and do what I knew I needed to do. I felt a bit like I’d hit a wall with my riding actually, like I’d plateaued. Adele helped change that yesterday by switching things up a bit in my head and helping me to understand from a different angle. I now feel like I can progress a bit more. Which is excellent. So Ruby ended up in a total lather by the end, even sweating down the bridge of her nose.

And today Skelatchi did the same. I figured I’d give those new methods a go, just to see how he responded. And oh my he loved it. His head dropped, his trot regulated, and he listened harder than he ever has. He worked. Boy did he work today. I was so happy with him and delighted to feel him starting to bend around my legs. He’s getting fitter every day, and his flexibility and suppleness is clearly improving too. Woohoo! Hooray for Skooch. Gorgeous boy.

So even though Apollo was an arsehole and a disappointing ride, Skooch gave me a lift back up again.

Want to know something interesting? Turns out, donkey’s are not waterproof. Poor little Lancelot was not impressed. Wendy was doing okay, but she came running when I called her. And Lancelot just stood there, his ‘fro all droopy and sad and dripping. Bless.

My main reason for writing this post was to wax lyrical about Skelatchi’s progress. Again. I just love seeing him get better from day to day. It makes me smile and gives me something to really push for. I can see the effects of my work, and that feels goddamn good! It’s the same working with Maggie. That little horse is so amazing, and it pleases me so much to see her coming on the way she is.

So, dear ones, I shall leave you there. But just in case you need a reminder, in case you were feeling a little low today, in case you need strength for tomorrow;

Take courage, dear heart, and be not afraid of monsters in the dark. For you are stronger than you know. You can move mountains in your sleep and thwart armies with only a smile. You are so loved.


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