Walk a Mile in my (Horse) Shoes
Costa: The woman has undertaken a crazed new training regime where she appears, frothing at the mouth, four days a week to subject me to a rigorous workout before disappearing. Due to the frenzied speed in which she embarks on these endeavours, I haven’t really been able to process the activities, so quickly do I find myself back in my stable, rugged, skipped out and with half a packet of polos sticking out of my mouth.
I have decided to graciously share the limelight with some of my equine peers, to shed light on the trials and tribulations we must suffer through as a species. Please enjoy below the first exposé from one of my mane gals.
A day in the life of a Lady
Name: Lady (Lady Jane to peasants)
Age: A lady never says, a gentleman never asks
Height: Approximately the same as my width after the summer grass
I am gently woken from the left wing of my gargantuan stable by the man on the tiny orange tractor delivering the hay. It’s usually of acceptable quality. Any sub-par pieces will be mangled into the shavings as punishment while I wait for my low-carb, high-protein morning feed (specially formulated for my active lifestyle of pony-bullying and gelding worship).
9am: Daily Spa
A small minion arrives, holding my bespoke headcollar – “Lady-Jane” engraved, by hand, on a gold plate. (Some less refined individuals might claim that the plate is actually brass and was printed in a key-cutting shop but I prefer tune out such crass, envious chatter).
From here I am personally escorted to the field, where I luxuriate in the organic mud spa in the far, far, far, far, far corner of the field, well out of earshot of any misguided voices calling me from the gate. Only when I am suitably encrusted (usually around dinner time, actually) will I deign to allow yet another interchangeable child minion to huff and puff down to my personal equi-spa and chaperone me back to my stable.
Should I encounter an attractive gelding (I have a penchant for older, smaller, and bay) en route however, proceedings must halt IMMEDIATELY for neck-arching, whickering, and front leg pawing.
As my mudcake brings all the boys to the yard, this is a common occurrence and most minions have learned to wait patiently at the end of my (personalised) lead-rope.
7.30pm: Massage therapy
At this point, having digested dinner and bullied my taller next door neighbour over the stable wall intermittently, the chief cash/feed/clothing/treat dispenser turn usually turns up. She’ll begin by tutting over the amounts of caked earth on my coat but then attacks it with such gusto that I can only assume she enjoys it. Certainly the way she transfers the dust and dirt from my coat to her own would suggest so.
8.15pm: Gentle Exercise
In return for massage, attire, and dinner, I am (very generously) teaching the woman the correct manner in which to allow oneself to be purported by a horse of my stature. Unfortunately, if you don’t get them young, a common issue many equines encounter is a badly broken human. It can take years to get them out of bad habits like jumping, dressage and competing. Fortunately, I have had my bucket banger for a number of years now and she is largely well-schooled in the correct approach, i.e. leisurely walking, gentle trotting, intermittent canter at great speed followed by long-rein walk once again – an appropriate exercise schedule for a horse of high calibre.
Yesterday the bad habits reared their heads again. I blame the weather, personally; that nip in the air just gives them a burst of energy they can’t help but use, flinging poles into evenly spaced lines with wild abandon around the arena. It’s important to call a halt to these sort of habits lest they develop into more severe vices, like grids and dressage tests. Therefore I hastily curbed her enthusiasm with a rapid escalation into fifth gear on approach followed by a three-lap brakes failure.
9.30pm: Supper, Pyjamas, Bed
I will cue the end of the exercise session by either adopting a sluggish trot or a controlled gallop around the arena, so as to really get that last final burn on the student’s legs/arms.
Supper is then hand-mixed in my personal supper sized red bucket. This specific menu incorporates the necessary conditioning mixes, oils and potions that keep me in my Pegasus-state of beauty, along with some sort of calmer the human has procured to stop me from freaking out when she’s really useless.
Once snuggled into my night-time rugs I allow brief cuddling and moo-mooing before abruptly turning my hind end towards her to indicate that she may leave. Once she exits and the lights are off, I give the wall two swift kicks to assert my dominance and head to sleep, counting chewed-up trotting poles in my head until I nod off, laughing gently.