When I was in Royal Marines training, they would tear us out of bed about 04.00 depending on their whim, and if the folds on our bed sheets weren't sharp enough for our drill Sergeant to shave his already badly scarred chin, or the freshly polished floors not shiny enough to reflect his bloodshot eyes, we were in for pain of the highest order. If, after a twenty mile run over Dartmoor (usually in the rain) our boots were not shiny and dry and our kit not looking as if it had just been issued then five times around the assault course would be the least of our punishment.
I mention this only as a comparison, as I've taken over the upkeep of my daughter's horses for the next few weeks since I could never hope to earn a fraction of what it would cost for someone else to do it.
"Why does the straw all have to be leaning at an angle of thirty seven degrees? And does all the sawdust have to be exactly twenty two point three centimetres high?" I asked despairingly of my daughter who is not allowed to do anything more strenuous than breathe for the next two weeks as she oversaw my pathetic attempts to clean her stables.
'Oh, dad, don't be silly, the straw only has to be uniform - exactly twenty centimetres deep and the sawdust at least four centimetres thick. We don't want him to get cold in the night. And don't forget to take out all the straw from their water buckets, we want to give them clean water." All this despite said buckets being filled with straw the very next time they stuck their hairy snouts into them."
But she meant it. Stick three stripes on her arm and she would have terrified the life out of my battle hardened old Drill sergeant - and he'd been to war.
After only three days of this, what "we" would like is to curry both of them and torch the stables. I might just sell my body parts and get someone else to do it.