Well, folks, we did it. And people smiled and hugged, and acted politely to one another. Yes, there were marches and protests, but the star of the show on inauguration day was not the new president, but the American people. George III of England is supposed to have said that if George Washington turned down the kingship of the new country—whatever the heck we were going to call it—he was the greatest man in history. (Probably not an accurate quote, but you get the idea.) I’m not talking politics here. You don’t know who I voted for. I have no idea who you voted for. The point is, when push came to shove, as my mother would say to me important occasions—behave yourself.
Like the day after Christmas, we will probably be back to squabbling on Monday. I hope not.
As for me, I rode my horse Sailor yesterday for the first time in about four months. We didn’t do much except walk, but I think we both enjoyed it. The world has gotten in the way of my seeing Sailor for way too long. I was afraid he’d forgotten me, because one of my trainer’s assistants has been taking him out to walk a couple of times a week.
Not so. He started wuffling at me before he could see me. Granted, he knows I carry carrots and other goodies, but he stuck his nose in my hand without even looking for a treat. First. Then he went searching for the carrot pieces. We are both old guys, he and I, and with the infirmities that come with age. I look up at his 17.2 hand height and think about how far down it would be to fall and how it would hurt to land. He probably looks up at me and wishes I actually had lost that fifty pounds I should have lost last year. But in general, we tolerate one another very well.
I was afraid that I had totally lost my nerve when I had my last birthday. It’s not that easy for me to get my leg up over the cantle of my saddle. I do not want to catapult myself to land on my head on the other side. Therefore my trainer stands on the other side to poke me back if I start to slide. Think of the white knight in Alice Through the Looking Glass who toppled every dozen steps or so. Of course, he was wearing body armor, but actually I think all that steel and chain mail must have complicated things even further.
We didn’t ride long. Both of us need to organize our muscles. I tried to explain to one of my instructors at my dance class that the way to stop my horse is not to pull on the reins—God forbid—but simply to sit a little deeper in my saddle. He stops as though I have pulled the plug on the light socket. At least I have broken the taboo I had forced on myself. I hope I can keep going. And so can he. In the meantime I will continue to drive my Zoe horse to my carriage. I’m just looking at the butt end rather than between the ears that way.