Ex-pat GRAHAM DENBY continues his tales as he and wife Ruth forge a new life in Portugal. Today: Grooming the horses
QUITE literally the last thing I picked up before I set off in my pickup to Portugal was a set of hair clippers.
I remember it because I bought them at Paddock Triangle filling station, £2.99 with my fill of petrol. I mean, how can a Tyke refuse that price?
For quite some time I’d been a close-cut number two in winter and an even closer-cut number one in summer, so with this kit I thought our lass could sort my coiffurial requirements quite adequately.
The refuelling was also significant because the Ranger I had bought on T’internet a couple of weeks previously was bang on except the fuel gauge didn’t work!
I was told it would go 250 miles maximum, 200 to be safe, and safe I would be!
I just had to remember to zero the odometer... it is an American motor, you see!
Anyway, the clippers have proved to be fine if not spectacular, worth the £2.99 you might say.
The reason for mentioning it is that out here the horses have to be clipped in autumn if they are going to do some work, otherwise they sweat up a storm, as their coats get thicker.
The clippers our lass got for this job are majestic, the Rolls-Royce of clippers, with a motor bigger than our vac!
The occasion of clipping, is just that, an occasion. I get roped in to help, holding the horses’ heads to be exact while she does the business.
The horses are clipped between their front legs and up the chest and the neck.
The first year we rolled out the extension cable and clipped them on the ménage. No, it’s not a cake, it’s a posh name for a training circle for the horses.
In our case it’s an over-posh term because the menage is not finished yet. It’s where we had the excavated debris spread from the casa (house) foundations. It’s flat and round and will be a menage when we can afford to finish it off. UK electrics work fine here, just swap the plugs or go to Wilko’s and buy some cheap adaptors.
We have four horses now but initially we had only two. Our lass said we needed more. I said no, so we got more.
This first clipping we only had Murphy and Rooni. All went well with Murph, which was surprising as he can be a bit nippy. Rooni, the older horse, was thought to be the more docile...ha!
The incident happened when our lass was crouched down trimming between Rooni’s front legs then, quick as lightning, bish-bash-bosh, out and back flicked Rooni’s front right leg, the clippers stopped buzzing, as they’d over-reached the extent of the cable and our lass was on her behind gasping for breath.
It was a straight red card offence!
Since then the horses have been clipped in the barn that I built ... oh yes, more of that another time.
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