Horses Rule Okay?
In fact they have me pegged as their domestic servant, and I think they’ve nailed it.
They have a regular pedicure, performed by a professional. The closest I get to beauty treatment is discussing the possibility with the farrier.
“How much does it cost for women to get a pedicure these days?” he asked while rasping at Charlie’s toes.
"No idea, the horses have one, I don't."
"Well I'll do one for you," he offers.
"I don't think your tools are up to the job!"
Years ago I painted one of my horses feet with Stokholm Tar. He was bare-foot (like ours are now), as he was terrified of being shod. Horses have nail varnish after pedicure. I’m lucky if my nails see a nailbrush once a week.
The horses have all the food they need roaming 70 acres. Their menu consists of many different types of grass to fulfil all their dietary needs. They drink spring water from the creek.
We drink plastic tasting rain water from the new tank, which is sometimes smokey-flavoured when we've had the fire on and the smoke has 'flavoured' the roof (we catch all our own water).
As far as food is concerned, sometimes we find time to stuff two-minute noodles down our throats.
The horses are groomed, mane and tails are combed, we scratch their itchy spots and they’ve even received a soft massage from Noel (he’s a trained masseur).
It’s pretty rare for me to brush my hair more than once a week. That’s all I’ll say on that topic!
Carrots are a big favourite here. They are regulated and only given after schooling as a reward. Our treat is a big Saturday where we may just manage to stay up to 8:30pm
The horses receive pats, rub downs, plenty of praise and a lot of love. They are told they are good – (particularly hard to do when Charlie takes twenty minutes to catch sometimes). Noel’s endearments to me are in the form of “pesky” or “nutcase”. And occasionally we’ll get to have a cuddle.
I check their teeth and they are rasped when necessary.
There is no dentist for us unless we are in screaming agony and about to die of pain.
The boys receive appropriate jabs to maintain their health and well-being. The closest we’ve come to this is injecting coffee.
At the moment the horses are living a life of riley. Fortunately, our land is hilly and they enjoy a few good gallops each day. They walk many kilometres, up and down, selecting the best grazing each day.
When Noel is chopping wood for the fire, they stand in the sun and watch. When I’m using the Trimmer-on-Steroids (the Trimmer, not me!) to kill the bracken, they wander off to another part of grazing, quite put out that I am working where they want to eat.
Endearments and Encouragement
The boys are encouraged to try something new (I’ve just started in-hand schooling) – with lots of ‘good-boys’ and pats and 'you're so handsome!'
I can’t remember when I’ve said to Noel he looks nice, although I did tell him his hair needed a cut the other day.
But their hoof-beats are my heart-beats, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(Available in paperback, audio and kindle. If you'd like a paperback an live in Australia, let me know it's easier to purchase directly from me).