Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Real life | 23 March 2016

Darcy has been lame all year, and it just keeps getting worse

If you are the sort of person who enjoys tinkering with a classic car prone to myriad mechanical problems then you really should consider taking up thoroughbred horses as a hobby. After weeks of leg bandaging and foot poulticing, I am becoming a basket case.

But apparently there are people who enjoy this sort of thing. They prefer tinkering to riding. I presume they haven’t much appetite for speed, and therefore prefer to spend time with their horse while it is stationary in a confined space.

About twice a year, perhaps, they manage to get it to go right and so they enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon out in the lanes, with people pipping them from behind as they make a holy show of themselves.

The horse then promptly breaks down and they happily confine it to quarters again to be tinkered with to their heart’s content. But it’s not for me. All that tinkering makes me want to eat my own head with frustration.

To recap: Darcy was going great guns in training as a budding point-to-pointer, or possibly hurdler if she showed any great burst of speed, and then one day she trod on a screw: a screw stuck in a small plank of wood left over from some fly-tipping on the common.

I could go on about the scourge of fly-tipping in Surrey by people I am not allowed to describe by the name they call themselves, but of course I won’t.

It would be pointless. The fact is, the rubbish was tipped, a leftover plank of wood with a screw protruding from it lay dormant in the mud after the council had supposedly cleared up, and the next day my mind-numbingly expensive, excrutiatingly sensitive horse stuck her delicate little back foot straight down on top of it and went hopping lame.

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