The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

28.12.2021 Poems by Pam

Grooming At The AJA Shows

Get the lorry loaded up with everything we’ll need.

Tack, hay and grooming kits and plenty books to read.

Mounting blocks for getting on and stuff to make things shine.

Coffee, tea and plenty food and don’t forget the wine!

Season’s off, we’re on our way to another AJA show.

Muscle rub and painkillers, we’ve got them all in tow!

The vet has been and done his job, the horses are ok.

Picked up all the paperwork and now we’re on our way.

Yes, we’ve got the vino and importantly, the Pimms,

Pringles, nuts and sweet stuff to munch on for our sins!

Story books on audio and silly games to play.

Anything to while those long old travelling hours away.

Meet up with our team mates who are waiting at the docks.

Drive onto the ferry and park our big horse box

Into a tiny space, the crew don’t think a girl can get.

Well watch out guys ‘cause you ain’t seen this girl driving yet!

Land in France and head off south, we’ve plenty miles to last.

To pass the time we flirt with other drivers as we pass!

Diesel stops and getting lost are all part of the fun.

Eventually we get there, now there’s plenty to be done.

Go and find the stabling plan and see where we’ve been put.

Hope it’s not too far to walk or there is a short route

As there’ll be many journeys made before the show is through.

The miles we walk to do this job, I wouldn’t have a clue!

Horses in their boxes. Truck all nice and clean.

Showered and changed and fed, our camp’s a peaceful scene.

Up to bed and off to sleep with nothing left to do

Except to work out in the night a safe path to the loo!

When your bed is in the luton, it is tricky I have found,

When your boss lies down below you, sleeping very sound.

What is duvet? What is her? I can’t see in the dark!

Getting out to have a pee is no walk in the park!

Early up next morning . Check horses safe and well.

The flies are causing havoc and the bites really do swell!

The water tap is very slow and really not that close.

The grey will need it daily using shampoo and the hose!

When the show gets underway, the riders get quite stressed.

Calming down and focusing must both now be addressed.

Set off to collecting rings, preparing to do battle.

Germans commandeering fences set show nerves to rattle!

Courses lean to good or bad, horses up and down.

Riders likewise vary as you watch them do their round.

Sometimes it goes brilliantly – they go ahead and win!

Others, they don’t do so great, so go and get the gin!

Bacardi will do just as well, and of course we’ve got the wine.

Some ibuprofen chasers and they’ll soon be feeling fine!

Us grooms are checking horses as they all worked hard today.

Before we hit the gala do, and dance the night away.

Then all is done and dusted and it’s time for it to end.

An early start tomorrow, for homewards we must wend.

Pray the wind does not get up and ferries, they will sail.

And home we’ll get, to happy dogs and a massive pile of mail!

by Pam Neill

This poem is all about what we lovingly called the Wrinkly tour! The Ambassadors Showjumping Association is for “mature” riders. There is a 3-4 day show in different European countries throughout the summer. The ethos is friendship through sport and they compete for prizes but never money. I groomed and later jumped at these shows for almost 20 years. We often referred to ourselves as “The old gits grooms”!

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

December 28, 2021
Sue Palmer