We all know how rewarding horses are. Don’t we? But let’s address those tiny irritations that these beasties can also bring and ask ourselves why they always have to perversely do the very thing you’re hoping they won’t at the very moment they shouldn’t do it? And how can it be that when you’re in a hurry they — and the kit you’re dealing with — just won’t cooperate?
These are a handful of the most niggly everyday irritations that seem to crop up all too often.
1. Why is it that when you’re picking out his feet, the clod refuses to come out in one? It looks like it will. You jam the hoof pick right in there. But no, it comes out in tiny pieces and you’re scraping away for about 47 seconds – on each damn foot.
2. How is it that even when you don’t touch anything at the yard, you get home to find you’ve broken a nail and have grime so deeply embedded you need surgical tools to remove it?
3. Your friend’s horse has no manners. No, it’s not OK for her horse to rub its sweaty head up and down your clean clothes! And no, it’s not OK for it to go rifling through your pockets with its nose. And certainly not with its teeth. But she thinks its “cute”.
4. You’re in a hurry to load and need to put on a tail bandage. Why must it always become your horse’s life’s work to clamp his tail down as hard as is humanly (equinely?) possible? What’s with that?
5. When you forget to take your rings off to ride and your gloves end up with this ugly bulge that never wants to go away ever again. Smart gloves: ruined.
6. Why do so many show secretaries insist on receiving entries by post with the associated hassle of cheques and stamps? I want to be able to enter quick and easily on my phone like you can with shows on equo.
7. Horses can’t understand humans. So how is it that they always manage to pull of their shoes on that crucial day and never when you were planning to give him a week off anyway?
8. You leave the rug on his door for a second. Literally a second. You come back and it looks as if someone has attacked the rug and the bed with a magimix. Oh and he’s standing on it too.
9. Whenever you ask him to pick up one of his hind feet he always picks up the other one first. Why oh why?
10. The second you load them on the lorry, they poo. And not just any normal size poo: elephant droppings. Do they plan it just to annoy you?
11. And, on the subject of droppings, why is it that they always manage to poo on the track, at the beginning of a schooling session when there’s nobody around to pick it up for you? I guess we’ll work on shallow loops today then. Again.