1. Routine

 

Suddenly life isn’t on as much of a routine as it was, your horse is there kicking up the neat bed whilst you’re trying to muck out and he’s still pooing whilst you’re on the yard… I mean, come on! Oh, how you miss grass turnout already! You’re not sweating by 9am, and you haven’t got horse slobber on your jacket sleeve. What is this?!

 

  1. Weight management programme

 

That extra box of biscuits and over-filled hay net just won’t cut it anymore, you’ve got to be strict all of a sudden, not only for your body but also your horse’s. Why doesn’t standing still (for him) and mucking out (for you) use as many calories as actual riding?

 

  1. Fun

 

You both adapt and get a different sense of humour – his, to try and get out of the stable and nudge you until you give him treats due to the overloaded horse-owner-guilt you have over the whole thing and you, are able to see the funny side of it all and take pride in grooming efficiently and giving that all important back scratch.

 

  1. As long as it takes

 

No corners can be cut, neither the swelling or lameness got the memo about hurrying up because it’s Summer-time or that the grass is looking particularly scrummy. So, it’s all-hands-on-deck to get the health back on track, with haste. The vet has visited again (hello £487,000 bill per call out fee), the salt lick has been replaced (finally) and he has a rather luxurious deep bed all of a sudden. Imagine Egyptian Cotton…

 

  1. Novelty

 

Fun, we can bond over grooming, overstretching for treats and hanging out. Yay. But we are now 3 weeks in, neither of us is looking our best, one rather rounder, one looking at the other because they really are costing them more than the fun either are getting… The novelty has gone – see ya enjoyment. Let’s not mention the vet bills.

 

  1. Dirty Tack

 

Mucking out now takes a third of the time it would normally, practice makes perfect as they say, and the boredom has kicked in – so you head to the tack room, a bit of a spring clean maybe. Oh gosh, that tack, no wonder he’s gone lame, probably in protest to the idea of being dressed with his own grease from 10 years ago… It’s scrubbing time.

 

  1. HOW MUCH?!

 

Mate, how can you produce that much excretion in 24 hours. You are a machine. I’m proud to call you mine.

 

  1. GIVE US FREEDOM

 

We’ve done 3 weeks. We now don’t even look at each other. He’s up for sale. You’ve decided to take up tennis as a hobby. Then one random Wednesday, you head to the yard and…

 

Is he lame? No. Is there any swelling? No. LET US OUT… The time has gone, the years have gone by and now we can both get out into the real world.

 

I’m asking you one thing, just wait for another year before we have to go through this again…

 

Go!!!!

 

**Horse bolts across field farting and bucking, human squirms away**

 

Photo by Kelly Forrister on Unsplash