..and then Rockstar’s horse bit me. She didn’t mean to, you understand, she was trying to bite the Miss’ horse.
My favourite memory of the trip thus far. NO IRONY. This one’ll go down along with the Trying Not To Die On Skis one where I’m pretty sure the ski instructor gave up on me <proud> 😀 But first to the ponies, and then to a convoluted point.
It turned out, according to the proprietor, the two ponies “bicker like children” (NOW he tells us) and so while passing each other they exchanged snappy jaw movements just when my leg was in the way. Fortunately I was wearing jeans, and so this is the initial bite mark:
I didn’t even take a pic of the 1-2 inch purple bruising after a few days – beyond the initial feeling of being pinched in hedge cutters which happens so fast, it’s like any other big purple bruise. Just very happy that through the jeans there was no broken skin.
This riding school btw gets school trip visits from as far away as Singapore – the proprietor names a well-known international school who recently had their 14-15 year olds here on camp. Some of Rockstar’s friends and classmates back in HK also ride, in nearby Pok Fu Lam, and apart from that I heard it’s also a SEN (Special Education Needs) activity. For both Rockstars however, this one’s a first – we hadn’t been able to make riding playdates during busy school weeks.
I love animals very much. As an only child whose family moved from Sandakan to Penang after primary school, the constant parade of animals through our home was a lifesaver. I believe in the therapeutic ability of animals. It’s why a Golden Retriever/ Lab trained to sniff out cancer cells is a far more user-friendly detector than some of the heaps of expensive medical equipment. Technology is one thing, people terrified of a terrible disease choosing to get tested is quite another. When early detection is one of the biggest factors to survival, getting someone to agree to have tests regularly is vital. When science continues to struggle with curing cancer particularly in advance stages, it can surely devote some resources also to early detection. But I digress.
Leaning against those ponies was the most wonderful, therapeutic feeling. My best friend in secondary school used to ride, but well we always had different favourite animals and I only watched her riding from afar. When I visited her one Raya, she brought me also to the home of one of the attendants who took care of her horses. We were served horsemeat because an old animal had had to be put down. It was the kinder thing to do and they didn’t want to then waste the meat. Old Horse is incredibly tough and tasteless, even with rendang sauces, it is not… a young baby animal whose meat has been tenderised.
Growing up, I had wanted to be a vet for the longest time – me and this other Chindian friend of mine who boasted two vet parents. Neither of us became vets because I couldn’t imagine a bad day at work being unable to save abused animals, seeing first hand how ugly some human beings could be; her because…. I don’t know, I didn’t ask her, but she’s a surgeon-in-training for human patients now. I don’t know if she specialises in non-life-threatening stuff, I don’t think I can handle a bad day at work telling someone’s family I couldn’t save their loved one either. Plastic surgery, hey now that’s a thought 😀
You might wonder why I’m fine with the Horse Who Accidentally Bit Me. It was because in the past I never really got to know horses that well. The erm, reaction of the horse after realising she bit the wrong party was….. Whoops. (Fine, more like Oh Cr*p I’m In Deep Sh*t Now) I Shall Pretend I Didn’t Do That. Neither horse snapped at each other at all, after that.
A ship in the harbour is safe, I used to write in commentary to RMs… But…. It’s not what ships are built for. (In other words, so too investments.) Yet neither do ships leave the harbour without checking the weather forecast first. (Research!)
Or, nowadays, handle animals for the benefits, be aware of ornery ones who bite – but do your best to avoid it?
The Miss got bitten by a parrot. That one drew blood, even from a tiny cut. Though there was a sign saying “be careful, I bite,” the Miss that time WASN’T messing with the bird, she was feeding it. I’d trolled the holidays-half-opened pharmacies for Dettol Antiseptic Cream. They didn’t even have that in the first aid box of the petting zoo where she got bitten, “The birds don’t have any diseases,” …but we were carrying our own disinfectants and creams. It should also be noted that we were repeatedly encouraged at the farms to have the kids feed the animals from their fingers, not from the buckets, not by throwing the food on the ground. (But honestly I don’t trust beaks <sheepish>)
And so Animals.