Dear diary,

So in an unusual move this year I have been asked to write a Christmas message to you all for Christmas (or Christmas Diary day as it should be called).

The young ginger one in the barn says this makes me like The Queen who pre-records a message to all her people for broadcast on Christmas day after lunch.

I liked this idea but when I questioned him further on this he said a very posh older lady talks about her Annus Horribilis. I’m personally thinking he’s got confused with an episode of Embarrassing Bodies? I love you all dearly but I’m not discussing that sort of thing with any of you…

So I thought I’d reflect a little on my year instead.

So the year started off not so great. Ongoing lameness issues meant I didn’t get to do anything fun, mum cried a lot, Herman the German looked stressed and rapped to me (my ears still haven’t recovered), mum talked foolishly of selling body parts to pay for my treatment (not foolish for the sentiment — I am after all totally worth it — but seriously who would want her body parts?) and the mighty Hovite Army crossed everything they had. And for some of them this was quite a feat…

But I am afterall the Destroyer, no ordinary horse and more manly than the manliest thing you can imagine.

After being subjected to shaven feathers, embarrassing coloured bandages and more injections than a pin cushion I decided quite frankly I’d had enough and fixed myself. Well ok, I might have a very talented vet In Herman, a very clever farrier in Cool New Shoes Man and maybe those Hovite Army vibes are powerful things but either way I was passed fit to commence work again.

It’s fair to say mum, Aunty Becky and I had very different ideas about what “returning to work” meant and its probably fair to say on occasion it was a good job there were no talent scouts for the London Ballet School around otherwise I may have been spending the rest of my life in a tutu.

I do point out on several occasions just because I dislike stressage with a passion doesn’t mean I can’t do a perfect piaffe, a smouldering shoulder-in or an exquisite extended trot. The fact it’s never when mother asks for it is merely a reflection of her riding skills…

So I got fitter, Aunty Becky and I had the occasional (and sometimes unasked) cheeky canter, mother and I fell out (a LOT) and the world was a happier place.

I spent the summer babysitting the high maintenance mare.

And looking after her horse. Bom Bom!

We canoodled. We frolicked. We looked deep into each other’s eyes. She tried to rip my face off. It was a summer of love and laughter. Me loving her, her laughing because she’d just kicked my bum into the next county. Again. She is a witch, but she is my witch.

Then there was the small matter of releasing book number FOUR. Yes people, we’ve come a long way and now I have my own series.

Once again I gave all the proceeds to charity and never made a bean myself. Mum continues to tell me I’ll earn my place in heaven. I continue to look for a new manager. Once again we have shipped books to the furthest reaches of the globe and once again the reach of the Hovite Army astounds me. My global domination plans continue and I am working on the logistics of a global tour. My mate Nip and Tuck Shop flies all over the place so I’m sure I must be able to. Mum points out he weighs less than I do and nothing short of a military aircraft could cope with the size of my bum. Pot kettle, fat arse is all I’m saying…

So I’m back on form, I’ve run my first cross-country and I have plans to take Aunty Becky to a few more next year. I might never be perfect but I’m fighting fit, raring to go and more importantly flying the flag for big horses everywhere.

So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that as you are reading this Santa has been kind.

Remember to give all your horses a cuddle, tell them you love them and ask for forgiveness for whatever hideous schooling/stressage/prancing to music horror you have put them through this year.

Thank you once again to the amazing Hovite Army who look after my Facebook pages and give so much love and support. Thank you to my team at Horse & Hound (and don’t be modest I know I have a “team” — all famous people do) and thanks to you all for reading.

Have a good Christmas.

Laters,

Ho-Ho-Hovis