Wednesday, November 11, 2009

autumn and it's memories

Oh heck it's autumn all of a sudden. The weather has turned grey and damp and it has that Guy Fawkes night feel; damp and smokey. The boys are most definitely in every night and dinner has turned from grilled to baked, salad to stodge; well that's NOT going to help my soft bits even if the mucking out helps with the fitness.
There's funghi to be had in the fields; field mushrooms (button to flat cap depending on maturity)and some bolets....the elusive cèpes are well, just eluding me.

I always feel so much better at this time of the year if I can work the horses; all that mucking out has to have an upside. Inspite of the autumnal weather I've worked Moo daily and Chapiro once or twice weekly, I've now added the pone (Cacahuète aka Peanut) as Lydia really doesn't get enough time to keep him fit enough now that the nights have drawn in.

Chapiro is four today, still such a baby but maturing nicely and so we'll keep the work going lightly until springtime and then perhaps we'll be ready for riding.

Cacahuète, on the other hand, is the old man of the gang; twenty years old and seen the lot. In the past I've kept him going over winter with a bit of lunging, nothing special just enough to get the blood running. This year I've started working him in hand too and he's very responsive to the clicker work...oh well something else to keep me interested, wish he was a bit bigger I'd ride him.

Moralejo has been really calm in-hand and on the lunge this last week. The in-hand with the cordeo/head collar is good and it IS possible to get a good shape in the neck without a bit. We can work shoulder-in to counter shoulder-in but travers is tricky unless I change sides. His spanish walk is coming on and the trot work in-hand isn't bad...he just needs to be more forward in the upwards transition.
Today was a riding day and he had nervous energy, this is the first time in ages that he has been rather tense to start and maybe it was because we were in the hackamore? The tension soon went with some lateral work and the cordeo is just excellent as an extra aid. Not only does he now accept this as a slowing down aid but you can also use it to influenec the shoulder. This is especially helpful in say the renvers on the right rein which he finds more difficult. It means you can bring the shoulder in with the cordeo and then ask for flexion with the rein and bend with the leg. This is very exciting for a lateral work nerd like me and we had some of our best lateral work today because of it. He was on speed in the trot work to begin with but we did calm it down enough to have a good stretch to finish.

Today we remembered the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 and the signing of the armistice between the allies and Germany that marked the end of the first world war. In our tiny commune of Jumilhac le Grand there were over one hundred and twenty causualties to that war. In true French style we remembered the fallen in the square today albeit 20 minutes late!

This poem by Alan Seeger, a young man who himself fell in that war, is loved on both sides of the channel....

J'ai un rendez-vous avec la Mort
Sur quelque barricade âprement disputée,
Quand le printemps revient avec son ombre frémissante
Et quand l'air est rempli des fleurs du pommier.

J'ai un rendez-vous avec la Mort
Quand le printemps ramène les beaux jours bleus.
Il se peut qu'elle prenne ma main
Et me conduise dans son pays ténébreux
Et ferme mes yeux et éteigne mon souffle.
Il se peut qu'elle passe encore sans m'atteindre.

J'ai un rendez-vous avec la Mort
Sur quelque pente d'une colline battue par les balles
Quand le printemps reparaît cette année
Et qu'apparaissent les premières fleurs des prairies.

Dieu sait qu'il vaudrait mieux être au profond
Des oreillers de soie et de duvet parfumé
Où l'Amour palpite dans le plus délicieux sommeil,
Pouls contre pouls et souffle contre souffle,
Où les réveils apaisés sont doux.

Mais j'ai un rendez-vous avec la Mort
A minuit, dans quelque ville en flammes,
Quand le printemps d'un pas léger revient vers le nord cette année
Et je suis fidèle à ma parole:
Je ne manquerai pas à ce rendez-vous-là.
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath
It may be I shall pass him still.

I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .

But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.


Claire said...

i'll be interested in seeing the pony's changes with the in hand work...

Di said...

I think with three horses to do you're not going to have to worry about your weight! How are you going with your prototype bitless?

Di said...

Beautiful verse, is it me or was it not there last night?

trudi said...

mmm, it was hiding...I was trying to be clever and put it on a second page but then it diappeared unless you read just the daily entry rather than the whole blog...clear as blo0dy mud eh?
I liked it and I think it's so hard to imagine the torture of the 14-18 war in our comfortable times :-(