Sensing the horse's power in a fast canter, the hooves pounding the ground. Gigantic solid fences to jump. An occasional fall-off. Horses cantering past in the field. Everywhere horses breathing heavily, running willingly. All around me, horses. Horses with pointed ears, searching for the next fence to jump. Horses breaking out at a fence, horses in every direction, sneaking in between to get the jump. Lots of praise to my horse. Following the red blazer on the master in front of the field. Watching not to go outside the whipper-ins. More canter, and finally a break. Sweaty horses walking through the woods.
“Tally-ho”, the master finds the track again and we are off, more canter. Do I still have a brake, I do, but barely. More fences, my horse hesitating, asking “should I really do this, can I take the jump?”, I convince her and she jumps. A little persuasion is all that is needed. We fly high over the fence and our trust in each other grows even bigger. On to the next fence, water. She does not like water, hates the splash, I need to help her again, she jumps high above, I fly even higher, and then she rushes of in a faster canter and I let her. Rewards are important.
Grateful for my lovely horse, helping me and saving me and always being there to take care of me as I take care of her. Trust, love, speed, jump, live. These are the moments I live for. New fence, horses everywhere, brown, grey, black, everywhere. Uphill, downhill, sideways, jumping, speed. Logs, water, bushes, trees, things I never thought I would jump. We fly high above them all.
Ears pointed, looking for new fences. Following the field of horses in front of us. Keeping up, jumping high. New fence, she takes it perfectly and we fly in perfect harmony. Happiness. Again towards a fence, really close, the horse in front of us breaks out, the rider falls off. I steer my horse away from the fence, she follows my lead perfectly and comes to a complete halt. Waiting to catch the horse and we are of again. Finding fences, following the others, and then finally a break.
Sun shining, perfect weather. Walking slowly, ears still pointed, time for a drink. Breaking, talking, sharing, loving, drinking. Catching breath and up again. Time for another round, “tally-ho”. Jumping in the woods, jumping in the field. Horses breathing heavily, my legs and back are burning, pain, but fun. Don’t want to stop, don’t ever want to stop. This is happiness, this is life. This is living. I could do this forever. I will do this forever.
Photos by Vera Johansson
(No animals were harmed during this hunt)