While rummaging through old bits and pieces the other day, I bumped into this. I wrote it quite a few years ago for goodness knows what reason, and on rediscovering it, I thought I’d pass it on to you…
It’s all about long suffering other halves….
I have to say that after many years of scorning all things suburban – it came as something of a shock when at 33 years old, I finally met the only man I was ever likely to fall head over heels in love with. It felt a little late in life at the time, but that was nothing when compared to the mental adjustment required in accepting that the man of my dreams came under the name of Kevin, knew a thing or two about computers and was (and still is) the apple of his mother’s eye. His total experience of horses amounted to having had his toe trodden on by a seaside pony when on holiday in Brittany.
I was clear on one thing from an early stage of the relationship – if Kevin and I were going to get any time together then he’d probably better get to know the other man in my life … Patrick.
I bought him the necessary accoutrements for man pursuing woman and horse around the muddier parts of the English countryside (green wellies, Barbour jacket with pockets full of straw), showed him how to put a head-collar on and hoped for the best. What followed did not fit in with my wildest or most optimistic expectations.
We started off with his insistence that he would come and keep me company every time Patrick needed any attention. This progressed to helping, which in turn developed into doing Patrick if I was ill and moved rapidly on to Kevin doing Patrick every time I was late home.
Riding lessons were a short easy step from there – and definitely something to be encouraged as Kevin has the right bottom for jodhpurs.
In 1995, Kevin was talked into the acquisition of Blimpers. Purely, (you understand) as company for Patrick; ‘and anyway Sweetheart, two horses really don’t take much more looking after than one’.
Two and a half years later and having incurred two sets of broken ribs, lost a toenail, had a sprained ankle, several nose bleeds, suffered extensive bruising through most parts of his body, torn ligaments in his shoulder and having injured his neck and back in more places than his osteopath cares to write invoices for, he has won his first few rosettes, been eliminated, learnt the glory of coming last, fallen in front of the judges (as accompaniment to this injury, Blimpers promptly added insult by hurtling around the arena bucking, farting and jumping the fences in an ‘I don’t need YOU to help me jump THESE’ fashion).
Last year I broke my arm and my hero uncomplainingly stepped into the breach and rode, both my horse and the one I’d inflicted on him, in the dark after work for the whole of December, January and February (the best months of the year for riding don’t you think?) during rain, wind, snow and just downright perishing.
He’s just bought me a lorry so that we can get rid of the beaten up Rice trailer; he figures that if I intend to continue dragging him around horse trials this season then he intends to be warm, dry and have the facility for cooking bacon sarnies.
We are getting married this year, which most of our friends are seeing as a wise move on my part and confirmation of lunacy on his. When I arrived to see him this evening, I was all full of affection, romantic thoughts and posh frock, to find Kevin sitting reading Horse & Rider magazine. “There’s a competition you can enter here” he said…
… “It’s all about long suffering other halves.”
I do hope the worm hasn’t turned.
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