Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Will our horse make the 12-year-old vet faint?


‘The vet’s here and he’s 12,’ I called over the farmyard gate where the builder boyfriend was waiting with the injured cob.

I don’t think the lad heard me as he got out of his car. I hope the Irish ones don’t faint, I thought, because we had a nice gory cut for him.

The best you can hope for with horses is that your six-monthly freak injury is a near disaster.

So when the smaller of the two black and white cobs reared up into a tin roof it was cause for celebration that he nearly had his eye out.

You’ve only got two options with horses. Either they nearly bugger themselves up or they bugger themselves up. There is no magic third option where they don’t do anything to themselves as a sort of thank you for forcing you into hard labour and eating your money – ‘You’ve gone through €2,000 worth since you got here,’ the hay runner said to us as he unloaded another ten giant bales.

Darcy the thoroughbred and her companion pony are in a huge barn for the winter. The west Cork land is wet and slopes at wild angles so you let a spindly-legged racehorse loose on it during winter at your peril.

She and pony have one side of this barn and the builder boyfriend’s gypsy cobs have the other, with their door open giving them the run of the yard. Miss Darcy can’t be let loose in the same way because she would immediately find something invisible to impale herself on.

So the cobs wander about during the day, mooching over to say hi to Darcy whose affections they compete for. Jim, the biggest cob, has his nose out of joint currently because on the lorry journey here, Darcy and the smaller cob, Duey, were loaded side by side and got rather tight with each other.

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