ponies, yay

Kusia took me riding at Bay Laurel Arabians in Tilden Park. I planned it really badly, only allowed myself a couple of hours, skipped breakfast and chose the hottest day of summer so far. As we were saddling up I said to Kusia:

“So, this horse walks into a bar and the barman says, ‘Why the long face?'”

We both fell about laughing and then – this is true – my horse, Bey Shadow BL, turned around and bit me.

After that things went reasonably well, by which I mean I didn’t fall off. Quite apart from being as pretty as a summer sunrise and a Top Ten finisher in the Tevis last year, Shadow’s amazing to ride, strong and forward with all his power surging up through his hindquarters. Kusia rode Bartali, the exquisite bay gelding that she started under saddle. Kusia’s fighting fit and supple, and she rides like a centaur. I’m not at all envious, okay maybe a little, especially since today I rode like an elderly sack of potatoes held to the saddle with twine. Sigh.

We rode right up to the Seaview Trail and saw the breadth of the bay from Vallejo to the Golden Gate. Champagne sun, seaspray sky, red-tailed hawks. It looked very familiar, and sure enough Jeremy, Claire and I hiked to the exact same place on Mother’s Day last year. Despite my potato-sackitude and Shadow’s hunger for my flesh, Kusia seemed willing to take me out again in a couple of weeks. We talked about doing a Lake Anza ride. Jeremy, Claire and I had a fun picnic there with Salome and Jack last year. Tilden, which once seemed a mapless wilderness to me, is filling up with happy memories.

Anyway, the bite is coming up brilliantly. You can see Shadow’s teethmarks outlined in amethyst bruise. I told Shannon:

“You can push the double stroller today. I got bit by a horse.”

“That’s going to get old real fast,” she said.

Maybe for grownups. The kids loved it; any time Cian or Claire started to grumble or argue, I’d say:

“You guys want to see my bite?”

And they’d nod and gather round.

Great big family dinner at Angkor Borei, where they always seem pleased to see us in spite of our many toddlers. Cian, Rowan and Claire pointed out the carved dragon to each other, and danced a dragon dance. The sticky rice with mango at Angkor is out of this world.

And so to bed.

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