06/08/2010 22:42 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or Life Just Aint Fair

Finje wants a horse and will not consider non-horse options. Which is a shame because we are not buying a horse.

I didn't expect to be hit with the equine obsession so soon. She's only 4 for goodness sake though living where we do doesn't help. Here in Lower Saxony it seems like every field is over run with horses and I have noticed a number of jodhpur-clad mums dropping off their offspring at kindergarten, usually followed by that strangely pleasant waft of manure.

One could be forgiven for thinking the fact that so many people own their own steed might help neutralize the horribly commonplace horsey-haughty-attitude. You would be mistaken. And the Germans do haughty so well.
If I'm honest, I could, yet again, be part of the problem. I can ride. But (hastens to add) Western-style. I'm all cowboy boots and chaps. I learned to ride where horses are vital and necessary in order for the work to get done. What you choose to wear or what position your heels are in is considered pretty insignificant when rustlin' some wayward bovine through an area of land larger than Denmark.

Anyway, as fate seemed to wish it, we do indeed now have access to a horse for the next seven months. We're looking after him whilst his mistress (or whatever you call them) is off backpacking round Australia.

I can ride him and Finje can sit on him and wish her legs were longer.


But it's not so perfect life is it? There are chores. Finje is barred from sitting on that horse's back until the work, which includes clearing the paddock of horse droppings (rather charmingly called "apples" here) is done. Initial keenness on horse ownership has unsurprisingly and satisfactorily diminished over the weeks. But she does so want to ride so she knuckles down.
It's positive parenting progress. I could get used to this feeling of being a good mother.

Yesterday though, she just couldn't bear it any longer. "Apple" collecting was just not on her agenda. She wanted to ride.

"Oh Mama pleeease. I don't want to. Please can I just ride?"

"No! Now if you want to even touch that horse today get shoveling those meadow muffins."

"You are mean mama!"

"Yes I am. Remember that next time you ask for a horse."

Tough love or Mumfail?