Stuff I wrote about Drifter for Bring your hobbies to work day

These are the items I had printed for people to read about Drifter at Bring your hobbies to work day. Some of them will be things I’ve blogged about before, but I thought you might find some of them amusing regardless. It was written to try to appeal to the non-horsey, the ex-horsey and the horsey alike, which I found a challenge. I think I’ve been more successful with it in some areas than others.

Drifter is passionate about food but has a deep-seated loathing for bananas and a mistrust of soft fruit in general. In general though, food is always welcome.

Toilet habits
Unlike most horses Drifter is a firm believer that excreting is a private activity and will usually “hold it” until no one is looking. If he really needs to urinate and humans are not respecting his privacy he will assume the necessary position and then look directly and meaningfully at the human in question until they turn their back or go away at which point he will do what he needs to do.

Drifter enjoys long walks in the lanes and just watching the world go by, but his particular favourite activity is smelling other horses’ droppings, with great body-shaking sniffs of pleasure.

Geometry is difficult for Drifter and he continually questions whether a circle needs more corners and a straight line should curve more. However his problem solving abilities are above average. If he treads on a rope attached to his head he calmly thinks through the problem before removing the relevant hoof from the rope (many horses do not do this). Should he get into a predicament which requires opposable thumbs, he considers the issue and then stares meaningfully at any relevant humans with a pleading expression until someone comes to his aid.

Likes and dislikes under saddle

Likes: Jumping. Going fast.
Dislikes: Stopping. Standing still.
Beauty regime
On those occasions when he endures a bath, Drifter uses Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo as it is kind to his sensitive skin (and 10 times cheaper than shampoo marketed for horses). He has a pedicure and shiny new shoes about every six weeks. As he is naturally very long haired, he is body clipped several times a year to ensure he can work without sweating too much. He also has an annual dental check-up.
Fly control
For much of the year biting flies are a great nuisance to Drifter, particularly as they prefer dark coloured horses to light ones. He uses a few different methods to deter them: tail swishing, leg kicking, head shaking, wearing anti-fly-gear and homemade fly repellent (he’s allergic to commercial brands) made from vinegar, an Avon skin preparation, essential oils and cold strong tea. Additionally he has arranged for swallows to nest in the rafters of his stable to eat as many flies as possible.
Pet hate
Drifter despises water anywhere outside his own water bucket. He hates rain, puddles, baths and wet sponges.

Drifter is not of high birth. His passport, issued by Sport Horse Ireland, gives his breeding as “Irish Cob Cross”, with unknown parents. He’s clearly not enough to be an Irish Draft but his bulky, strong build and feathered legs show that he inherits characteristics of native breeds.

Physical attributes
Black, white and hairy all over, Drifter stands 15 hands and 2 inches high at the withers. (1 hand = 4 inches) That’s a little over 1.5 m., which is not very big for a horse. If he were 4.5 inches shorter he would be a pony.
He is a gelding (castrated male). He will turn 9 years old at some point this year, which makes him the equivalent of a young-ish adult – fully grown and muscled but not yet feeling the negative effects of age.


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