We lavish care on our equine charges, making sure they want for nothing. When it comes to ourselves, though, we may be prepared to cut the odd corner, explains Sara Walker…
1. Your horse: has new shoes every eight weeks (at most) to the day. You: spend the weeks in between examining clenches and checking for worn edges. Personally, though, you’ve spent the past two years in the same pair of wellies (and you really must do something about the hole).
2. Your horse: has a full wardrobe of waterproof rugs, fleeces, stable rugs and boots. You: have your dad’s old Barbour jacket and one pair of ‘good’ jeans that you try and keep the hay off.
3. Your horse sneezed? AND rolled, on the same day? You call the vet immediately. And the chiropractor, just to be on the safe side. And yes, you’re pretty sure you did fracture your finger last week when the gate swung shut on it, and it might be looking a bit black, but you’ve wrapped a bit of vetwrap round it and you really don’t have time to go to A&E. It’ll be fine, and you can still get your riding glove on.
4. Your horse: carefully calibrated, weighed, nutritionist-recommended quantities of food designed to meet his specific requirements. You: beans on toast, eaten standing up at the kitchen sink. And you didn’t have time to heat the beans up.
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5. You’d never dream of riding your horse in a saddlecloth that didn’t match his bandages. When your husband gently suggests you might change out of your joddies-and-fleece combo for a trip to the pub, though, you’re genuinely perplexed.
6. Your horse: groomed, shined and buffed to within an inch of his life. His feet are oiled, his chin, fetlocks and tail are trimmed and his quarters are gleaming. You: too tired to have a shower when you get home or even dig the poo out from under your nails.
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