FROM here on in, Steve Clibborn, of Jiggi, will be keeping a close eye on the beer fridge.
You just never know when a 500kg whaler called Diamond Mojo will be looking for a cold XXXX.
It all started a few weeks ago when the horse went down with a shoulder injury.
No sooner had he come through that than he developed a lame front-left leg.
“I was devastated,” said Mr Clibborn, who competes on Diamond Mojo in long distance events.
“He's a magnificent man, big solid and strong.
“In endurance races, you can travel up to 160km, so the horses are trained like athletes.”
With the leg still lame, Diamond Mojo next went down with colic, an obstruction of the bowel that is normally fatal.
“I spent a day pouring water down Diamond Mojo's throat, but he was still pretty bad,” said Mr Clibborn who, with his wife Joyce, a champion endurance rider, runs Horsetalk Riding Farm.
“When I left him that night, I said ‘see you later'.
“I didn't even bother to check on him in the morning before I went to the local shop to get numbers for earth moving contractors (needed to bury the body).”
But when Mr Clibborn looked in on the horse, his ears were flickering.
“I was at it again, pouring water into him and, by late afternoon, I thought I needed a beer
“That's when I remembered an old farmer's remedy for colic – you give the animal something gassy and they burp and pass wind and the colic starts to clear.”
Mr Clibborn poured a stubbie down Diamond Mojo's throat and, pretty soon, the horse's bowels started working.
“I started taking him down a beer in the afternoon and every time I gave him one, he perked up.
“He's still hobbling on that leg. Even so, he's out of the danger zone.
“He's a special horse.”
Diamond Mojo's vet Jack Somerville said: “Steve told me about the XXXX. What I think is just that horses just like beer.”
Adds Clibborn: “I've got him off the beer now – the bugger would have cost me a carton a week.”
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