Dear diary,

Thank you to all of you last week who sent commiserations to mum for the loss of the four-legged things that barks.

Mum was very, very upset but took comfort from your words and from wiping tears and snot all over my neck. I do love her and will do anything (within reason – stressage is NOT within reason) to make her happy but I do wish she wouldn’t use me as an equine tissue.

I also wish that I stopped falling for Herman the German needle man’s tricks of slap neck, cuddle, slap neck, stick a MASSIVE needle in my neck. I wouldn’t mind but I fell for it THREE times on Friday. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the evidence in the arena mirrors I would have thought I’d turned blonde overnight.

Despite the needles, it was an interesting week because we have a new dude at the yard.

He’s an American and seems quite cool if a little shouty. He’s hanging out in the field next to Dolly and I, and at least has taken some of the pressure off me to hoof hold the high maintenance mare 24/7.

He has developed an alarming habit of screaming for me along with Dolly when mum removes me from the field but at least his presence stops Dolly hurtling up and down her field necessitating in mum bringing her in as well every time she wants to work me. I actually didn’t mind as a) I got to canoodle with the brunette beauty and b) time wasted faffing with Dolly = less time spent making me work. Still, being threatened by Dolly’s rear hooves on a daily basis was wearing a tad thin.

The new guy’s name is Clancy and he seems OK. Apparently his mum has told him I’m very famous so I’m pretty sure the bucking he did along the length of the field next to me when mum was trying to fetch me in, was his version of bowing. Either that or he was trying to challenge my authority as king of the yard. I looked down my nose, executed my best powerhouse trot – which may or may not have taken mother rather by surprise – and put him firmly back in the correct position in the hierarchy.

Talking of trotting, that word is something of a swear word in our house at the moment.

Can I just start by saying it’s not my fault. It’s clearly in my genes to be a jumping machine and therefore it is a totally acceptable response to get thoroughly over excited by poles. Especially having not jumped for a year. The fact said poles had been strategically placed on the ground (with ends raised as per the specific instructions of the physio) with the sole aim of me trotting over them is beside the point.

I was excited.

I may or may not have jumped all of the poles like a large hairy long jumper.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I might have cantered over them.

Repeatedly.

I am refusing to comment on rumours that I might have bucked a few times, but I do positively refute mother’s comment that I squealed like a female donkey on heat. I definitely did NOT.

Now I think the physio had told mum to trot me over said poles “nice and steady”, to “take it easy”, to let me “find his feet and rhythm” to not “rush or push me”.

Well I found my own rhythm – it just happened to be VERY fast, and in the wrong pace (in mother’s view). There was absolutely no need to call my ancestor into question nor to suggest if I didn’t behave she was going to make me do shoulder in for the rest of my life. That was just cruel.

Needless to say I do perhaps need to curb my natural exuberance next time the poles come out or that could be the last I ever see of them.

Mother was last seen muttering about how she is definitely putting Aunty Becky on me the first time I see an actual jump again. I don’t think she’s happy. Ooopps.

So I’m off to count the days until I DO see a jump again, talk to the American dude and practise reining in my enthusiasm to avoid mum selling me to a stressage only home.

Laters,

Hovis