I blame Anna …..

It’s all Anna Blake’s fault, this post and so much more …….

There’s no blogger or horse author I know of who has published such consistently insightful, readable writing on the equine/human relationship. I blame her for making me and horsemen and women everywhere put their horses first. For delving deeper into the horse’s mind than a forensic scientist with a very sharp scalpel and revealing exactly why aspects of of our time-honoured practices and horseman’s wisdom are counterproductive. For shaming us into thinking about the suffering humans inflict on horses, even unintentionally. And she knows how to do it with a lightness of touch and a sense of rightness that mirror the horsemanship she advocates.

Enough of the fan mail. Except to praise the loyalty Anna shows to her blogging community: she never leaves a comment unanswered and is always encouraging.

I commented rather lengthily on her last post, which led to a brief exchange about amateur horsepeople like me needing ready, willing and able back up in the face of illness or injury. This arose from a heartfelt admission of my own precarious situation.

If you were a reader of this blog before I decided to give it a break in January 2015, you may remember that my health had frequently impacted on my equine plans. Well, I say impacted ….. more like ground them into the dust and spat on them.

Having bought a new horse to live alongside our two retirees in late 2009, I broke a leg – the only horse-related accident – then fractured my jaw and skull, had another leg op., a period of loss of balance, a broken foot, arthritis in my shoulder and knees, worsening osteoporosis….. the litany goes on. So there was never enough riding time to make the progress I’d hoped for. However, time on the ground absolutely transformed my relationship with my younger horse, who initially threw more challenges at me than I thought I could handle but, as time went by, responded eagerly to every learning curve I lobbed back.

Now sweet sixteen, Pom, the one-time Spanish delinquent, became the horse I always wanted.

And just when, last Autumn, we were getting back into fitness after the heat of summer, I was walking up a small bank and turned at an awkward angle to see if the horses were going to follow me out to the field, when I heard an almighty crack and my left leg crumbled from under me. Luckily the horses were still in the barn.

I won’t bore you with the detail (at least not in this post!), but what a sense of déjà vu!

Four months later I am still using crutches and Pom has learned how to pick them up if I drop them. Anna said she’d like to see it, so please bear with me as I’ve not posted a video before, in particular the sound is a bit loud in the first and the second two are rather murky! 

Anyway, now Anna gave me the impetus I needed, I intend to return to regular posting, but, for the moment, for Anna, Cheryl and all of you whose comments and friendship I’ve missed, here are three very short clips:


About cavaliereattitude

Englishwoman, transplanted to SW France in '86, blogging - with a large dose of humour and self-deprecation - about life with my husband and our horses, the never-ending renovation of an ancient and crumbly stone farmhouse and the attempt to carve a beautiful garden and productive pasture out of a woodland wilderness.........
Video | This entry was posted in Ageing/Aging, animal training, animals, Horses, Living in France, Riding, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to I blame Anna …..

  1. rontuaru says:

    Oh Pom, you grew up! So smart, that he will pick up your crutch if dropped. Handy, too! I know all your setbacks must be horribly discouraging. I’m glad you can still soldier on and enjoy the simple pleasure of their company when possible. They are so dear to us and lift our spirits even if we can’t always ride them. I broke a leg last March, right at the start of spring riding. Then I lost a beloved dog. It seemed like the sadness would never end, but it did eventually. So I’ll think about you today when I go ride Dharla and remind myself not to take that privilege for granted. Here’s to better health and a full recovery! 🙂


    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Cheryl. Especially after all you’ve been through healthwise, I’m just small fry! How on earth did you break your leg? And losing Hazer must have been a dreadful blow. I hope you and Dharla had a great outing – she must be a teenager too now? Is she steadier these days too? And do you still have Rascal, as well as Bullit, I presume? I miss reading your posts too, can I encourage you to take it up again? I think maybe a lot of us “toughies” go quiet when bad stuff happens in case people think we’re sissies, when we ought to let it out and hear back from others. Hell, we could have – could still – compare broken leg experiences! And I’m glad we’re both Anna fans, she really is an amazing teacher, such a good influence. I look forward to reading you soon ….😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna Blake says:

    Oh hooray. Wonderful to see this in my mailbox, I still love the way you write… and thank you for the kind words. (I’m just bull-headed where blogging is concerned.)

