Monday, May 07, 2007

A tale of the grey mare

The grey mare and I have just celebrated our fifth anniversary together. As far as relationships go, I think it’s very satisfactory: she carries me on her back, and I feed, worship and adore her.

Prior to the grey mare, I had acquired my horses: she is the first one I paid for. Hunting for a horse can be a harrowing business. I saw four unsuitable candidates before we met. Each time, I expected to meet my partner; each time my hopes were dashed. But I was smitten with her immediately. She was a bigger, prettier version of my last pony. My sister says: “I knew as soon as you saw her head over the stable door.”

I wasn’t disappointed: I started trying to barter while I was still on her back. The dealer refused to budge, but he did give me back £20 ‘luck money’ when I paid for her.

She arrived without a name, without travelling gear and with a horrible rope halter. Standing at the top of the lorry ramp, she whinnied loudly to find out whether there were any other horses in this strange place, then tail held high, she marched down confidently.

She had a slight cough when I tried her. Within a day, this had magnified and there was thick green mucous pouring down her nose. This was ‘the Irish cough’, a problem commonly caused when horses are transported across to England. For a week, she had penicillin injections.

For a week, too, she listlessly wandered along the line of the fence, looking sorry for herself and being ignored by the rest of the horses. I fretted that she’d never settle. At the end of the first week, evidently feeling healthier in her body, she jumped the fence into the next field where the company was obviously more conducive to conversation.

We brought her back, and gradually she secured her place in the herd. Now, it’s hard to remember what life was like without her.

12 comments:

ziggi said...

:)
aaahhhhh

(it's an impossible task isn't it - I'm still looking!)

mountainear said...

What a heart warming tale for a dull Tuesday morning.

Drunk Mummy said...

Your description of the symptoms of "The Irish Cough" sounds exactly like one of my kids. I bet it looks a lot more acceptable on a horse.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ziggi, it certainly is! Good luck in your quest...

Mountainear, thank you...

Drunk Mummy, at least the kids can get their treatment on the NHS - I wish there was a 'national Horse service' ... or that I could marry a vet!

Winchester whisperer said...

do you whisper to her?

Winchester whisperer said...

do you whisper to her?

rilly super said...

M&M, that bit about carrying on backs, worshiping and adoring, I had some neighbours in London who had a similar relationship.

I won't ask how you got your earlier horse dear if you didn't buy them although it might solve the mystery of what happened to Shergar

I do love to read about your horse in all truefulness, even if your stories bring on my allergy

Anonymous said...

My poor niece has broken her arm having fallen off her horse [well, the one at her riding school] and so has been reduced to playing with her Barbie and Bratz dolls. Good fun, but it isn't like riding her horse. Good news is that she is only in plaster for a few weeks, in plenty of time to be back on the horse for the summer holidays..

mutterings and meanderings said...

WW, I bet you're a top horse whisperer! I don't only whisper, I sing and have long involved conversations of which she undertands every word (but that's a blog for another day...)

Rilly, I think you shoudl pop some Piriton and get back into the saddle, m'dear ...

Anon, your poor niece! At least she's looking forward to getting back on. That's the spirit!

Orhan Kahn said...

Beautiful horse. I love white horses. I'm not going to pretend to know as much as I'd like to know about horses but I think they're an acquired recreation/pet since they cost so damn much to maintain.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Thank you Orhan.

I know I am biased, but I do believe she is the most beautiful horse in the world (and I tell her so - often)

This Eclectic Life said...

I discovered you through The Rising Blogger. I can see why they chose this post. I live in Texas, USA (but I'm not a cowgirl). Never got the opportunity to own a horse, but I never miss the opportunity to approach one and try to love it either. Yours sounds like a wonderful friend. Thanks for sharing.