Toward the end of a day, I write in shorter bursts, interspersed with taking a look at Elphick Event Ponies, Life on the Left Rein, Footluce Eventing, and other vlogs involving horses, both training and competing in things I like to watch. I also listen to music (non-vocal usually) to keep the longer sections of prose “in tune” with those around them. One of the signs of healing from the 2018 concussion is that I can now write to music again, rather than being distracted by it.
Yesterday, having switched from Sousa marches to Rossini overtures, for a break from something involving the military to something quite different, I made the delightful discovery that Rossini overtures (e.g. “The Barber of Seville,” “Semiramide,” “La Cenerentola,” and of course “William Tell”) are great background music for horses being schooled for jumping, eventing, dressage. I’m very familiar with both the spoken parts and the music the vloggers chose to go with their videos (I usually don’t like their music and after many viewings am not as interested in what they’re saying) so I turned off the sound for the video, and just listened to Rossini. And it varied from “wow, that actually works” to hilarious. Because of You Tube ads, it’s impossible to predict which musical phrases will hit which actions exactly on, but horses being schooled develop (if they didn’t have) perfectly rhythmical movement. A composer of lively music, from an age in which horses were the primary motive power, tends to pick tempi that suit horse gaits. Horses don’t all have the *same* tempo, but I found one of Holly Lenahan’s training compilations, on a TALL Irish TB/warmblood cross, worked just as well as one of Meg Elphick’s, on a Connemara pony, and on both the very experienced older mare and the young green one.
I’ll have to ration myself to keep from spending way too many hours this way. But Meg jumping four bounce fences right on the beat several times was SUCH fun.
Meanwhile the book is racing on, swept toward the end like a tidal river in the ebb phase rushing to the sea. If only my hands were twenty years younger!