Roland’s nags and nails: a world of pain and guilt-free bingeing

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I’m feeling like an old man, everything seems to hurt! My legs feel weary, my back feels tight and bits of me seem to niggle. I’m sure it’s adjustment pains as I get used to the new level of work I’m doing.

It wasn’t that long ago I only spent a small amount of time working under a horse. I’m now under a horse for much longer. Invariably I have to shed a few layers after working on the first foot, whilst I try not to think about the next three feet ahead of me. Usually when I’m half way through I can start to relax knowing the end is in sight.

By the last foot, my legs are feeling weak, my arms are knackered and I’m out of breath. Kris, my training farrier, reckons he can hear me grunting and groaning from 2 stables away. I’m completely oblivious to my noises though, perhaps because I’m panicking about the next horse waiting in line.

Someone said it takes 18 months to get shoeing fit. Well I haven’t started shoeing yet, so perhaps they mean that once I can do the whole job, it will take 18 months from then. That means I probably only have two more years of painful adjustment before my body is fit for purpose. Oh great!

On the plus side, even though everything hurts and will continue to hurt for the long term, it’s a great fitness program. Forget “Wi Fit” or spinning classes, take up farriery. It’s a full body workout, with a particular focus on maintaining unnatural positions for long periods while holding up a heavy horse!

Kris has a number of these heavy horses on his books and, even though they may not weigh as heavy as some, they lean and lean and lean on you. There’s no shame in making grunting noises then!

So, while I resign myself to a long road of pain, I am comforted by the fact that I can eat what I want and in vast quantities. One day I will write down what I consume in a day and I’m sure it will be some list but, as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than guilt-free bingeing.

Until next week

Roland

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