    I’m just home from a long work day and these videos brought a smile. Being this age makes me think you should crank up a How-To video on crutch retrieval, for women of a certain age. It’s the kind of “advanced” training we should all be working on. I think it’s a decent get-rich plan and the back-up barn help would get the job title “working student’. 🙂

    Truly, so good to read your words. You are living the dream over there in France. It just doesn’t always feel that way.(Sure doesn’t here, if I don’t remind myself.) Pom has grown to fit his place. Handsome indeed. And you will be sound, again, yourself. Best wishes for a strong recovery. I’ll be looking for the next post. Thank you!


    • No, thank You! You are THE horse writer whose modus operandi and opinions I value. 😊 It really is your fault for teaching me to think horse far more effectively. I love the get-rich, how-to scheme. Yes, training horses as home help for the elderly is surely the way to cope with the “ageing population” crisis!

      I never stopped reading you, though I had a weird spell where I truly felt I needed a break from blogging and commenting. Now I await the film of Stable Relation, which will keep you and yours in gilded hay forever. And like Arnie, “I’ll be back” ….. on WordPress and in the saddle!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Barley and I says:

    Finally! Welcome back❣ I find it just amazing, you take yet another bad thing and turn it into something great! Pom looks great, such a good an clever boy and what an achievement 💟


  4. magreenlee says:

    Hi! I saw an old comment from you on my blog and came over to see what you’re up to. My god, you’ve had a rough time of it but I love how your relationship with Pom has improved with all the ground work. And it’s something that I have learned over the years – you don’t HAVE to ride a horse to have a relationship with it!!!!
    I hope you’re doing better now (3 months since this post). I’d love to meet you some day…. maybe I will get over that way on a weekend trip sometime. x


    • Hi Martine,
      It’s great to hear from you! And I know that you’ve really been through the mill… much more than me; I’ve been catching up with your blog from time to time, even if not commenting, in fact just read your latest earlier today and was glad to know that your back is improving and really hope Aero and Flurry might be on the up too. Whenever I read your blog I always think it would be such good fun if you were nearby to do horsey stuff with! Last month we had the horsesitters in and went down towards the Med touring. We had 3 nights near Narbonne, intending to go towards Nimes and maybe further east. I even said to my LSH, if we get as far as the Luberon we could maybe look up Martine! Sadly the Tramontagne was intent on blowing us off our feet and we went back west instead of east. The best thing was a lovely getaway for ten days; took a crutch with me and had forgotten it by the time we got back. So many gorgeous bits of France we’re still discovering. We finally did get to do up our little barn for visitors, and if I say so myself, it turned out quite well!….. so why not come and see us, you’d be very welcome. x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. subodai213 says:

    So good that you are back to blogging…but I fully understand the why. My goodness, what a bad break…literally. And yet…to have a horse like Pom take care of you! (let’s not forget Eric…!)
    Earlier this year my computer was infected by a virus implanted on my wordpress blog by a troll. I lost very little data as I back up my computer weekly. But I think a lot of the links were lost.
    I moved most of my operations to Google’s Blogger, which, while it doesn’t get the traffic wordpress does, at least it’s very good about keeping the trolls and other evil people from destroying one’s computer.
    Now I am very, very circumspect about ‘likes’..in fact, I’ve removed that option from my blog.
    What a sweet boy Pom has become. What an unruly ‘teenager’ he was!! But it seems he is rewarding you for your patience, love and kindness.


    • So nice to hear from you M! I left a message on your blog a while ago, wondering if you were still coming to Europe, as I thought the original plan was for April/May 2017. As I mentioned to Martine (above comment) we made an apartment in the small barn so our regular house-horse-sitters and visiting friends would have somewhere nice to stay with a degree of independence, which I thought might be useful if you were passing by the Lascaux area…… Trust all well with you and yours despite computer problems. We managed to drop our laptop, break the screen and everything was in limbo for a while, very frustrating!


