There are many ways that owning a horse stands you in good stead for motherhood
1. You’re no doubt familiar with hospitals — you may even be on first name terms with some of the medical staff at your local A&E. Admittedly you’ll be meeting new faces on the maternity ward, but you’ve probably clocked signs for that on your way through the building that time you broke your thumb lungeing/got bucked off one fresh spring morning/took a hoof to the nose while hand walking your horse when he was on box rest. So when those contractions are three in 10, at least you’ll know where you’re going and how much car parking costs.
2. In a similar vein, you’re quite likely to be fairly familiar with discomfort. If you can handle breaking your leg out hacking and walking back to the yard on it (the blessed horse having legged it), or dislocating your shoulder but getting back on to finish the course, then labour will be a breeze.
3. Having been trusted by the vet to inject your horse with antibiotics in the past, you’ll not bat an eyelid when the midwife sends you home with a set of needles to stick in your belly each morning to stave off deep vein thrombosis should you be less than mobile post c-section.
4. You’re au fait with how a nappy is fitted — even if up until now you’ve only used them over poultices when your horse has had pus in the foot. (Similarly, stocks of baby oil are good.)
5. Which brings us neatly on to poo. If you can walk over a steaming muck heap daily with a barrow load of horse manure, then a whiffy little yellow parcel isn’t going to bother you now is it?
6. You’re perfectly used to getting up at 5am to go and feed.
7. You’re pretty used to getting up at 3am, too, particularly if you event, or are chasing a qualification on the other side of the country, or have a grey.
8. Generally, if your horse is accident prone (I say “if”, but he’s a horse right?) sleepless nights are standard anyway.
9. You already have serious biceps from shifting haybales/poo picking/riding an ox, therefore carrying a two-month-old (even a 15lb one) in one arm while you dismantle and pop the buggy in the car with the other is a piece of cake.
10. If you can load up the lorry for a one-day event and not forget a single piece of equipment required for any phase – not even your over-girth – then you are qualified to pack a nappy bag (hint: it doesn’t just need nappies in it, oh no..).
11. And speaking of all the gear. Remember when you got your first horse and acquired everything in the Robinsons catalogue? It’s just like that, only now it’s Mamas and Papas. And whereas you used to spend your Sunday morning/hard earned cash in Countrywide, now it’s John Lewis (because they have comfy feeding sofas, more changing tables than you can shake a stick at and toilet cubicles that you can take a buggy in. Priorities…).