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An Ullswater Sunset.

Winter is here. Well, it’s supposed to be here, but our average temperature is above the normal. It has rained a lot, in fact as I write, it is a deluge.

Long gone are the pleasant days and evenings of our summer. I still ride out, trying to dodge the showers, and soft ground.

It’s a time to reflect and clean leather, some of which is long over due. Vaquero Cream for the Bosal, and saddle butter for the leather. Beautiful smells, a quiet Tack room and the smell of clean leather, dogs laying by the stove, and coffee brewing. Age, I find has its advantages, one of which is the ability to appreciate that which has been ignored before

Long Live The King!

I write this with a heavy heart, Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth 2nd has passed away .

No doubt everyone will have some thoughts on the matter but for me? I am a Veteran, I served during a time of turbulence, terrorism and aggressors, so nothing has changed, except the names and dates. Elizabeth was the one constant in my life, and dare I say, in all of our lives. I served Queen and Country, it was my choice, and I have never regretted doing so. I was born in the year of Accession to the throne, of a young Queen, beautiful and small of stature, she was to become a beacon for all people in our Great Nation. I for one am very sad at her passing, we will never see her like again. That is a sad fact, she was the last of those with great respect, and dignity, not only for Politicians and other Leaders, but for us, the small people. She gave me a strength, a sense of Nationhood, and to her I shall be eternally grateful. God Bless you Ma’am.

Adventures into Film

Gracie and I, were asked to take part in a film in 2019, it was September, and the weather was glorious. Gracie was impeccable, and this Publicity Still was taken from the film, which now will never be shown due to legal issues .


This was another. I have to admit, they’re good.

All taken on location, at Loch Muick, Ballater, Scotland UK.

A Mental State.

I don’t believe in Perfection. I don’t strive for it, I don’t ask for it, but, I admire those that do. Many years ago, I had the idea that I would become excellent at something!….I wasn’t sure what, and I wasn’t sure when, but I had the germ of the idea, that Perfection was what we should aim to achieve.

Many years later, I no longer attempt to seek perfection, it holds no addiction for me, but I admire it in others.

Perhaps I’m lazy, or disinterested, not so, for me it is being happy with what, and who I am, and have, or will achieve, but I still admire those who strive for perfection, those who compete with themselves to attain it. With horses, I’ll never achieve what others do, not do I seek it, although, I feel perhaps I do the horse an injustice, albeit the horse knows not anything about perfection, even though the horse is in my mind, as near as damn it to Perfection.

“Make the Wrong thing Hard,and the Right thing Easy”

It was a dismal ride on a beautiful evening. Unfortunately, my horse Toby, had his own opinions. All he was wanting to do was turn for home, which wasn’t going to happen. So instead of the usual once round the forest, it was twice, to prove a point to Toby, the the wrong thing was hard……

In other words he was made to work harder, when if he had done the right thing, he could have been home earlier.

Moving On

The voices in my head, not being my own, often speak when I`m at my calmest. They are whisperings, a sound, neither clear or precise. As I drift, they begin to have clarity, and eventually a voice is recognized.

Deciding whose voice it is, now that`s another matter. Of course, tone and manner of speech has a bearing on the voice, TOGG tends to be more matter of fact, world weary, and aware. While Toby has the naivety of youth, lacking the nuances of experience.

And Introducing?

These two are my alter ego`s, the grey is Gracie, also known as TOGG, the other more attractive one, is Toby, an Appaloosa cross. Whilst Gracie is an Irish Draft x Thoroughbred, both have there idiosyncrasies, and both have their seriously strong points, which as it happens could be construed as idiosyncrasies.

Toby is a five year old gelding, thoughtful, gentle and intelligent, Gracie is twenty-one years old, and a mare!……Needless to say she has strong opinions.

We travel well, many long miles together during which TOGG, has been my mainstay, through thick and thin, she is, shall I say, grossly strong, but has mellowed somewhat over the years. We have agreed to accept each other, providing neither of us steps out of line! Here I think back and smile, nay, laugh at our differences, we struggled at first, but as I’ve said previously, we have made an arrangement.

Toby is the new boy on the block, serene, and a quick learner. He is still absorbing all that is required of him, and he shows no signs of shirking his task. I owe them much, besides, talking horses are very hard to come by.

Another Day

If horses had voices, would they be as ours?….No? Who knows, but for arguments sake lets say they are, or would be. If that`s the case, then perhaps our partnerships with them would not be so fraught. Perhaps we would understand, the requirements, and general needs? Somehow I doubt it, instead we would foist our will upon them again.

Now what I`ve said here is a complete contradiction of my ethos regarding the animals, but that is the point, we are a user of all things, be it resources, or of each other, this isn’t a political statement, its a fact of human nature. We are a terrible species, capable of greatness, but also capable of great harm and destruction.

So as it stands, we use horses?….Of course we do!…. How you do that, is the question. For me? I try and give back, they allow me to use them for travel, pleasure, and to try and achieve some measure of competence in there control. Albeit, that I have never won any competition on a horse, I’ve tried, but to no avail. Gave that up!….Not the horses fault, just me.

Its Been a Blast.

Well, it has! I cannot say anything different, and it would be a lie if I did. But it hasn`t been without its downsides, and if I have anything to pass on, its this.

Do not procrastinate, enjoy everything, always say yes to new experiences, and don`t be afraid to say no to people who are toxic.

I have failed in nearly all these things, however its what I should have done had I known. But when you get older, you realize these things are true to late.

Horses are my life, and without them I would surely fade away, I have no idea why, nor do I question this fact, it just is. I shall chat about most things, except politics, and religion, for without them, the world would be a better place.

Finally, I make no judgements, everyone has faults, makes mistakes and is prone to untruths, we are human, or as my horses often remind me, “shifty”.

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