Looking back on my journals I realize I have sounded a bit depressed of late – talking about responsibilities I have and my worries about my father and my uncle. There is always upheaval when a new Dragonhorse rises to power, and this particular Dragonhorse has a best friend and kinsman in my sire. I need to take a deep breath and trust that they are well and doing what needs to be done.
That having been said, today I’m going to write a bit about what we Equi do for fun and relaxation. Nearly every Equi, city or country dweller, has a pastime or two, or three. Every city has huge parks and green spaces, and stables of horses for riding on the bridal paths, and nearly every Equi from babes to elders, rides horseback. Along with that goes the pleasure of the company of horses and activities like grooming and feeding and keeping the stalls clean. There may be a scant half dozen people on the planet who do not like or keep company with horses, and I actually know one of them. My cousin Kehailan is not a horse lover, to say the least.
Along with a love of horses comes a love of polo, or pulu, which is an ancient game played by two teams of four players in time periods called chukkas. In warm seasons we play it outside on the grass, and in cold seasons when there is snow or excessive mud, we play indoors in the Great Stables, by putting the parade grounds together with a couple of the practice rings. It’s a smaller field and a tighter, dustier game, but it’s polo, and big crowds turn out even for practice chukkas. Both my sire and my uncle play on the black team, along with Master Farrier Landais and Saddle Master Maremmano, and I play in the junior leagues with my friends from school. We not only play polo, but many other games on horseback that involve speed and skill, including racing around an obstacle course, and going cross-country over jumps. It is equally acceptable to go for an easy jog through the countryside, and many people enjoy driving horses, as well as riding them.
Nearly everyone gardens, and the cities and towns are full of flowers and vegetables. Like with polo, gardening moves indoors in the cold seasons, and the huge glass conservatories become everybody’s project. We’re a communal lot, and enjoy one another’s company, and we have contests for the best flowers and vegetables, the best cooks, weavers, polo players and just about everything else. It’s all good natured, and there are no actual rewards, but the bragging rights are much anticipated.
We swim, and sail, go hiking and exploring, and play team games like Volleys Over. We play Field Sticks in the warm seasons, and Ice Sticks when it’s cold, and ball games of all kinds all year around. Most people start their morning with a walk or a run, and many folk take an evening ramble after dinner. Often in the evening we sit and play board games like Vincere, Tally Pegs or Chinks in the Wall. Our other great pastime is our traditional evening soak. Because we are a planet blessed with thermal activity we have lots of hot water, and everyone has access to a soaking pool, which we use as families or whole communities. We relax, bathe one another and discuss the events of the day before heading off to evening prayers and bed.