At the height of Sundays storm our daft old thoroughbred who ignored his central heated stable and was found in the teeth of a gale with his winter coat draped over his head wandering around in the torrential rain. Trying to drag a soaked horse garment back in shape in a force 8 was doomed to fail but eventually, and with some wind assistance, Chester, coat and me were back indoors drying out. One of us got our nose in the trough while the other fetched something sharp to free the dopey equine from his very expensive now totally useless apparel.
The poor lad was happy to be out of the rain, happier to be eating, but looking a bit on the scrawny side, this despite all you can eat hay and half a bucket of horse nuts a day. Fast forward to today when in a gap between hail storms and torrential rain yours truly got inadvertently caught up in a dispute between a lorry and tractor, the drivers of which were incapable of reversing and utterly incapable of passing amicably.
Whilst the two tried to get their wide loads down the narrow road at the same time yours truly used the newly created spare time to ponder equine nutrition. Pondering led to the musing that perhaps value nuts had the same nutritional value as a 99p Findus Lasagne, and perhaps, in an effort to keep Chester from adding to the carbon footprint too soon, a different sort of food is more suited to elderly horses, perhaps like elderly people, horses need more food, more often, in little bits, mushed up and presented on spoons while they stare out of the stable window and recount how this was all fields not so long back and they used to be able to get four horse shoes, a bale of hay and a new bucket and still have change for a pony ride from a penny.
Traffic crisis over, the tractor driver backed down, I was determined to source new feed for Chester and as I was less than a tractors length from a farmers hypermarket it seemed like an ideal opportunity to do so.
Not being a true horse botherer I knew that entering the den of those that know, I had to be convincing otherwise I might leave the shop with something about as useful to Chester as a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, and, like a schoolboy on a French exchange I practiced my horsey phrases before meeting an enthusiastic helper wearing the label "Equine Expert" (Imagine the Duracell Bunny on speed who snorts everytime she perceived she or I said something funny) I reeled off my phrase rote like, keywords such as elderly, retired thoroughbred, lost condition, prone to laminitis, ad lib feeding and value mix gave the impression that I knew much more than I did and I even managed to answer a few questions sensibly, one of which nearly floored me but I worked out that what the bouncing expert was talking about was a horse with massive jaw muscles meant it was eating non stop and not gaining any goodness. Ha! Bring it on horse world, confidence was high and once she established I could read she left me with a catalogue and told me to form and opinion on all the goodies listed on page 16. Panic set in but I held my ground and when she returned I casually ordered all of page 16, a months worth. Jumping with glee the DB set off to fill several pallets with my order and once we crammed it all in the back of Gerry I made good my escape before I was unmasked as an imposter.
So, as I type, hail batters the cottage and 60 to 70 mph winds threaten to cause further damage to the already weakened goat house. Chester is eating a lovely mix from three different bags, the smell was amazing, a mix of mint, basil, spring meadow and chocolate. The fact that each meal he scoffs costs more then mine will not bother me. Honest.