(Soundtrack for today’s post; Bryan Ferry’s version of “Jealous Guy”. Sacrilege for someone who has some Liverpool ancestry, but I was never a great Beatles fan!)
Our silver wedding anniversary passed uncelebrated last autumn, as did my birthday, and generally, we have never been great ones for big parties, special events or even presents. To be fair to my husband though, he occasionally brings home a bunch of my favourite irises or tulips, for no reason other than to make me smile (I hope!) But usually, if one of us wants something special (horse, anyone?!) we say, “Well that’s the next three birthdays and Christmases taken care of”. One year our joint Christmas present was a skip attachment for our elderly tractor! You can tell that me and he are not overly romantic types.
So I wasn’t really expecting much on St. Valentine’s Day. Coming round slowly with my second cup of tea on the morning of the 14th, I was genuinely touched to find this
(in an envelope, of course) on my bedside table. Which made me feel terrible because I hadn’t given him anything other than a good morning kiss and a mumbled, “Happy Valentine’s Day”.
If you’ve dipped into my blog – only begun at the end of January – so far, you’ll know that the handsome horse who graces the top of this page is my “new” boy, who only came to live with us 14 months ago. We had major problems settling him in (see earlier posts, “On being a Foreigner” and “Introducing the Horses”). Particularly unnerving was his very aggressive behaviour, towards us, our two older horses and even horses we rode out with for the first few months. As he’d not had an easy past I hoped very hard that this was a temporary phase, due to insecurity and so did everything I could to make him feel at home, loved and wanted.
At the same time, I didn’t want my old horse Aly to feel jealous or neglected and made extra efforts to give him time too, but it is now Pom who I ride and who is the energetic young buck, full of confidence and in his prime, whilst poor Aly becomes increasingly creaky and wheezy. It really tugs at the heartstrings to see my once proud and dominant Aly, standing back and giving way to Pom.
The Pie, my husband’s horse, ever like Baldrick with his native cunning, has allied himself to the rising power and whilst Pom and Pie play boisterous games, at least Aly gets some peace and quiet to himself. Even though he is getting every medication available for his emphysema, it is a rare pleasure to see him cantering about with the others.
Getting back to Valentines: yes, I’ve probably been guilty of concentrating too much on Pom this last year or so, and while worrying about Aly being jealous, and how Pie was interacting with them, I should have worried about my man a bit more too? Now I have a happy, bonded horse who loves his cuddles and emanates well-being, perhaps I should concentrate on being kind to all four of the guys I live with, particularly the human one!
It is an obvious thought, but how many animal-loving women find the uncomplicated love of their animals easier to concentrate on than their more complicated and demanding human relationships?
Although I didn’t have any irises on Valentine’s day – at least some tiny ones were out in the garden. I hope you too had flowers for Valentine’s day, Cav’a