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  • Writer's pictureCrone

The gate not jumped

Running today I saw the girl on the runaway horse. She was again riding him and again leading the other horse. They're hunters and it seems she works for the hunt yard, exercising their horses. She said the one she was riding has bolted before and what she was worried about was him jumping that gate. He'd clear it. He'd have no qualms - but he wouldn't have ascertained the state of the landing.

I apologised to her for stepping out, as it might have made the horse slide. No, she said, it helped me turn him so that instead of heading for the gate I could swing him round the field. That makes sense. When they are going straight and fast, you don't just lose brakes, you lose steering. So I didn't do a bad thing.

I told her what a great rider she is and how I could see she'd not come off. I did two and a half minutes on a bronking bull, she told me. Me, I said, shouting after her, I did nine seconds and ended up in accident and emergency with bad concussion. This is true. It was in 1998 I think or 1999.

It's been strange not seeing Anders/Daisy. I hope she's OK.

But I have discovered a form of self-therapy. When my two cats are curled up inside their high enclosed bed, I put my head into the warm, furry darkness, with the slightly dusty cat-smell. Buji always starts to purr softly and I feel at peace.

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