for courses

I've spent a week trying not to write about a dog. It's harder than it reads. Canine behaviour is wonderfully idiosyncratic - it screams to be chronicled. A writer's cursed though: as soon as he, she or it mentions a canine, the writer buries himself (etc. etc.) under hundreds of years of literary cliché and universal dog truths expounded by people who were probably better both with dogs and writing than they, the writer, are or ever shall be.

I dealt with a daschund. E. B. White dealt with a daschund. I'd rather read E. B. White's words about daschunds than record my own. Recording requires reliving and I'd rather forget pandering to the pooch, thank you very much.

The non-canine parts of the week have been equine. Horses are just as nuts, have just as many pages of prose devoted to them and I'm even less qualified to share my nuggets of experience, such that they are, with the masses. Or even those that read this blog.

Unlike the canine, I don't want to forget any of it. I've enjoyed learning and re-learning. I can tack up now (not quickly), and even get Pico to stop when I tell her (on occasion). There's a heady rush when you get up to a fast canter and don't feel out of control. Horses smell better than daschunds.

Of course, the heady rush does little to dull the pain of nuts crushing against the saddle when you don't rise on the trot properly. Nothing does.