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My parents bought a couple of horses a year or so ago, partly because, now that there’s been all this rain the vegetation is thick and makes riding motorbikes quite dangerous (because you never know what you’re riding through). If you’re riding a horse, at least he can be watching where he puts his feet while you’re minding the job at hand*.

I haven’t been on a horse in years and years, but I love riding and love horses, so I did want to have a little run around on one of them. So today Dad and I went for a little toddle down to the waterhole to the east of the shearers’ quarters complex, down a little creek and back around in a circle. It wasn’t a long ride, because Dad was worried about his horse’s feet, but too much longer and I think I’d have broken bones in my hips that I didn’t know I had, so it turned out well.

Sam, my Mum’s horse, who I rode, is a total sweetie but a bit of a ditz, it has to be said. He seemed to find it hard to settle into a steady rhythmic walk, tripped over his feet, swung his head all around and chewed on the bit non-stop. I kept having to pull him to one side or another when he wandered mindlessly off the track we were walking along, and he had this jiggity-jogging walk that rattled every tooth in my head. But the poor little dude settled down about halfway through the ride and we’d made friends by the time we got back to the yards and it was time to unsaddle and wash the horses down.

Dad’s horse, J.P., is a weird one. He seems a lot calmer than Sam at first glance, and I suspect that at heart he’s bombproof. But he’s taken it into his head (possibly for attention) that he’s going to take exception to any and every new thing introduced into his environment. If he remembers, that is. When there’s food in the offing, he’s perfectly happy for me to be around, but as soon as there’s no sign of noms he suddenly decides that he can’t possibly be doing with this new person, Dad, come on, get her out of here before I die of fright, please Dad…yeah, he’s a drama llama. Pretty horse, and quiet as a mouse, but a complete attention hoar.

Here they are, with me and Dad on board, at the end of our ride. J.P. was happy enough but Sam was well-keen at this point to drag us off to the yard and get that damn person and saddle off his back so he could get down to the serious business of eating, dammit!

Myself and Dad on the horses

*That’s the theory, anyway.