Riding on empty

last night my son decided to scream the place down for most of the night. There must have been a valid reason but I failed to locate it. Calpol, Anbesol, water, nappy, cuddle, propped up pillows, wind….you name it tried all variables but to no avail. Resigned to having to let him settle himself down, I shut both his door and my door, which did nothing to muffle the noise. So I gave up and went downstairs and read another few pages of Bleak House until I passed out – I don’t recall what happened first – me falling asleep or the ‘ceasefire’ of his crying. 

One look at my daughter this morning told me she didn’t sleep through it either. “I just put my head under the pillow” she said. We had planned to ride my friend’s horse this morning and it was an unusually sunny day – a pleasant break from the Siberian Spring we had been experiencing. So, it was great day to lark around on horseback. But by the time we got there, groomed the horse and tacked him up it was clear my daughter’s heart wasn’t in it. I had to nag her to “keep your heels down” and “hold your reins properly”. She complained about trotting and wanted to stay in walk. I knew the real problem was she was half asleep and had no energy to ride a thoroughbred horse. I say thoroughbred, but the horse was also acting tired following a vigorous bank holiday weekend and a doze in the sun while he was being groomed. So I asked her to take a break by the side of the school while I had a ride and that did the trick. But to be honest we were all, horse included, tired for various different reasons yet we all enjoyed the excuse to get out an enjoy some very welcome sunshine albeit a little half-hearted.

The horse is an ex-racehorse related to Kauto Star. He is ‘ex’ because he is a bit too laid back to be bothered to make it first past the post. Thank god he didn’t make the grade as he is such a wonderful horse in so many other ways and would have been wasted on the racetrack. As we walked him down the country lane back to his field flanked with daffodils, I thought about all the horses preparing to run in the Grand National this Saturday walking a similar route back to their fields. I just hope they make it past the post safely and all in one piece so that they can enjoy their careers and life after racing this time next week. There have been far too many deaths at the National over the past few years so I am not supporting it with a bet this year – the organisers need to make more effort to make it safer and therefore more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you are able to support my campaign, please visit my page on the Unicef website.

Thanks for reading.


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