We were riding the two cobs down the lane when I heard the car roaring its engine behind us.
I had seen it pull out of a long, winding driveway coming from a house perched on top of the highest point of the hillside, a few hundred yards along from our place.
It went the other way for a few seconds, then I could hear it screech, turn and start to hurtle back towards us along the long straight stretch of lane it was evidently using to get up speed.
We only had a few yards until we reached the back gates of our house. I looked behind and waved at the white car, expecting the driver to slow because, after all, he was our neighbour.
The car revved its engines and kept coming. I shouted ‘Slow down please!’ because Duey was starting to jump about, and he’s fairly bomb-proof.
Our poor horses are used to idiots after living in Surrey for so many years. We abandoned hacking out eventually, because of the cyclists, mainly, but the four of them have seen pretty much everything the world can throw at them.
So we held the line on this old Irish lane, or boreen, as what looked like a boy racer roared towards us. And we soon realised this was no ordinary game of who blinks, because he was coming at the horses’ back ends so fast we could only conclude that he was willing to crash into them, write off his car, kill them, us, himself and, we realised as he bore down on us, the three small children inside the car with him.
‘He’s not stopping!’ I shouted at the builder boyfriend, who had his arm outstretched while yelling: ‘Slow down mate!’
With what felt like an inch between the low bumper of a growling Honda and the back legs of the smaller cob, Duey, who had fallen behind as he jumped around, the car stopped and the driver slammed it into a manoeuvre that let out a deafening bang.