This week we had one of those miserable wet days, when it never seems to get light. I wrapped up in my waterproofs, and managed to hack Otis is the dry, but then I might as well have gone swimming with my next two mounts! Amazingly, it stopped raining so I took the opportunity to change (keep a change in my car) and then at least I was dry and warm (ish) to teach my lunchtime lessons. At home for a late lunch I didn`t solicit going back outside for the evening`s lessons – and was even less impressed when I was soggy again!
Anyway, it made me reminisce about rainy days at the yard when I was growing up.
It always looked deserted on wet days; lessons were out of sight in the indoor arena, the outdoor arena was empty. In the early days a large puddle was developing in the F-A corner, with a smaller one near V. On really wet days a channel would develop, with a waterfall from the step into the arena and down the track towards the yard. The yard was deserted, with people dashing from building to building, and all the ponies hiding in the stables, back stalls or sheepshed; heads buried in haynets, rugs over them. Us girls usually declined to ride, and either took residence in the tea room – sharing the squishy arm chairs, or crowded along the work surface, legs dangling down amongst abandoned wellies and sleeping dogs, and the door pushed to. The rest of us hid in the tack room; door firmly shut, sitting on our closed tin trunks (often with bum shaped dips in the lids) around the walls, and our tack in various stages of dismemberment; sharing the slithers of saddle soap and crusts of sponges, cursing when we lost bits into the murky lukewarm buckets of water.
It was days like this that we grew close. We had the typical teenage girl conversations, which was both an eye opener and educational for the younger of us. We laughed as we discussed a medley of topics, retold stories of past helpers and ponies, and gossiped about school, house parties, and boys.
In many ways we would look forwards to rainy days, because of the friendship aspect. But as soon as it stopped raining we used to dash outside to enjoy the freshly washed world; run up the field, or turn out the horses, or sweep the yard leaving straight lines akin to a mown lawn from the adverts.