The Returner

12 08 2012

So, I’m back in the UK at last! I was bracing myself for reverse culture shock, but now I’m here everything has felt completely normal and natural straight off the bat; no having to adjust, even recovering from the jetlag was surprisingly painless.

Prior to that, though, my last week at riding club. Well, it was quite short, really. I ended up taking some of the days off just from the aftershock of exam stress and the ensuing sleep deprivation which, added to general heat exhaustion from the ranging mid-thirties heat and 86%+ humidity, made hiding indoors with the air conditioning on seem like the only sensible option. I went out at night time on both of the days I took off, and the heat/humidity combo was no less crushingly brutal then, either.

However, thankfully, with it being my last week there was no punishment for my absence. The team were all very understanding about it, and my last day involved usual stall-cleaning, followed by a cantering lesson on Max and then being left to wash and groom him. During assembly at the end of club practice, I was presented with a lovely card they had made with a drawing of me riding Hokon and lots of nice messages wishing me well on my return to the UK. The following day I went back for a social barbecue at Waseda University’s stables (which wasn’t actually all that social, although their horses were lovely and friendly; my teammates and I ended up watching the olympic cross country trials on a smartphone rather than interacting with the other students), and took the opportunity to try and have my picture taken with Hokon. He turned out to be quite camera shy, but we got one in the end (click the link to see my Facebook gallery of pictures from the whole semester):

Aw, Hokon.

He kicked me and he bit me and he made my tack-tests a misery, but through all that I still loved him for his haughty-to-the-point-of-being-funny manner, grace and elegance. And he was a real joy to ride. In a way I’m sorry this is me in my usual quasi-goth gear and not in my riding gear, but I still think this is a nice photo. Heh. I hope he enjoys the Effol Sweet Hearts I bought for him as a leaving gift!…

I have already started riding again in the UK, but I’m going to write that up in a separate entry for correctness!

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4 responses

13 08 2012
mellchan

Probably a silly question, but where do I find the link? Thanks for sharing your photos, I cant wait until I can figure out where to see them!

14 08 2012
onahorse

If you click on the photo itself it *should* link you to my photo gallery; I’m sorry if it didn’t before, but I’ve changed the privacy level on the gallery to ‘public’ now, so hopefully you should be able to load it without issue.

If you can’t, though, do let me know – I’ll try and duplicate it here!

20 08 2012
mellchan

Oh! It worked, looked at all of your photos and I want more, heh.
Thank you for sharing, I wish I had known about the riding club there while I was abroad.
Do you have to be a member to sit and watch? Maybe next time I am in Japan I will go and spend a few hours and check it out.

20 08 2012
onahorse

Oh no, you don’t have to be a member to go and watch! The stables are open to the public and from time to time we did have people just come in to watch. They’re closed on Mondays, but the club usually meets from 7am to 11am Tuesdays-Fridays and Sundays, and from 12pm to 5pm on Saturdays. If you go tell them キャリーさん sent you (^-^)

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