How I got bullied by three horses

This is not a photo from the incident

This is not a photo from the incident

Recently I haven not been writing about my treks round Pembrokeshire and how I have been working my way through the “Walking in Pembrokeshire ” guide. I’ve done so many now I have been repeating some of them two to three times. This last walk I did for the first time and is worth mentioning as it was one of the more unusual.

It is the walk no. 24 starting in Landshipping Quay and the day wasn’t to promising as weather was concerned. I though there might be just intermittent drizzles, but it ended pouring down all day and soaking me throughout. I recently invested in some wellington boots as the grounds in Pembrokeshire were becoming more and more water-logged in recent weeks and months. They proved to be a saviour on this occasion starting as I took on the river banks of the Cleddau river in Landshipping Quay.

Not long after the start of the trip I ended up in a field that was filled with, what at first looked like bullocks (castrated bulls). However as I got much closer I realised that one of them, how should I say - did not have the deed done to him. He was entire, un-castrated, missing the two-brick job. Now I know they can be very dangerous and show aggressiveness against almost everybody, including their owners, however he just seemed to have that smug look on his face like “I could have you, I could break you like a little twig and squash you like a bug”. I got the hint and did not stick around to find out if I might have misread his intentions. I later found out that bulls of this breed even if un-castrated are very timid and not that dangerous.

About half way into the walk I came on this field (just after Beggar’s Reach) that, at first, looked like it was only populated by loads of sheep. Then almost out of nowhere three huge thoroughbred horses that looked like they were trained by “I’ll be back” Schwarzenegger himself. They were massive. Not like the many half feral horse mutts you see in the Preselis that are quite shy and will usually run in the other direction of you approach them. Not only were they not afraid of me, they took an uncomfortable interest in me. The fact that haven’t been many walkers on that public footpath probably for days made their curiosity even bigger. When they first came up they did that typical horse thing where they come right up to you but once you try to pat them they shy away. I am not a horse person and I had a very limited contact with them through my veterinary career so I tried to interact with them as best I knew. I soon got bored and continued on the path only to realise I was being closely followed by all three horses. The close-stalking continued as I tried to find a way out of the field and ended being cornered in the field with these three guy (they were probably female, actually). Then they started what looked to me like an increasing aggressive behaviour and for the first time I thought, “Shit, I might get hurt”. It was a bit like primary school with the older boys bullying. I wasn’t sure whether I have to take some command over them, shout at them or continue ignoring them. I ended up with a strange combination of all three but I think the shortness of their attention span did the trick in the end. Needless to say I hastily exited the field and thought little of the psychological damage I might have sustained ;-)

The next exciting bit (NOT!) came after the Broadley farm. The track and surrounding fields were so saturated with water that the mud was nearly getting into my wellies . The problem was also I got completely stuck as my boots got sucked into the mud and moving my legs became was very very difficult. Not a completely un-dangerous situation as there was no soul around and the mobile phone reception was patchy at best. I somehow managed to almost crawl out of the very thick mixture of water, cow excrements and mud only to get myself corned at the end of the track. To get back onto the path I had to crawl under a barbed wire . Of course it wouldn’t be me If I didn’t get stuck nice and proper. Luckily none of the clothing I was wearing sustained any serous damage.

I got back to my car in Landshipping Quay properly soaked, covered with all sorts of filth and with a new founded respect/fear of horses.