Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday 29th April 1940

An interesting ride this afternoon – the first I’ve enjoyed. All the horses were frisky, having had plenty of food and no exercise since Saturday. Mine pranced terrifyingly, right out of the ring, when I first got mounted this afternoon. Managed to stop him and turn around eventually. A black bugger – I’ve had a different horse each time so far.

All the horses were “keen” and so most of us were correspondingly “shaky”. Hallows was thrown and Tubby Butler could not get mounted. We went through all the dreary drill for an hour or so but then we left the ring, formed up in two files and trotted away, allowed to talk to our half section so long as we kept our places.
Lings horse shied at a white post, trotted off, broke into a canter and finally disappeared over the hills crest at a gallop, poor Stan hanging on grimly. (He got back to stables safely but wouldn’t mount again – rather foolish from a psychological point of view.)

All the horses were similarly “edgey” but nothing else went wrong and we had a fine ride for a mile or so, which us all more confident. “What’s this ones name?” I asked as we groomed my gelding. “He ‘ain’t got no name” said the old horseman, “Just a long faced bastard. And that other on is a bloody Judas. He’d willingly kill you.”

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