Hunting has started again, as of 1st September, but each area has one day per week when the hunters have to stay at home (thank goodness as they really go for it on the other days around here). At Les Matelles and The Reganel (my club) no hunting day is Tuesday. Buffy (my dog) is terrified of the shots and although May is cool, I have no confidence whatsoever that the murderous hunters won't shoot one of us by mistake if we are out in the valley at the same time as them. I have read some real horror stories about riders and walkers being seriously injured by stray hunters' bullets and I have seen our local hunters gathering in the mornings and they look very capable of shooting a horse instead of a boar.
Consequently we now have to concentrate our ballades on Tuesdays and this evening was no exception. After a hideous bout of 'gastro', no doubt courtesy of the rentrée, today was my first day up. Despite feeling rather weak and pathetic I decided that we couldn't afford to waste a Tuesday evening, especially since the storms that had been forecast had not appeared, so the three of us took off at about six this evening for a gentle wander through the valley.
May is still so happy to be able to grip now without her back shoes that her idea of a gentle ballade is a lot quicker than mine, but it was so great to be outside after three days of incarceration that I didn't mind. We had a great, and tranquil, ride along the side of the valley and a couple of lovely canters, all the while beneath a stunning red sunset.
You just can't beat it.