This was a first for me. What not having a horse of my own, merely having the privilege of being in Merlyn's world lately, I earned the job of 'horse sitting' during a vet's visit this week.
He has a gash on his leg which looked like healing and then had become infected again, so I was his 'familiar face' while the vet attended to treat. I think I have ridden him about 6 or 7 times, so he should recognise me, yes, but we are still very new, so it was a bit of a test.
Now, the fact that I turned of with my two kids on tow might have set us off on the wrong foot, unfamiliar noisy little excitable things that they were.
'Wow, he is the biggest, blackest horse we have ever seen!' They gasped. I have to agree, he is astonishingly black, not even a hint of anything else. We agreed he would make an excellent (if a little stereotypical ) evil knights horse in a movie...'Ha right until the good nights shadow popped out and said 'Boo' to him' I laughed.
I took them round the back to meet Ali's dog thinking best kept out the way, but when I returned to the stable I inadvertently sneaked up on Merlyn and spooked him right out of his skin....'I rest my case' I think and apologise to him. Great start before the vet arrives, yes?
By the time I opened the stable door he was a little on edge, to say the least, and was definitely in full audition for the role. 'I'm a big scary horse (actually I'm a big fearty)' he acts out, pawing and looking down his nose at me, doing he best to look a menacing and live up to his on screen potential.
I have to say Merlyn still seems huge to me, somehow bigger than Monty who is also 16'3, but I guess like humans its all in the way you carry yourself. I don't know if the Actimel advert is just a UK thing, but I often feel when I stand beside him like the little girl in the advert who says 'Lets see what you've got, Mr Muffin!'
Anyhow I led him out, doing me best not to be trampled along the way - new steel toe boots doing a grand job - and played vets assistant with some extra pointers on how vet to steady him. Mr Muffin (Merlyn) kept his on edge demeanor for rest of the visit and needed an extra bit of hold with the rope across the nose band and extra grip the neck to steady him for all that prodding, washing, clipping and bandaging.
At the end I say 'You were a brave boy'...'Indeed he wasn't!' comments the Vet. I sense that having previously undergone a lot of vet treatment for a broken foot, he may be as fond as I am of the densist after a root canal treatment.
Now that I am a veteran of the Vet visit I do hope he has forgotten it all before our next encounter!