Celtic Sun

Dec 2020. Riding has certainly been my mainstay since March, and there’s no denying that there’s a unique sense of freedom found on the back of a horse in open countryside. We see out the tail-end of this strange year by cantering into a low, winter sun on a seriously cold December afternoon. I’m riding Lady and we’re heading over Cefn Llechen, or the track we call the roller-coaster. As is usual in this area, a herd of Carneddau mares are spaced across the undulating ground, the heather and gorse either side ravaged by previous fires and adding to the sense of wild isolation. The resident stallion stands watchful of our progress, his long pale mane backlit by the sinking sun as it flares behind Tal Y Fan. Lady is hesitant to canter between the stallion and his mares, but Storm moves upfront and soon, my eyes are watering from the wind-chill as we pick up the pace. But the desolate beauty of this place overrides everything. Even when the colours are reduced to browns and greys and the sky is split by such cold light, there’s a spiritual energy on the wind. Maybe it’s something to do with all those Stone Circles and ancient settlements, and any historical Pagan activity is stirred once again by our pounding hooves…

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