Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Rainy days

(Dark Clouds -Copyright Bill Haley Photography)

Tomorrow is farrier day.I hope this tempestuous weather holds off for long enough to bring the horses in. Here, we are experiencing torrential rain interspersed with short bouts of hot sunshine, but the clouds are gathering on the horizon again tonight. Horses need to have their feet attended to every six to eight weeks and this has been a major factor in my wanting a place with my own land. My two horses, known collectively as ‘The Girls’, live on rented land. Until recently there were three, The Girls and Basil but I'll write more about that next time. At present they’re in view of my house which is wonderful (I can even see that they're horses with a good pair of binoculars!) but they do have to be moved around in a radius of a mile or so and share fields with other horses and cattle.

Having limited mobility means that it can be a difficult job even getting them back to my house when they need vets, farriers, stabling etc. The circumstances mean that they don’t get a great deal of handling either apart from ‘brushing their hair’ as my mate calls it. Dealing with horses in a field where there are other loose horses is dodgy at the best of times. People have been killed and seriously injured this way. Given that I’m as sprightly as a ceased octogenarian and as speedy as a sloth at siesta time, bringing the horses in is a ‘Major Incident’ that requires diligent attention to the six P's, (Piss Poor Planning = Piss Poor Performance) as taught to me by my dad (wonderful hero, teacher and rascal that he is) and also requires quite a lot of time.Otherwise even more time is spent rounding up the Houdini like cattle and horses that live with them, and returning them to the appropriate field. I've found that this can make one a little unpopular, particularly if one is unable to assist in the rounding up of escapees and can only offer loud verbal encouragement from a safe distance.
Once in, The Girls tend to be a bit naughty for the poor farrier. All this will change when I get my own place and The Girls live outside my front door. Then they will be handled much more, making everyone happy. It is, after all, the well known Eleventh (and most important) Commandment ‘Thou shalt keep thine farrier happy at all times’.
I’m hoping that I may get the chance to train The Girls for driving. They will be truly appalled as they are under the impression that they are ladies of leisure. As they stand nose to tail under the trees they idly reminisce about that strange brief time when they were saddled and bridled and ridden a few times. ‘What was all that about?’ they wonder,‘ we tried on that lovely new Western Saddle and heard that a second hand trailor had been acquired. We heard the word ‘shows,’ but fortunately it all came to nothing. Did anyone seriously think we were working girls? Sssnnrrpht! ’
I kept the Western Saddle. Never used, it sits around gathering dust and being beautiful. If The Girls knew what I hope to have in store for them they would definitely scupper my plans. Which are underway!

Before acquiring a new place I have to sell my existing home, a miracle potentially much more likely to scupper my plans given the housing market. In Scotland house selling is also known as ‘Gae the solicitors all o ye money’. Whilst I acknowledge a propensity for mild (extremely mild) exaggeration let me assure you of the truth of this phrase. Estate agency is usually carried out by solicitors who are members of the Scottish Solicitor’s Property Centres. I am a little late in writing this entry because having made preliminary enquiries with members of SSPC I immediately fell into a moribund and shocked state at the figures quoted by them. The trauma brought me out in a nasty case of disbelief and in my weakened state I suffered from a dose of second thoughts that took some shaking off. Mainly because the costs totalled nearly £6000 simply to sell! However a liberal application of Cava (special offer; 3 for £12 at Tesco’s) set me back on track with a firm intention of not complying. I've gone elsewhere.

So my house is on the market. It should be actively advertised by next week. My three dogs Rolf, Tess and Chico paid great attention to the lecture telling them not to moult or chase off any would-be buyers.

Already they are ignoring the first part of this instruction and waiting with baited breath to see if any chase-able victims turn up.

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