Another early start then - for some reason my body (!) clock - which obviously was purchased from a cheap jewellers many decades ago and is now malfunctioning - has decided that even today - a bank holiday - 5.15am is a good time for me to wake up. Now, anybody with half a brain knows that unless you've got a flight/train to catch, or you're off on an exciting day trip somewhere, or your Mum and Dad are driving you down to Devon for a week in a caravan (childhood issues?) there is absolutely no need whatsoever for ANYBODY to be awake at 5.15am. Could someone please make my body clock aware of that then? I tried to turn over and go back to sleep - but the fairy dust has gone and there is to be no more sleeping for me. On top of that I have the murmurings of a slight headache....hmmmmm.....anadin, coffee and a fag - OR - fresh juice, wholemeal toast and a brisk walk? I'll put the kettle on then.
Bank Holiday Monday.....what shall I do with the whole day stretching out in front of me? Well, at 7am I have to go and see to the horses. There's 2 of them. One boy and one girl. The girl is the older of the two and therefore much better behaved(!) Now for anybody who's never owned or looked after a horse - this is the daily routine.
Morning (before 8am) - Feed, put up big haynet, check rugs, check water, check overall demeanour/mood of horse. Check legs / feet. If it's a nice day - put them in the field!!!
Evening (before 6pm) - Muck out, bring in from the field, excercise(the horse - not me!!) groom, put rugs on, check feet, check legs etc. Put to bed
Now this may not look like a lot of work - but as I said earlier there are 2 of them - so double up everything. Then bear in mind that to muck out each one takes about half an hour, to exercise them takes about 40 minutes (depending on what you do!). The Girl horse likes a lot of fuss (why am I not surprised) and the boy horse - well - the boy horse just likes loads of attention, and gets very worried about the world if he doesn't get it.
Now I'm not a greedy person, and I realise that having 2 horses when there's lots of people (mainly little girls with purple plastic ponies) would dearly love to have one. That's only because they have no idea what's involved in keeping them - and here's a hint - if you have a daughter who asks you for a pony (usually about the age of 7 or 8) do everything in your power to say No. Lie, cheat. steal, at a push give the child away, because if you don't - and you give in, and buy her a pony (not sexist at all with the "her" bit - but it's usually girls who want them) your life will become like mine, and you too will have to get up at 6am every day (that's 365 days of the year folks - yes even Xmas day) to go an see to them.
It's not like having a hamster , or a cat, or even a dog - because sometimes, as a parent you don't have to get involved (apart from to oversee things) with the smaller animals (goldfish are brilliant - no noise, no walks, and cheap as chips to feed!). Horses usually live at a farm or a livery yard (your back garden probably won't be big enough - unless you're Donald Trump or someone like that with mega bucks and a huge estate) - which means that you have to get your car out at 6am and drive there!!!!
Even if your child is the one in a million who eagerly does all the jobs him/herself (does that child exist?) you still have to be there - because a) they can't be left alone with all those huge dangerous horses and b) it's easier for you to wait - in the car - with a flask of coffee and some fags and a magazine, than to go home and then come back.
Now if you're there already logic tells you that it's quicker if you help too. You can see where I'm going with this..can't you?...so fast forward a few months to the place which for all Mums of kids with horses is normality......what actually happens is that YOU do the mucking out, YOU do the feeding, YOU so the sweeping, YOU do bloody everything and they just ride!!!! Fan - bloody - tastic!!!
Now I took it a stage further (some women really are dead stupid!) In a bid to be more involved with my daughter's life (ha ha ha ha ha) I decided to learn to ride too - I kind of thought it would be something we could do together (yeah right). This was 7 years ago and I can't even blame the menopause, or hormonal challenges for this. So I took lessons (many hours and much money - lots of shreiking, some very strange, non-flattering jodphurs - get the picture?). I faced my fears - and the upshot of all this is that now we have a horse each.
This is fine, this is good, and our mother-daughter relationship is probably better because of this. But now, here we are 7 years on, she is now 16 and a half, and because she has other fish to fry, has gone to Sheffield on the train to see her friends for the easter weekend. As we live in Surrey, there's not much chance of her getting here for 6am to help with the horses!!!!
So now do you you see why I have to get up at stupid O'clock and go and see to 2 horses before I can get on with my day?
Only Kidding - they're actually lovely animals, and when I see them every morning they make me smile, and give me a great deal of happiness. I wouldn't be without them for the world...now where are my jodphurs?