19 JUNE 1953, Page 18

Horse Oil

While walking through the undergrowth in the wood, my foot 'struck against a bottle and the, bottle shattered on a stone, and, although the air was heavy with garlic, I knew the smell of embrocation at once. It was a stuff' with which I had often been rubbed in my boyhood. Somehow I associated it with winter days when the geese were coming south and the skin of exposed hands and knees became " hacked " and colds were prevalent. So-and-so's horse oil was how I knew it, and there was a warning about using it on the sensitive human skin. A less powerful emulsion was put up for delicate mortals, but my grandfather swore by the horse oil and it was the most penetrating rub I have ever known. Two, or three years ago, when I had an unaccountable stiffness in the leg, I went to the chemist and asked for the embrocation. " For horses," I said. The man asked me where I kept my 'horse. " Shanks's pony," 1 explained and he was amused. The horse oil did what was needed. The stiffness left my leg, but I have made no convert. to a belief in horse oil.