I kept Max in all day yesterday as the farrier was coming at 2pm. It seemed silly to turn him out to get covered in slop, only to bring him back in again a few hours later and expect the farrier to pick his feet up. Needless to say, Max was not amused, and kept throwing his haynet up in the air, (the equine equivalent of throwing the dummy out of the pram?) just to let me know. He kept letting out pathetic whinnys to let the others know where he was, but they were outside stuffing themselves on a new bale of haylage, so none of them took any notice, and nobody could be bothered to reply.
I turned Barnaby out first, as usual, followed by Zak, who went galloping up, legs akimbo, crying, "Barnaby! Barnaby!" in feminine tones. I swear if he carried a hankie he'd wave it! It's worth it just to see the look on Barnaby's face, 'Oh lor, it's the galloping gourmet.'
It was quite funny when I went to get them in, as Zak tried to block me off from Barnaby, "I won't let them take you, Sire, I won't!"
"Move over Zak, please."
"Okay, sorry mum."
You can see Barnaby quite clearly saying, "For goodness sake man, what kind of sycophant are you?" and Zak replying, "What kind of sycophant would you like me to be?" I need to get out more!
The builder came today to finish off the blockwork on top of each stable wall. I made him a cup of tea. He said that he'd been coming here for three years, and in all that time no one has ever offered to make him a cup. I thought back to our sermon the other week about offering hospitality. It's not rocket science, is it? And look what a difference it made.
Tessa has been round cleaning up after the farrier. She eats the cut off bits of hoof, and always has done. I was working on a livery yard when we first got her as a puppy and she used to come to work with me then. She's half collie, half springer spaniel. I thought, 'It's a farm, she's a farm dog, she'll know what to do.' How wrong can you be? She used to pick up people's brushes and sponges and run off into the field and sit there chewing them to pieces. I was like Will Smith in Men in Black, "I'm gonna pay for that!" One of the troughs was set under a fence, so horses from both fields could come up and drink out of it. Tessa used to lay in the field, watching me scrub the trough out, then when I picked the hose up to re-fill it, she knew it was time. She used to run at full speed across the grass, leap into the bath, slide along the bottom (muddy paws on my pristine whiteness), duck under the fence and jump out the other end of the bath, then run off and lay in the grass cackling to herself. I would wash the bath out again, muttering under my breath.
It was the dogs there that showed her that horse hoof is delicious. It made a change from horse poo, so she made sure she got her fair share. When I left there she didn't really go near horses again until we came here, seven years later. The first time the farrier came, she dived straight in for the trimmings. I'm amazed she remembered. She'd probably like the farrier to come more often. He seems quite keen on her, too.
I just thought I'd show you this. It's a little perpetual calendar and L brought it back for me from the San Francisco museum. It's very cute, it reminds me so much of Farm Town and Farmville. It stands on my desk, and I love it.
So all in all I think it's time to batten down the hatches, hunker down and ride out the rough weather. People who have an indoor manege should be counting their blessings!