If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


12 NOV 2017

DELFT - Our weather has been seasonal. You will need a jacket and should carry along a paraplu, an umbrella, in case you are caught in harder rain. But, the sun broke out of the low clouds often enough to make the day bright, in places, sometimes. Dutch folk are not bothered by drizzle when there is a parade to be put on.

The new riding stable was ready to open, to show itself. It was clear that a lot of work went into this day. My partner rides at a stable nearer Delft, but we were went to this one's event because of family. Both children rode at the old site and will have their first lesson on Monday at the shiny new one. I was introduced to a pony named Goofy, among others, and could plainly see what a fine horse he is. There was justifiable pride on faces of riders wearing matched crisp, formal uniforms.

New Under the Sun


Just north of Leiden, the town of Hillegom has a new manege, a horse riding stable. This last week, they opened up their facility for all to see. Such things require a parade which ponies lead. The sun came out and glistened on them as they stepped proudly past us. You know it is local from the number of bikes ridden to it.

There was a glass panel on the side facing inwards from which people could see the performance arenas. the single horse stalls were attached to the larger building beyond a wall. Clean. Not a speck of dust or rust. We walked through the horse hall and admired the nervous occupants. I do not think they were used to so many people and had that big, nervous-eye look when we passed by, chatty and noisy.

Not the ponies; they are calm. Small children ride these animals so they are quite familiar with noise, loud voices and eager youth. Those I saw were ponies well cared for and of a temperament suited to introducing a child to riding. He or she will outgrow a pony and perhaps move on to the horses. It can be relaxing for adults to care for and ride a big animal.

I was along, more for the visit with family than for an interest in horses. The day planned to go to Hillegom's grand opening came, and I was ready: warm jacket, walking shoes and curiosity. It was an outing.

To my way of thinking, an outing is when one does something out of the ordinary, somewhere not walking distance from the house. A Group Outing is coordinated and includes lunch. We had apple pie with whipped cream.

Once it was settled who was going with whom, we set off to be amazed. Land use in Holland is detailed; there is not so much of it as to be careless about what is done with any specific spot or open space.

The setting for the stables was facing a spacious running field and held two side-by-side exercise halls. Across one end of both, a canteen was set up. It featured a porch to look out from at riders using the field.

A friend works with folks who are not feeling successful about Life. Some are set up with a horse, one-to-one. Like a good dog, they listen to what you have today, say nothing and get you out of the house.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen