Whether you transport horses for a living or just do a lot of travelling, chances are that some of these equine characters will sound familiar explains Sara Walker…
1. The tap dancer
In a perfectly-choreographed routine, the tap dancer puts one foot on the ramp while moving another foot off. Their very own version of the hokey cokey (‘you put your near hind on, you take your right fore off, on, off, on, off, shake it all about’) has you spitting in frustration.
2. Mr. Tease
Will he, won’t he? Sometimes he walks in like a pro, other times the wind is in the wrong direction, you’ve put the wrong kind of hay in his net or he’s spotted a beetle at 250 yards. You either arrive at events four hours early or two hours late. Each time you plan an event, the first question you have to ask is, are you feeling lucky?
3. The party animal
This little horse loves travelling. He loves the haynet, he loves the events when he gets there, he loves the atmosphere. He’s been known to bounce up the ramp so enthusiastically he almost pushes you against the breast bar, forcing you to pull a limbo move worthy of a young Len Goodman. You’ve also seen him load himself into an empty trailer in the field.
4. The kick boxer
The kick boxer isn’t normally your own horse, but belongs to a friend you’ve reluctantly agreed to give a lift to. Throughout the whole journey, there’s a disco-like pounding beat coming from the back as the boxer really puts that rubber matting through its paces. Your friend says blithely: “He generally stops quite quickly,” and turns the radio up. He doesn’t.
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5. Mr. Perfect
You used to have a Mr. Tease or a Tap Dancer. After many, many weeks of patient work, you now have a horse who walks in calmly, stands quietly and travels like a pro. Now, you box out to events every weekend, safe in the knowledge that you’ll definitely be back home before midnight feeling totally serene.
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