By Martyn Hathaway

One thing I’ve learnt since I found myself involved in this whole horse stuff, is the sheer number of jobs that need doing. Some of these are big jobs, others are little things and some clearly need to be started at a certain time…just as I think we’re about to leave! Now, I’m a patient man (if you know me, stop laughing), but I must admit there have been a couple of occasions when my patience has been tested. I’m sure the cupboard was a bit of a mess, I’m less convinced it needed sorting at 10 o’clock at night! I have no doubt Erik’s tail looks a little dusty, but didn’t you say there’s no food in and we needed to go get some tea before the shop shuts?! No it’s OK…you’ve started now!

At the beginning of our relationship the amount of time [my wife] Sam spent at the horses vs how much we got to see each other was…frustrating to say the least. As I’ve said before, Sam is more than happy to just crack on and get things done herself. Which is great, kind of. It isn’t ideal when she clearly can’t get everything done in a day or if we have a set time to be somewhere (I don’t like being late)! The only other option is to muck in and help muck out.

I slowly got taken to the horses more often and was promptly given jobs. My main role was (and still is) the water buckets. I felt this was a nice introduction, carry the bucket out, empty it, fill it up. Carrying the bucket back to the stable I found my first problem. There seemed to be a large beast standing in the doorway blocking my path. These horses look a lot bigger close up!!

The old saying “they’re more scared of you than you are of them” does not apply to a half ton monster that could fell you with a single, metal clad, hoof! I must have been standing there for some time with a quizzical look on my face, how was I meant to get the door open, get inside with the bucket and out again without either being crushed to death or allowing the horse to make a daring escape? At this point Sam came round the corner and must have seen the dilemma I was having. Between the laughter she managed to tell me to just push him back. Being early on in the relationship I could not look like a wimp, I opened the door and pushed. The beast actually moved! Only half a step back but I felt that was a big victory. These four legged tanks weren’t that tough. I have since been upgraded to filling nets, not too full mind you (never get it right), and every now and then mucking out. How am I meant to know that you leave most of the shavings in?

Writing this I am beginning to see why Sam is happy to do most the jobs herself!

Till next time

The Horse Husband