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Night Riding...just some fun

On Tuesday night, Roderick and I decided that it was just too hot and sticky to school.  Knowing that, come winter, we'll have to spend one night a week doing road work in the dark, we decided that it was as good a time as any to get the horses used to Night Riding.
There was a slight breeze, and the pink glow in the sky was fading slightly.  A sprinkling of stars was in the Eastern sky, and the moon was smiling a cheeky crescent grin. 
We tacked up, and Toc gave me his usual "oh, Lordy, schooling again, ma?" look.  I whispered "not tonight boy, let's go have some fun" and his ears pricked up.  As we turned away from the arena and towards the gate, his gait quickened and I laughed and Roderick and said "he knows". 
Doofleberry was a little apprehensive.  He's only just got used to schooling under lights, and to going out at all (Roderick's been an arena rider for years) and all of a sudden he was being asked to go out AT NIGHT.  IN THE DARK.  WHERE THE BOOGERS ARE!!!!
Who is this mad woman his dad has hooked up with!!!   
The dogs looked at us forlornly from the cottage window as we walked on by, towards the gate.  A quick shy at the teff shed, another one at the horse box, and a third one, just for good measure, at the electric gate as it opened.  By then, I had a broad grin on my face, and my heart was beating a little faster, as it always does when I know that I'm going to have a good ride.
We went out the gate and turned down the hill.  The horses suddenly realised what we had planned, and their stride lengthened as they got into the adventure of it.  I could see lightning in the distance, and smell the distant rain in the air.  The hairs on my arm stood up slightly - this was all new and, by implication, exciting.
The horses were good as gold.  Toc spooked a little whenever a car came past, because of the shadows which it threw against the grass waving on the verge.  Doofleberry just hid his face behind Toc's bum : "if I can't see it, it can't see me".  We laughed at how ridiculous it was to see this 17hh horse hiding behind his 15.2 hh buddy!
At one stage, a SuperBike came hurtling towards us, single light shining brightly, engine roaring, like some mad cyclops bearing down on a pair of unsuspecting mortals, intent on sweeping them up and back to its cave in the mountains.  Fortunately, the horses are traffic-proof, and were soothed by our "easy boys" as we put our legs on their sides and stroked their necks.  The biker slowed down as he drew alongside us, and waved - another rider revelling in the beauty of this summer night, his a horse of iron and chrome, ours of flesh and sinew. 
We trotted up the hill and turned for home, and suddenly the games were on.  Spook left at the horse-eating bush.  Spook right at the horrible, fanged telephone pole.  Jig a little as the moon threw shadows across the road.  Their necks gleamed silver in the moonlight, their shoes made music in our ears, and the feel of their athletic bodies under ours made us feel like Gods. 
I smiled across at Roderick, and held out my hand, which he took in his, and we rode home, side-by-side, beneath the smiling silver moon.

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