      • subodai213 says:

        Thank you, and again, I am glad to see you back in front of a keyboard. I always enjoyed your blog and adventures with your unruly teenager, Pom, who seems to have finally mellowed (like a fine Spanish wine) into someone you’d invite to dinner.
        If you can only imagine the chaos Americans are in with the installation with our own version Putin.
        It’s as if we have gone mad. Utterly bonkers. The Donald has given permission for every thug, whack job, fascist racist xenophobe to do whatever he likes. In the last six months I have been threatened with being shot by a ‘neighbor’ for walking past his house: had another ‘neighbor’ literally follow me down my road, screaming at me that he was going to call the sheriff because he believed I had called him an asshole, and nearly been hit while driving through a green light by a man who made an illegal turn against me, then TOOK MY PICTURE with his cell phone and yelled something obscene. In the first case, I called the sheriff, who ‘talked’ to the man and then said there had been no threat. A week later, the same guy went downtown and shot out windows in shops that had Clinton signs, and attacked a anti Trump protestor. THEN they believed.
        I am not alone…everyone I talk to has had the same sort of experiences.
        Then we have the issues with travel, both national and international…the airlines have decided we are nothing but ‘self loading cargo’ and treat us worse than cattle.

        Primarily the reasons we cancelled our trip to Europe was monetary and health..but I’m almost afraid to leave the country now because I don’t want to fly and the may not let me back in. We went to Victoria BC, Canada last year just after the elections and were harassed both leaving and re-entering the US. The Canadians were terrified, convinced we had guns in the car. A woman border guard asked me if I wanted to admit to having a gun on my person before ‘she found it by a body search” . Can’t confess to something you don’t have, so I was body searched. And not nicely. She then accused me of lying about my gender because I have no breasts. apparently they have never heard of a double mastectomy for breast cancer in Canada? They then searched our car. No guns. Then on the way back the US Border Patrol could not believe that we had entered Canada for the sole purpose of visiting the botanical garden in Victoria, so they ran the dogs over us and the car..again..and finally let us back in. With a warning: we’re watching you.
        We are both Caucasian, in our sixties, are military veterans and retired folks without a criminal record of ANY sort (well, wait. I got a parking ticket in 1993)…and we’re treated like we are terrorists from both sides. I have been in combat zones, had the bad guys shoot at me, and now it seems it’s here on my doorstep…my own people.
        If you had told me we could descend so quickly into insanity so quickly, I would have laughed. Now it’s here.


      • Good grief, you really have had some completely soul-destroying experiences. The US and UK seem riven by such despicably divisive politics, but let me just reassure you that there are still some places like here, where decent people still exist, mostly go peacably about their daily lives and even travel – and the population have seen the sense to elect a new administration with a vigorous and positive outlook. Brexit may have some impact on us, but we have no say so …que sera sera.
        I can only hope there is a reversal in America’s prevailing atmosphere without delay. Meanwhile, maybe your best option IS to travel elsewhere!


      • subodai213 says:

        We find camping in our 17 ft. long caravan and excellent and cheap way to travel, and the only borders to cross are state ones. While some campers are really 21 year old yahoos looking for a bonfire and a 12 pack of beer, in general camping is a quiet, peaceful and lovely way to escape the lunacy.
        Most of us have battened down our hatches to hopefully weather this absurd storm of incivility and outright madness. Maybe we can impeach Trump. I don’t hold much hope for that..but there is no telling what nonsense he will spew next.
        sigh. I must admit, though…that entering the barn and hearing that deep ‘huh huh huh’ from Raven, him knowing that I have a couple carrots with his name on them, that I will give him a good scratching, and feeling the link between his mind and mine when I’m aboard…it does make life easier.


  6. Nothing quite so life-affirming as the love of a good horse 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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