Monday, April 5, 2010
Ten Things FarmWife Does For Me that She Probably Doesn't Have to Do.
2) FarmWife only asks for a walk whilst we are on the road out of consideration for my joints. She also dismounts and walks beside me down precipitous slopes, or when we are within a quarter mile of home. She says that the latter is intended to cool me out and to exercise her glitchy knee, but I say it is because she likes the companionable camaraderie of a side-by-side stroll.
3) FarmWife lets me roll after a ride and before reblanketing. She knows that my daily itchy-scratchies are important, and she knows that there is nothing at all satisfying about rolling in a medium-weight turnout rug.
4) FarmWife cleans my hoofies and pasterns every day. When I am a tremendous heap of filthy mud, she still cleans my hoofies and pasterns, and that is why I have healthy hair where once, in a former life, I had none.
5) FarmWife sings to me.
6) FarmWife thanks me for extra effort. Jump a heap of logs, get a pat. Cross a bridge, get a "good boy." Bray beautifully, get a flake of hay.
7) FarmWife enforces a strict "balance before reins" policy when she puts young or unskilled riders upon me, and follows a 20% Maximum Cargo Load policy for light work. Assuming that I weigh 900 pounds, this means she can throw on 50 pounds of tack and equipment before she needs to get a pack mule—and lucky for me, she never does.
8) FarmWife types for me, except on weekends when we are both too busy having fun to bother with blog updates. Without this assistance, my blog would look like this: "gGGrreetttginhggggs FFRffoomm FREe nBbarrr.." Hooves make typing difficult.
9) FarmWife grooms me carefully before every ride; knowing, as she does, my propensity for chafing, she takes no chances. She dresses me in special anti-chafing gear, which includes a wool felt anti-slip saddlepad, a shaped mohair endurance girth, a set of breeching, and a polar-fleece lined breastplate. None of these things would have been to her taste before she met me, but my comfort comes first!
10) FarmWife listens to what I have to say. This is why she knows that I love a good firm rub on the bottom of my ears but hate a tickly rub on the tops of them; I like a mechanical hackamore, a rubber single-jointed snaffle, or a plain ol' halter, but despise a french link snaffle; I like having my eyes cleaned by hand rather than with a soft brush, and like a firm rub on the bony prominences around my eye after a long ride. If she didn't listen, she would ride me in HER favorite bit, and groom me in HER favorite way, but that is not how things work when you are a rider. You must listen.