So I think I told you in some post somewhere along the line that we have horses on the property but that neither hubby nor I ride. In fact, before arriving here, neither one of us had been near a horse. There was, of course, some sniggering from the horsey set that we would have the hubris to have horses without knowing one end of a horse from the other end.

I think I also said that when I decided to get my first horse (Karma) that the reason for doing this was so I could learn about horses and care for a horse. Over the last few months, I’ve learnt how to groom, feed and lead a horse. I knew all this would allow me to make up my mind whether I ultimately wanted to learn how to ride or not. I told everyone here that in January I would do it if I wanted to – learn how to ride.

I’ve kept my word. I have now had five riding lessons on Rosie who is a very sweet-natured horse. Fortunately, my many years of yoga have finally come in handy because you need good balance to ride a horse. My balance seems to be good and I’m learning many new things – like keep your heels down when you ride. At my advanced age of 108 years old, it’s great to be learning new stuff. I’m not very elegant at it yet. When turning Rosie right or left, my hand movements are exaggerated, I know that. And it’s really hard to keep the heels down whilst concentrating on everything else. It’s like learning to ride a bike.

My aim is to learn how to ride well enough to go road riding, which is big around Oxford, and maybe take Rosie out on trails up in the hills. I don’t aim to compete in dressage events or anything like that, although I want to learn how to jump eventually. But first things first: learn to stay on a horse and not fall off.

I’m not going to post a photo of me on Rosie just yet. That would be way too frightening! So for today, some plants I can’t identify (hello, Irene: what are they?) and a couple of photos of Zeph in his secret garden.