I originally wrote this blog for the lovely Karen at KA Equestrian, as a once a month feature but I was reminded of it this morning after another trip out in ‘horsey’ clothing to pick up a few bits and pieces and pop to the bank, so thought I would share it on my own blog……
The Funny Thing About Horses
It’s been a busy month here and I have to be honest, nothing particularly funny has happened for a while. The fact that my feature is called ‘The Funny Thing About Horses’ makes it more important that I am indeed funny (or at least incite a small chuckle or two!) which in itself adds pressure to be ‘funny’ when I am writing my blog.
I was milling over these thoughts this morning whilst wandering around the Co-op and it struck me after becoming aware of the disapproving looks, how the ‘non-horsey’ world must view us?
After finishing up on the yard this morning I realised I had run out of coffee AND milk, disaster! So I jumped in the car and drove up to the local shop to rectify the situation before falling asleep standing upright. After grabbing the essentials, I was wandering around perusing the isles, trying to decide what culinary delights I was going to buy in the disillusion that I would come up with some masterpiece for dinner, (before deciding at 8.30pm that I’m too tired to consider chopping an onion/carrot/pepper and that the microwavable risotto that has been in the freezer for a month, will in fact absolutely do, alongside a large glass of wine/cider), when I noticed a number of glances in my direction. And not admiring ones either, they were in fact, judgemental and disapproving!
Lost in thought, whilst wandering around minding my own business, I had been milling over some ideas about what to write for the blog, wondering about which of my disastrous events in my younger years I would recall for you. Would I write about the mortifying lunging incident with one of the few stallions I had the pleasure of working with, or the day I siphoned oil out of my car using a catheter and syringe from the maternity yard of the stud farm I was working at, or the chaotic first foaling I had, where I ran around the yard in my pyjamas in a blind panic as everyone had buggered off to the pub, I was brought back to consciousness by the sudden awareness of the tutting and mutterings of people close by.
Yes, I was in the Co-op with my Tuffa country boots on, my trousers that I had indeed mucked out in, a t-shirt that is full of holes, in fact has more holes that not and my gilet, which has a tear in the back of it and has frankly seen better days. Add to that the fact that my hair was scraped up on top of my head, sporting large dark circles under my eyes and I quite possible smelled distinctly of a mixture of horse pee, haylage and poo, with a random stray bit of feed and/or haylage in my hair and shavings all over my trousers. And there was a time in my life, in my younger years that I would have cared, I would never have dreamed of leaving the house looking like something that had been dragged through a hedge backwards (and in some instances had been!) and I most certainly wouldn’t have gone out without at least dragging a brush through my hair. Those days however, have long since gone! As my Mum’s friend would say “I have seen the day and now it’s night”.
I am nearing the big four O and I quite honestly couldn’t give a jot! I am way past the point of caring, I frankly don’t have time anymore to consider putting make up on, at least not unless I am planning on going somewhere other than the feed store/local shop and not then straight home again, and even then it takes a monumental effort to remove the constant dishevelled look that I appear to permanently sport these days. It used to be that I had my ‘horse’ wardrobe, which was made up of clothes that were slightly faded, had a small tear or hole in them and had been relegated to being worn to the yard. Nowadays I only really have my horse wardrobe, there are a few items of clothes that once in a flood see the light of day, that live in the spare room wardrobe, but they are only dragged out on the very rare occasions that I do anything that is not horse or dog related.
So, yes, I more than likely stank, looking like one of those old spinster ladies I remember seeing when I was younger, who had the slightly leathered look from the weather and an ancient wax jacket that was older than I would have been, that I was deeply jealous of as they clearly had the horses I so longed for.
And do I care? Nope! I revel in the fact that my life is how it is, that I don’t care enough anymore to get changed before I leave the house, especially when I am only going to return to shovel the muck heap and pull a few bits of stray ragwort from the field, or fill hay nets and traipse through the mud to bring horses in before grooming and getting covered in hair and mud dust before riding
Maybe the ‘non-horsey’ world expect that we all spend our days wearing white jodhpurs, black boots and tweed, and look like something that has stepped out of a country catalogue, however the reality, that I am sure you are all more than aware of, is that we indeed smell like a barn, have more battered and worn items of clothing and footwear than most charity shops and are likely happier in this state than any other times in our lives.
I am grateful that my other half has resigned himself to the fact that I rarely look any different, his most recent compliment being only the other day, when I did indeed make the effort to look like a normal human being before going out for the day, commenting on how I looked nice and didn’t smell of horse pee!
So to those people who were clearly offended by my Eau de horse, I can’t quite bring myself to apologise to you for being the happiest I have been in my life, or not having the inclination to give myself more washing to do, I am too busy playing with my ponies and loving every minute of it!