Monday, May 21, 2007

Responsibilities


My sister has gone gallivanting and has left me holding the baby, figuratively speaking. In addition to the grey mare, I am responsible for her four: three ex-racehorses – the cheeky orange one, who has the tenacity of The Terminator when there are sweeties around; the dark prince, black, beautiful, bright as a button, but oh-so-sensitive; the leggy, loving bay one who follows you around like a giant Great Dane; and the speckled, semi-retired Clydesdale-cross who is happy just to be. They must be checked, patted and Polo’d. She has given me £3 for the Polos.

The responsibility hangs heavy upon me. Some years ago, my sister went to the Badminton Horse Trials for the weekend and left me in charge of her previous black Thoroughbred. He had white socks on his forelegs and face like Black Beauty. I adored him.

On the second night of my patting and Polos stint, I found him looking very sorry for himself. Suddenly, I realised that I couldn’t see his white socks. They were dark with blood. He had caught and ripped both front legs on wire. It was a Bank Holiday and the vet on call was novice and nervous. It was a good job it was a woman; he wasn’t very fond of people he didn’t know at the best of times - but he simply loathed men. It didn’t help matters when an onlooker kindly informed her: “I’d watch him, he got hold of a jockey by the neck once.”

The horse sedated and stitched, I considered what to tell my sister. “Don’t say anything to her,” was the consensus, “she’ll only worry.” I sidestepped her text messages with questions about the weather. Of course, she went crazy when she came home.

I just hope she’s told this lot to be on their best behaviour while she’s away.

27 comments:

Andres Carl Sena said...

i fear horses and from what i've read and heard, horses should fear themselves a bit more. they really have a trndency to do themselves damage.

The Secretary said...

Oh my goodness, you must have felt terrible. I know what it's like looking after my nephew (who isn't a horse by the way) - who I'd be quite happy to garrot with a piece of wire, but of course would never dream of doing so - no really, honest!

mountainear said...

I have my fingers crossed for you.

Why do horses like Polos?

Anonymous said...

I think it a little unfair of your sister to go wild - you had done her a favour by looking after her horse.

Or maybe she was expecting you to have told her and given news of all the developments ??

By the way, aren't Polos seriously bad for the horses' teeth ? They are the sweets with the highest sugar content - which possibly answer the question mountainear posed. Then again, knowing you, maybe you brush their teeth followed by judicious use of those 'highlighter pen' things you were going on about in an earlier post.

All the best - perhaps you should install a 'webcam' at the stables?

mutterings and meanderings said...

ACS, horses are, on the whole, babes...

Secretary, responsibility that weighs heavy...

Mountainear, I have no idea why they like Polos but I only know one horse that doesn't.

Anon, she went wild because I hadn't told her, not because he had injured himself on my watch.

I look after her hosses so often she once bought me a baseball cap that says 'unpaid groom' ...

Horses just love mints! The grey mare favourites are extra strongs but she loves Polos too.

The Grocer said...

You need Sugar Frees, available at a Grocer's near you.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well let's hope your sister doesn't get a bloody surprise this time round. Were you getting your own back for the time she pulled your pigtails - or that late night when she beat you in the pillow fight? Anyway, if anything goes wrong you can always do what the pigs did to Boxer in "Animal Farm"!

ziggi said...

eeek! Good Luck - last time we were away I had a text message from the girl looking after mine it said "Freddies escaped" - that was it.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Yup, Grocer, they like those ones too...

YP, that is not nice. Planet M&M is not a pseudo Communist state.

Ziggi, I think I'd prefer to be responsible for the 3 TB and the Clydie than Freddie!! ;)

rilly super said...

why does your sister have four horses M&M darling? does she get four riders all in black to ride around northumberland on stormy nights scaring the living daylights out of people or is she like that french chap who rides standing on the back of two horse, one foot on each, or is it just that after leaving them with her sister for a weekend three of them will be in the care of the vet by the time she comes back?

mountaineer, the whole mint with a hole thing is just a ploy so that when M&M says to her horse 'how about a little polo this afternoon?' the horse thinks she is getting a mint and not prince charles carrying a big hammer on her back. It's animal psychology, don't you know.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Blimey! You must really love your horses. I got thrown off a big bugger of a beast about 3 years ago and (perhaps unwisely) will never get back on. Amy's 12.2 scares me! Good luck, not that you'll need it. Do you gallop along Bamburgh beach? I always wanted to do that.

mutleythedog said...

