It’s no big secret, I really don’t like the wind! In fact I’m quite frightened by strong wind. The words, gale, storm, and structural damage are enough to make me feel a bit panicky, and that’s just the words! As a child I used to find it difficult to breathe when it was really windy. It was like the wind was blowing the air away from me. Then, one day, about 25 years ago, I was working in a building that had it’s roof torn off by a storm, on the same day, cars were blown across the carpark and roof tiles were flying around like autumn leaves. At the small riding school where I kept my 14.2hh part bred Arab, Oliver Twist, back then, a block of 6 wooden stables was lifted off it’s concrete base and deposited about 10ft back from where it started. Luckily all the resident horses were turned out at the time! Also on this fateful day a work colleague of my Dad’s was killed when a falling tree landed on his car. Wind is dangerous!
The other problem that I, and I suspect a lot of other visually impaired people have, is that wind is extremely disorientating. I use my ears to tell me where I am all the time. The ambient sounds around me, changes in air pressure depending on what is in front, above, or beside me, and even echo location are all everyday ways in which I know where I am and what’s going on around me. However, when there’s a strong wind blowing none of these things are available to me. I might as well have been spinned round and then dropped from a great height into a completely empty field.
There’s no way that I’m going out in this kind of wind if I can help it; and riding is a complete non-starter. Horses, though, need to be turned out and brought in. Which, on a day like today, when it’s blowing an absolute hooligan, is quite a challenge. Hal and I take the horses to and from the field in tandem. Hal goes first with Mags, and I bring up the rear with Sapphire. This is because I can’t walk quickly enough for Mags, and Sapph is surprisingly tolerant of me carrying a stick to help me find my way around. However, everyone knows that even the most docile of horses can be as unhinged by the wind as I am. Also, horses pick up on the mood and tension of their handlers. So I’m daily amazed, impressed, and greatful, that Magnum, and especially, Sapphire, don’t appear to be overly bothered by the current windy conditions, or my badly hidden terror. Neither of them seem in the slightest bit concerned by the potentially horse eating tarpaulin that is flapping savagely in nextdoors back garden, and, although they did look at the tarp that’s flapping on the car across the road this morning, it was more out of curiosity than fear. They really are amazing creatures the pair of them! I did manage to get lost on the lawn this morning though! So perhaps Sapph’s career as a guide pony isn’t quite in the bag yet.
I would really like it to stop being windy now though, please.