Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A purpose in life

We all have a purpose in life, and three years shy of my two score, I have realised mine: it is to serve the grey mare.

Owning a horse is not for the fainthearted or irresponsible, it requires full-on commitment. Feeding, grooming, riding, problem solving and heartache are all part of the package, in fair weather and foul. People say to me when horizontal rain is being chucked down by an angry weather god: “Do you have to go and feed your horse when it’s like this?” I usually think: “Do you have to cook dinner for your children? You could always let them starve for the night.” But I say nothing and smile beatifically.

I once saw a T-shirt that said: “Poverty is owning a horse”. It’s true – the little superfluous cash I have is usually spent on things she needs. She currently has six rugs – she had more, but I forced myself to sell the ones we didn’t use. However, I am eyeing up another two. She has two bridles – one with day-to-day brakes and one with the ABS version for hunting, jumping and other exciting things. Her saddle cost more than one of my sister’s horses did. She has an array of shampoos and conditioners; she has baby wipes to clean her nose; she has two different supplements in her dinner. I could go on …

It isn’t just money and time she wants either. She has me utterly attuned to her every whim. If she has an itchy bit, she points at it with her nose and expects me to scratch it. Often, she will position herself in front of me and refuse to let me leave until I have scratched her belly. It’s a two-way street though – she does return the favour by mutually grooming me back.

Tonight, I was going riding with a friend who had offered to bring the mare in for me while I was at work. But the grey girl refused to be caught. “She trotted off wiggling her bum,” said my friend. When I went to the field and called, she came cantering over and nuzzled me for carrots. I know I’m her meal ticket, but I reckon she does love me…

15 comments:

Pig in the Kitchen said...

you see, why would you need children? Your horse costs as much, is as demanding and has you wrapped around her little hock...

Anonymous said...

Oh, eminem, what a bloody fantastic post ! I would offer to marry you here and now, but I just couldn't love you as much as that horse !

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you're doing better than I am - I have crossed the two score barrier and still have no clue of my mission.

Perhaps I will discover one of those self-destructing tape cassettes...
"Your mission, should you wish to accept it..."

Or I could become a grumpy old git in a Jag, like Edward Woodward in 'The Equalizer' [complete with funky drum track by Stewart Copeland], righting wrongs and rescuing damsels in distress.

Or who was that detective on a horse in New York ? My ever so slight problem is that I don't have a horse, I don't live in NY and I have never been a detective, but apart from that it would work fine.

Or maybe I could just go and live on a boat. Lots of crime-fighters do - Jim Rockford / Sonny Crockett.

I never, ever saw any programmes in the series 'Boon', but have an idea that this was about a maverick detective type character, only with a motor-bike rather than a horse.?

mutterings and meanderings said...

Pig, you're right...

Anon, do you have a fancy for being an investigator? I don't think you need any qualifications, apart from, as you say, a quirky mode of transport. I always liked Lovejoy and his convertible Morris Minor ...

Anonymous said...

Hmm..Not sure if I'm nosey enough to be an investigator, but us chaps tend to think that righting wrongs is one of the things we should be doing.

More prosaically, one of life's disappointments if one is a bloke is realising that most damsels can look after themselves very well, thank you very much, and the opportunities for rescuing them are strictly limited.

"Poverty is owning a horse" - well I guess you will never be rich if you own a flash car either, and I suspect one gets a lot more out of having a horse. They do take a lot of looking after, but as with so much in life, you only get out what you put in.

I am always surprised that there is an image of the 'horsey' set. Over in Ireland clearly there are a lot of horses, ranging from Connemara ponies to horses being kept in the back garden of houses in Dublin. I won't mention too much about that as consideration of their welfare may disturb you somewhat. But they do generally have a high opinion of the horse over there. I enjoyed being around horses as a child, but having an urban existence don't get an opportunity to ride them now.

I am interested that your horse 'nose' how to ask you for little favours and can reciprocate. And she sounds like a high-maintenance babe !! I can see you putting the money you'd spend on moisturiser and make-up for yourself on treats for the gee-gee..but at least she seems to really appreciate it.

It is fantastic that you have found your purpose in life - so many of the things people chase after, like the flash car, and the holidays are nice enough, but are like a mirage - you always want something else when you get there, and they don't really make you happy.

That said I'd still like to buy you a little farm if that big lottery win [or my ship] comes in, because I think you deserve to have a few more horses to keep yours company!

Nighty - night.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Anon, my girl is a Connemara cross from Galway...

There are another eight in her field (including her two boyfriends), so she isn't lonely.

However, I wouldn't turn down a farm as I have always wanted to open a horse sanctury a la Follyfoot, and perhaps train some point to pointers on the side. If wishes were horses ...

Anonymous said...

Yikes ! I remember Follyfoot. Can't really recall who was in it. Not sure I watched all the episodes as my memory of it being a sanctuary was v. hazy - I was probably watching Black Beauty. But you do have the skills for a 'post-oil' world. All those cars won't be much good when there is no petrol to put in them.

Brom said...

Can horizontal rain be chucked down I ask myself. I'll think about that one.

As for the question "Do you have to go and feed your horse when it's like this" the answer is yes! I have the T-shirt.

ziggi said...

ah so that's where I'm going wrong being both fainthearted and mostly irresponsible :) ! (and now extremely poor, I'm going to make one of my children be a vet)

hey! a use for a child - see there is a potential up side!

rilly super said...

anonymous dear, I fear a mere chap is no competition in a gal's heart for her horse, but if M&M should ever want a stallion to complement her mare she could do no worse than give you a call darling...

Arthur Clewley said...

I was lucky enough to whirl though Northumberland on the big blue train recently M&M, one of my favourite journeys, and wondered if I would see you galloping along the beach through the swash. She sounds like a very lucky lady, your mare, to live where she does and have you to look after her and she is absolutely lovely too. I might even trot down to Middleham open day this weekend inspired by your blog - I think they are having some kind of 'own a racehorse for a day' scheme, not quite sure how that works but I don't spend enough time in the company of nature's creations considering where I live. Have a good weekend M&M.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Brom, you may have a point; pedantic, yes, but I am a bit of a pedant myself... do you have 'osses then?

Ziggi - someone who calls in a Monty Roberts-esque 'oss whisperer can't be irresponsible ...

Thanks you Arthur, kind as ever. I would recommend you get yourself a racehorse - my sister has three that raced in a former career ...

mutterings and meanderings said...

Rilly darling, I couldn't possibly take anonymous away from you - he made you the offer first...

Brom said...

It is very difficult to convey a tounge in cheek over the net. I'm a joker by birth and only an occasional pedant!

Orses? hmmmm, lets just say that the pic on my blog was terribly easy to get!

horse rugs said...

I reckon she does love you, at least that's what I think about my horse. We have pretty much the exact relationship and although it is a lot of hard work and money, I couldn't imagine living any other way. It can be testing and a pain at times but the benefits and satisfaction I get overweighs all of the negative stuff.

Jane