Summer in the West of Ireland is at best tenuous. If it is dry you have to seize the moment, waiting until later in the day is generally not a good idea. The glaciers of Greenland are melting and it seems that the Atlantic is determined to bring it all to Ireland in the form of rain. The water tank in my yard collects the rainwater off the roof of the hayshed and the steady downpour over the past two days put almost 800 liters of water in the tank.
I slosh through the soggy fields to feed the chickens and bring the horses their breakfast. I can feel my socks getting wet, which means that my supposedly water-tight riding boots are useless. The horses are sheltering under the trees, but when they spot me with the buckets they come galloping, mud flying everywhere. Cassie slides to a halt in front of me, spraying me with a generous layer of muck.
The rain is persistent, the sky is a dirty grey and the distant hills are invisible. Riding or any kind of outdoor work is out of the question. I decide to bring Minnie and Cassie in and let them dry in their stables, so I can at least groom them and do some stretching exercises. They are grazing when I go to them, in a corner where they are sheltered from the wind and the rain doesn’t bother them. The patterns of their hair drain the water away from vulnerable areas. Although their mane, tails and backs are thoroughly soaked, they are dry underneath and around their eyes and nostrils. In contrast, the water dripping from my hair goes straight into my eyes and runs into my collar and my second pair of socks is getting saturated. Summer in Ireland!