I am now entering my third week of gravel foot hell.
Harvey has two abscesses, one in each foot, hovering around his coronet band and I am practically demented trying to coax them out. But stubborn they remain. As I keep reapplying poultices my mind keeps asking Why? Why am I doing this? Why do I have horses when they are so much hassle, money and pain-in-the-arse-ness?
And it's a good question. Why do we love horses when sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do?
I did a quick poll of my horsey friends and here are some of the answers:
"I love all of it, looking after her and riding her, just going to see her grazing makes me happy and if she has a whinny for me I am over the moon."
"I love the adrenaline rush of getting around a cross country course and having a lovely picture to show for it. I enjoy the glass of wine (or bottle) and chat with all my supporters at the end and the day."
"They're such a huge magnificent animal that can say NO at any time but instead they let us crouch over their shoulder as they gallop us into the wind."
"I know I've cried more tears over my horse than anything else, but all he has to do is look at me with those big brown eyes and I melt completely.
"I know I'd remortgage the house if he needed treatment that I couldn't afford.
"Just spending time stroking him and telling him all my problems is a big stress reliever, even though he (and the others) cause me more stress than anything else!"
One of my favourite answers was this poem that my friend sent me. I'm sure most of you have read it but I think it sums it up very well!
Why do I like horses? I think I must be mad. My mother wasn’t horsey - and neither was my dad.
· But the madness hit me early - and hit me like a curse. And I’ve never got much better. In fact, I’ve just got worse.
· My stables are immaculate. My house is like a hovel. Last year for my birthday, I got a brand new shovel.
· I hardly read a paper, but I know who's sold their horse. I wouldn't watch the news, unless Mr Ed was on of course.
· One eye is always on the heavens but the washing waves in vain, as I rush to get the horses in - in case it's going to rain.
· And although they're wearing 15 rugs, the best that you can get, I bring them in to keep them dry, whilst I get soaking wet.
· I spent every penny I've got on horsey stuff for sure, I buy saddles, bridles and fancy rugs, and then I buy some more.
· I should have had a haircut, or bought that nice blue shirt. At least it wouldn't look ripped and covered all in dirt.
· I can't make the books balance, so I don't even try. But I can back up a car and trailer in the twinkling of an eye.
· It's jeans and joddy boots that I live in night and day, and that smell of sweaty horses doesn't wash away.
· Once every now and then I dress up for a ball, with make up and posh hairdo, high heels and all.
· I ache from long forgotten falls, my knees have got no skin. My toes have gone a funny shape from being squashed again.
· But late at night, when all is still and I've gone to give them hay, I touch their velvet softness and my troubles float away.
· They give a gentle nicker and nuzzle through my hair, and I know where my heart is, more here than anywhere.