Horses are an odd thing to keep in a flat - are you sure it is a good idea?

I saw a TV programme the other week with all sorts of interesting recipes for horse, it looked very nice. I had horse in Austria, but I don't think it was nice - but I am willing to give it another go.

Did you know that the German salami that Waitrose sell is 20% horse meat? No? Well not many people do.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Rilly, she collects them ...

Crystal Jigsaw, galloping along Bamburgh beach is highly recommended.

Mutley, I believe uncivilised creatures also eat dogs ...

lady macleod said...

Oh poor dear. Perhaps you should give them a bit of a lecture as well, you know along the lines of "I'm doing my best here and I expect the same of you." as you offer Polos.

good luck.

@themill said...

they'll probably get laminitis at the rate the grass is growing. Would you like a blind 22year old Prince-of-Somewheres ex polo pony too?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm..If horses love mints, maybe they would like the dinky tiny ones in the metal tins. I think Callard and Bowser used to make them. They were also available under Marks and Spencer branding for a while.

The link below looks suspiciously American, but no doubt similar versions are available here..

http://www.altoids.com/index.do

Not sure about the idea of mints dipped in chocolate though !!

But there was a news story of some kid who was saved when somebody tried to stab him in the chest, but his life was saved because he had a tin of mints in his breast pocket!

Best not rely on that yourself tho'!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

yikes, good luck M&m, aren't there government ratios for how many horses you can have at any one time? Have you been regulated by the equine OFSTED? Will you ride bareback in the field, start on one horse then stand up in your tutu and ballet shoes and leap thrillingly from one to the other? Please may I come and watch?
Pigx

ziggi said...

MUTLEY NO!
Is it the pepper salami?
aarrgghhh!

debio said...

I adore horses - always have - but have yet to work out whether they are exceptionally bright or supremely stupid...

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Okay, know I'm becoming a dreadful horsie bore (friends don't answer my calls any more in case I tell them about my riding lesson) but seriously can't imagine being responsible for one horse let alone more!

Why do they like sugar lumps too?

Mopsa said...

Oh for a lovely big cob with generous "hips" to take me for wanders through this Devon loveliness - snoofling at cow parsley and dropping its head over gates to see if there are any other horses to nibble at. Haven't done that for years and years. One day.

Brom said...

So that's your mane task for the week then?

Lizzie said...

Gosh, m&m, what a resposibility!

(As an aside, am I too old now or can I continue to 'horse around?) Hmm... And would Polos help in anyway, d'yer think?

ziggi said...

HA! I tempted fate - I fell off today! Ow!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Lady M, they have been told!

@themill, please don't say that!! And I'm sure you wouldn't part with your poor old hoss...

Anon, they have Altoids in Northumberland, believe it or not ...

Oh Pig, it isn't as exciting as that! (M&M gets giggles visualising ...)

Debio, I think that like people, you get both. Mine is exceptionally bright. I intend to blog about just how bright one day ...

NMO, ah but you can look after kids, I can't... I suppose sugar lumps because they're sweet. My horse likes a cup of tea with sugar in it...

Mopsa, do not delay... get yourself a horse. It would be a sin not to...

Boom boom Brom ..

Lizzie, never too old, there was a woman up the road that hunted into her 90s...

Oh no, Ziggi (I did last week. I still have the bruise on my wrist)

Anonymous said...

eminem, No doubt you will be saying I'm a 'silly sausage' as they are probably made in that neck of the woods.. But they do often market them under different names such as the 'Curiously Strong Peppermints' I saw a few years back.

My most bizarre incident with them was buying them in a pharmacy in the rather run-down area of Bristol I was working in at the time. I asked for said mints as I was having difficulty in finding them, and they produced them from behind the counter ! I did ask how on earth people were supposed to find them when they weren't out on display, and whether they had some dodgy 'pharmaceutical' element in them, but answer came there none..

Anonymous said...

What on earth are you talking about?

http://www.greatdanerescue.co.uk