Third horse from the front was the mare. An enormous black and white cob with heavy legs covered in wiry, coarse hair. He remembered loading her up back in Co Kerry and doubting she’d fit in the bay, but if they don’t fit you make them fit and he’d got her on. She’d seemed a placid sort but Christ, she was kicking off now. Sweat had collected in foamy patches behind her ears, on her neck and on the insides of her legs. Her eyes were wider than he’d ever seen on any horse and she was complaining so loudly it stung his ears. Suddenly he knew. He reached over and pulled her tail to the side. Two tiny hooves poked out from under the dock of dirty hair.
The Guardian’s summer short story issue is out, and includes a first published work by a former horse breeder, Fan Flaherty, about the shipping of a valuable Irish mare. Here it is.