Dear diary,

Firstly let me use this opportunity to say thank you to all the lovely people who send me gifts and cards etc at this time of year.

It’s so nice of you but I do want to reassure you that although she is a bushy haired she-witch of epic proportions, mother does actually feed me (occasionally), does bring me out of the rain (sometimes and only when she’s not straightened her barnet — on those days I’m on my own to be honest) and sometimes does actually remember that while she is now a hardnosed whip wielding, generously derriered destroyer of joy there was once a brief time when my melting brown eyes technique worked on her.

So what I’m trying to say is that the presents are lovely and I’m very, very grateful but please don’t be worried — mother loves me really.

And I love her.

Especially when she has carrots.

Shallow? Moi? As a paddling pool…

Anyway the good news is the ongoing weird weather patterns are playing havoc with any attempts to dress me as a reindeer/Santa/large equine bauble, so I have so far managed to avoid the annual embarrassment. Which is more than can be said for some of you poor poor mites.

My Facebook pages have been inundated with horrific pictures of equine suffering involving hats, tinsel, antlers and even one soul-destroying Christmas “onesie”. I can only imagine the trauma and suffering being caused and my heart goes out to every single one of you. After I’ve finished sniggering of course…

Mind you, she-who-must-be-obeyed has now finished work so the chances of me escaping for much longer are truly slimmer than an anorexic height stick. I did try briefly hiding the other day in the mud bath in the corner of my field. Mum was thrilled with my colour change and positively cried with joy at my black legs and brown belly. I nearly cried at how long I had to endure her scrubbing my legs with freezing cold water and a brush. Witch.

I see from the news at Olympia that my coaching of Nip and Tuck Shop the other year at Your Horse is Alive continues to pay dividends. Those midnight chats and the 5.30am wake-up call I gave him when we shared a stable block have really registered in his little warmblood ears. I taught that boy all I know and look at him now; prancing about like a fairy with the best of them. I’m very pleased for him and my mate Mr Nester, although if he could repay the favour and issue a statement saying he was very wrong about doing thousands of transitions in a schooling session being good for you then I would be very grateful…

I may not enjoy the finer arts of hotstepping across the school like a lizard on a hot tin roof but people I am Irish and thus river dancing is in my blood. Mother was heard muttering darkly about me being more “Fatley than Flatley” the other day but then she is hardly one to pass judgement on the size of one’s girth strap.

So until next week, which is none other than Christmas day itself, be good and if you can’t be good then be careful.

Laters,

Hovis