The deer were out in large numbers. Today I counted two herds each comprising at least fifty and a third that was smaller, and all in the course of an hour. An owl was flying in daylight too, white against grey.
Now if I hailed from some traditions I'd see that owl as a portent of death. However I'm not superstitious. Anyway I've witnessed death already, figuratively speaking. Now it's life that I'm seeking.
As if to affirm life Brena gave me a lovely ride today. She went forward with a quiet and untroubled enthusiasm. It felt like partnership. Nothing was a problem, and we finished with a nice gallop on the way home.
Yesterday S joined us. Here we are on the way home, feet out of stirrups relaxing. At this point we'd been riding for three and a half hours. How different the field looks with new crop just starting to sprout. Last time I rode this way an unbroken blanket of snow covered the ground.
It is great to be able to ride out without trailering. Suddenly riding for an hour is easy again. There are several good hour rides and many that are longer, right up to a long summer day out riding.
Today's ride grasped that fluency that used to be such a feature of riding when I spent several hours a day on horseback. The degree of partnership was really satisfying. It stems from knowing one-another and being relaxed. And it can only happen when one has spent a great many hours on a horse, to the point where riding is as natural as walking. It's important that I am familiar with Brena, and perhaps even more important that she is familiar with me. I'm the person who keeps her safe when we're out and and brings her home each time. I don't get alarmed when we see something strange.
Yes, in being able to really work with a special horse I feel like I am reclaiming something from my past. It's good to be in that position without being obliged to ride in all weathers for a living. And it's great to be able to enjoy facets that I have brought to my life, uninherited and chosen by me alone.