a week ago, i revisited the site of last year’s horse disaster. i’ve been riding once between then and now, but not for aut six months. all my old injuries have faded into small, weird (painless) dents or lumps, and feeling has returned on the front of my shin (where i got a particularly good kick), so it was time to risk another round. three other friends were also keen, so the four of us drove down early on a stunning day.

we rode out around 10am, with one additional rider in the group, a beefy guy who had done some riding in his youth and just wanted to give it another go.  the weather remained glorious throughout the three hours, although the tide was huge, so there was no beach-riding. we did take the horses up a few small creeks, which involved clinging fast as they scrambled up and down a few steep banks, and we did get a few canters in. i was on my friend bert again, a solid, dependable, slightly roan gelding with a tendency to zigzag broadly down any non-flat surface. bert had a bit of fun with a leap-into-gallop maneuver near the start of the first canter, but behaved admirably otherwise. the other extraneous bit of fun involved rounding up the cows that had wandered down to the beach and were gazing with complete bemusement at the salty swells. the next-day stiffness was partially conquered by a few successive baths, and a little checking around confirmed that while the others would also need a few days to loosen up, we were all keen to go again, and sooner rather than later.

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