(This was a post on another blog. I post it here for no other reason, than I can!)
If there`s one thing I hate its rain! Whether its warm or cold, it does`nt matter it is still rain. I had deliberately got up exceedingly early, so as to be able to gather everything together and drive to Ae Forest.
But you know how it is, “The best laid plans of mice and men!” The sky looked fine at 6 am, sort of soft and bright. More fool me! Fortunately I took my slicker anyway. I was saddled and riding by 8am. Brilliant! The trees were silent, all I could here were the twittering of the birds and the cries of the Buzzards overhead. I then took it in my head to turn the horse around, just to look at the view, you understand nothing else, and there I saw my destiny! It took the shape of a large stretch of black cloud, from the English border to far beyond the Rinns of Galloway! What was more disconcerting, was the rain could be seen, falling in sheets from the leaden sky. However where I was heading was away from the clouds and the prospect of a damn good soaking, so I carried on. Heading along the empty forest tracks, gives a rider the opportunity to think, and this is always a contemplative time for me, I can solve some of life`s little blips! Or at least think them through, making them less than they really are.
It was while my mind was occupied with this pursuit, that I failed to really notice that the light, was decreasing. It was the horse, that creature of nature, that awakened me to the fact that, it had begun! At first, just a few fine spots, nothing to dramatic, a kind of pre-emptive strike, you might say!
Reaching around behind the cantle of my saddle, I extricated my slicker. Just in time! Down it came, sheets of rain, drenching soaking miserable bloody rain! Now ordinarily, I don`t ride in rain for pleasure, No Sir! I don`t even go riding if it is raining, unless I really have to. However, if I`m out and it starts while out, then that`s a bit different. The wind that came with the rain was not a mild one, it whisked up small branches and leaves, tossing them around like dust. Poor horse, she stoically strode on, occasionally tossing her mane to rid it of the weight of water! It was incesant!
I still had another six miles to go, with my slicker collar buttoned up tight, and my hat pulled down, it didn`t seem to bad. The rain ran off the slicker and down onto the toes of my boots, finally mixing with the mud on the ground. The sun had long deserted me, hiding in shame behind this foul weather, I lifted my head now and again, to try and catch a glimpse of any possibility of brightness in the fermament, nothing! Just rain. Ae Forest covers several hills in the area, and although well forested, there are some wonderful views to be had, sometimes! My Stetson, now soaked and settling nicely out of shape, had a continuous runnel of rainwater from the front, every time I tried to move, it got worse! So there I was, riding a wet horse, on a wet day in heavy rain, what more could a guy ask for?
There was something to brighten an otherwise dreary ride, and it came in the form of a large furry creature, or I should say creatures! All five of them, a group of Roe Deer, standing looking at me and the horse, from say, thirty yards! All stock still, we stopped, and looked, but I never thought to get the camera out, why is that? In a moment they were gone into the trees. We rode on, down the hill tracks, past log piles, over the wooden bridge to the trail back to the car park. We rode into the car park, just in time for the rain to cease. How ? I stepped down from the saddle, and began to strip the horse of the very wet tack. Then the sun came out, it was beautiful, there was no excuse, I had been a misery! The heat of the sun stroked the horse and as I watched her, the steam began to rise from her coat, she stood, closed her eyes and enjoyed every bit !