Some parents can’t wait for a few days holiday from the children (or their partner...) or a well-earned rest from the office politics, however leaving our horses can bring on countless worries and the not-so-impossible what-ifs. Military operations have been easier to organise…
1. Who is going to look after your four-legged child?
If you are at a livery yard then hopefully your horse won’t be thrown too out of their routine with your absence. You leave a big bag of carrots and hope your friend will send you regular photograph updates of your horse’s goings on while you’re gone (you can never have enough photos of your horse eating…)
2. But if you keep your horses at home this may take a little more organising
Your adoring non-horsey partner claims they are up to the job. How hard can it be they ask? You leave step-by-step instructions on how your mare likes her feed and plead with her not to put your partner through the mill too much when you’re gone. You also advise how many times she goes to the loo through the night and what to expect in her stable in the morning. And to phone if something isn’t normal. You advise she likes to be out by 7am and in by 6pm, putting her out of her routine makes her grumpy.
3. Relaxing breaks can be instantly ruined by a text message
“Has that mark on their leg always been there?” can render instant raised blood pressure and nausea.
4. But missed calls are even worse
Why have they phoned twice? You demand an immediate photograph with your horse holding today’s newspaper — only hard evidence will put your mind at rest.
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5. ‘Normal’ folk find packing for a holiday the most stressful part of going away, but for us horsey folk that’s the easy part
The trouble is your horse’s wardrobe while you’re gone. You leave a rain sheet; you leave the middle-weight as the weather is still unpredictable at this time of year you know… and of course you leave a spare.
6. Finding the horsey ‘off’ switch is easier said than done
You’re away on business and find yourself showing colleagues photographs of your horse… Or worse, you’re lying on the beach with your partner trying to enjoy your first holiday in three years and all you can ask is, “Do you think they’re OK? Maybe I should ring and check in? I wonder what they are up to?” Your partner makes a mental note to make the next holiday a UK trip — where you can bring your horse along.