Dear diary,

God above, what is that dude upstairs trying to do to us all? One minute it’s raining so hard I fear a repeat of Noah’s Ark is imminent and the next he’s switched the temperature control up to gas mark 10 and we’re being fried alive. I don’t know whether to grow coat or lose coat, shiver or sweat, place my order for a rain Mac and a duvet or dig out the shades and a sombrero. One minute we’re in during the night because we’ve all got that wet that we’re in danger of becoming a yard of high maintenance Shetlands and the next in during the day because of the risk of becoming deep fried horse burgers. My nose doesn’t know if it’s dripping or getting sunburnt. I is totally confused.

One thing that remains constant however is the fact that my mother can always be relied upon to ruin my day. The other week the nice saddle lady had come out and announced that because I had regained my manly muscle plus a bit that it was time for a new saddle — cue mother turning sheet white and muttering something about selling body parts. I hope if she’s selling hers she doesn’t have a refund policy — as soon as anyone realised how used her kidneys are they’d be sending them straight back.

Anyway last week the nice lady came back with arms full of options for mum to try on. I was not enthusiastic. Trying saddles on means a) mum has to get on board b) she gets REALLY self-conscious about someone watching her ride so thus is even more picky with me than normal and c) it’s a lot of getting on and off and switching kit which quite frankly is boring to a boy who’d rather be out there jumping. As a result of my lack of enthusiasm I might not have been the most forward going that I’ve ever been. I may have been so behind the leg that me and mother’s appendage were possibly in separate postcode areas and possibly mum might have glared at me so hard she nearly ruptured a retina.

The nice saddle lady left the best of the bunch in terms of fitting my manly physique for mum to “trial” and I resigned myself to a weekend of mother riding me instead of Frenchie or Aunty Emily — both of which are much easier to fool than she-who-must-be-obeyed.

Take the Friday for instance. For the purposes of speed it was decided to lunge me. Now I was already in the bad books as snitch bags Aunty Em had told mum I’d possibly “played her up” earlier in the week so mum was on her toes. Frenchie lunged me on the left rein and off I tootled like the angel I am. Ten minutes later, when she wanted me to go the other way, I decided I was bored and refused to go. She pleaded, she cajoled, she tried to act bossy (which was hilarious as she’s WAY too nice and a total rank amateur next to mother), so the iron-witch herself took over. Cue her slapping me in two lunge lines, fixing me with a death glare that would have shrivelled a lesser man and making me to her bidding. Swiftly realising that I was out-foxed and outgunned I proceeded to lunge beautifully much to Frenchie (and later Aunty Em’s) annoyance. Ladies, I love you both with all my heart but you will never scare me the way mother does — only she actually holds the power to sell me so she’s got a serious trump card there.

The following day mother rocked up with the new saddle in her arms and a glint in her eye and I just knew my day was going downhill faster than a Jamaican bobsleigh team.

Apparently she took great umbrage to me running about like “a fat giraffe with a chip on its shoulder” and so a battle royale commenced for the following 40 minutes in so much as I tried to either stick my nose somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter or lean on mother so much she was holding me up while she tried to make me work from behind and actually form a semi-decent contact.

Continued below…

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It’s fair to say once more the air was blue and both of us were panting like 200m runners trying to catch Usain Bolt. I’d call it a 1-1 draw but I’m not sure mother would agree…

Before I sign off and attempt to hide from any more attempts of stressage, I wanted to say a HUGE well done to our Paralympic teams — aren’t they amazing? Incredible results from all of them; true champions.

Laters,

Hovis