It’s a windy, grey and drizzly Sunday in the UK, but in eight short weeks I’ll be back in the US and working my way through a new summer of challenges. It’s hard to believe that it’ll be 20 degrees and sunny during the day (and a lot less at night initially!), and that I’ll be working with a herd of horses, part of a team of mostly-new staff and teaching a huge variety of children to ride. The big thing that my boss and I are hoping to address this year is to have the horses be more content and easier to manage. We’re going to do a lot more in-hand and ground work this year to try and improve our behaviour and theirs in order to make for a more harmonious environment (basically: we want fewer human toes to be stepped on). I’ve had a small victory already: those who follow me on twitter or know me personally may be aware that I had a disagreement via twitter with a certain airline who have some debatable regulations regarding what type of sports equipment is suitable to travel with for free. It’s great that the airline has a list of equipment passengers are allowed to travel with outside of their standard baggage allowance without incurring any additional charges – most airlines don’t do this, or at least, they aren’t open about it – but what’s on the list (ski and snowboard gear – including helmets – is understandable, whereas bowling balls, bow and arrows, canoes and paddles? Not so much) is a little frustrating. Equestrian equipment isn’t on the list. So I wrote and complained and this week received a reply saying that I could have an additional allowance. Great news! Time to think about what horsey goodness I want to take as teaching resources. And to keep me going through the next few weeks, as well as being busy making preparations for my trip, I have this video which I’d forgotten about. I went to YouTube today to look up something else for a blog post I’m planning, and found this, which I uploaded a little while ago: it’s a video I took during one of my last trails of the summer – incidentally, the same trail during which I took the picture which appeared in Horse and Hound. As it’s a phone one, it’s a bit like viewing it through a vertical letterbox, but the hints of blue sky, stretch of green field and Dude’s head bobbing as he canters beneath me reminded me what I have to look forward to. Happy Sunday, everyone! Here’s to summer 2014.