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In which I turn into a weather bore

Posted by Tania Kindersley
Tania Kindersley
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on Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Everyone in the village looks a bit fed up. We roll our eyes ruefully at each other and try not to talk about the weather and then talk about the weather because it’s all one can talk about. It is five degrees centigrade as I write this. Five. In the middle of May. I actually stood with my mare for about half an hour this morning debating whether to take her rug off or not. The wind was whipping down off the mountain, and, although she does have a good stand of trees for shelter, it is a wide open space, and a lot of weather.

She dozed patiently as I counted the pros and cons. The thing is, horses don’t really like wearing rugs that much; they don’t go about in the wild wearing something developed from the kind of fabric people climb Everest in. (After thirty years of being away from horses, I am quite obsessed with the new rug technology, and bore everyone with it most days. ‘Oh,’ I say, ‘in my day we just had a New Zealand rug, sheet of green canvas with two straps, and that was it.’ I cannot believe that at the age of forty-five I have started using the phrase ‘In my day’.)

On the other hand, I could not bear the thought of her shivering in the absurd cold. She was clipped in March, so her coat is very short; all the protective woolliness of winter is gone. In the end, I decided to let her go unrugged, so she can stretch and roll and feel the air on her back. There are so many funny things I discover as I return to things equine: one of them is that people get really cross about rugs. Apparently, some of them will not put a horse in a rug even in a blizzard. I do not really understand why this causes so much foot-stomping, but apparently it is a thing. (My new favourite place is the forum section of the Horse and Hound website, where I find the rug debate rages with no quarter given, although in a very genteel Horse and Hound sort of way.)

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