Not bloody whips again. OK I 've only done 150ish miles of a 200 mile trip, the reason for the doubt about the distance is that I never actually measured it on a map, so I could lie to Lee who accompanied me the first 150ish miles, about how far we had to go. Since neither of us had done any training at all, this was a wise precaution.
Some may think it eccentric, not to measure the distance, or to take someone with no horse experience on a journey of this nature, but I'm not eccentric, just a couple of flakes short of a bale, as us horsey types say.
Lee's great virtue, apart from being strong, tough, cheerful and used to living rough, was that he has no horsey tendencies. He can't understand using a whip, and after seeing someone using one in traditionally horsey fashion, can't see why he should want to learn.
Maybe in the last 50 miles, a blinding light will appear in the sky, and I will fall to my knees, promising to hit horses evermore, but I doubt it. If it happens, I assure you, I will give full details in my blog and publicly apologise to all whip users who I have slagged off over the last couple of years.
Of course, if at the end of 200 miles, with a rig weighing the best, or from Obama's viewpoint, worst, part of quarter of a ton, across incredibly varied terrain, I find that there is still no reason to carry a whip, I will be driving down Rotten Row, on my own, in a wheelchair, behind a pony with no whip, no steel shoes, no blinkers, no crupper, no bit and I will be doing it in safety, in comfort, and so will Obama. At that stage I will ask just one question. If I don't need a whip to get this rig from Exeter to London, why do all these brilliant horsemen and women need whips.
Maybe I am just a stunningly good horseman, maybe my vehicle is totally brilliant, or if you don't subscribe to these two theories, maybe whips are the problem. Maybe anyone can do pretty much anything with ponies and horses if they stop carrying whips.
Lets make whips optional in racing. At present they are compulsory. Lets make them optional in BHS exams, at present they are compulsory, lets make them optional in Pony Club tests, no forget it, allowing people to teach kids to hit horses is sick.
Whips have no useful function on animals. Ban them. If people want to whip each other, who cares. It doesn't turn me on, but I respect the rights of individuals to thrash each other if BOTH PARTIES CONSENT.
If I haven't changed my mind about whips by the time I get to Rotten Row, I will be getting a Facebook site together to ban the filthy things. I fully expect my account to be suspended for abusive language, like "DON'T HIT HORSES WITH WHIPS!"
I know it is a deeply offensive attitude to lots of people, but I have a strong suspicion that the horses won't be complaining about my campaign. So all you whip enthusiasts, pray for a "Road to Damascus" (conversion of Saul of Tarsus from whipping Christians, to being Saint Paul......maybe not such a good analogy for conversion to whipping the innocent) moment for me, when a huge blazing horse appears before me and starts singing Ian Drury's "Hit Me!"
Grammar's gone to pot as usual, but I think you get the gist. Try the carrot, forget the stick.
To see some of my marginally more organised rants, try these links. If all else fails, try hitting them with whips. It works with horses, doesn't it? http://sites.google.com/site/wehithorsesdontwe/ http://saddlechariot.comlu.com/index.php