Dear diary,

My name is Hovis and I am in desperate need of rescuing. I am being mistreated and subject to forces so evil that even Satan himself would pity me: put simply I need help. How on earth could you be put through such misery I hear you ask? Do you have to ask I sadly reply? One word, people. MOTHER.

Since I am off to this cult event in November she is utterly determined that in all the lights that I might be viewed, I am looking my best; hence boot camp. What’s more she is not alone in this evilness — she has suborned Aunty Emily and Frenchie to the gang and now the terrible trio are hell bent on working my sorry, underfed carcass into the ground. I have had my rations stripped back to little more than a mouthful of chaff to take my manly I-am-not-taking-them-because-I-am-old joint supplements and the odd carrot when Aunty H can slip me one without mother noticing, out of the kindness of her heart.

I am being worked EVERY day, flat work, jumping, flat work, lunging and then more flat work. The jumping bit is fun (more on that in a minute) but the flat work and the lunging are seriously BORING. I am losing weight faster than a celebrity new mum being sponsored by a slimming company. Seriously, at this rate I’m going to be a thoroughbred by Christmas (only slightly less neurotic and with feathers).

The combination of hard work and a flourishing winter coat mean I spend each day sweating like a dieting fat man in a cake factory. Mum was heard muttering about clipping the other day so I’m clinging onto my manly amber (I am NOT ginger) coat with all four hooves. The minute I get clipped, all hope of being treated like a manly man are lost faster than the hair itself and I’m left looking like an advert for green peace; all baby seal grey and huge eyes. Not to mention the pitiful calories I can gain from the four blades of grass I’m allowed a day just trying to keep warm. I like my fur and I’d like to hold on to it for as long as possible; witch who must be obeyed clearly has other ideas…

The only degree of happiness in this merciless campaign of fitness is I have been doing a bit of jumping with both Aunty Em and Frenchie, both of whom seem blown away by my power and jumping prowess. I’ve said it many times before but the reality is that nothing in nature is more pre-disposed to flying that those of us possessing feathers.

The height of jumps we’ve been practising over is frankly offensive but since both of them have a tendency to inspect my ears mid-flight I do fear for them remaining within the earth’s atmosphere if we jump the kind of height that I feel I should be doing.

Continued below…

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I’m pretty sure there’s some showjumping types coming to Your Horse is Alive so I’m hopeful of trying to convince at least one of them that I am the future of their sport.

I am of course deeply concerned that Charlotte What’s-her-face is equally on the hunt for a replacement for Viagra and indeed who could blame her for looking in my direction (at the last Your Horse is Alive event I attended I did after all coach Nip and Tuck-shop every evening to enable him to become the horse he now is). I do need to let her down gently though. Charlotte, my lovely talented lady — the only way I will ever do dressage is if it’s the warm-up to cross-country and showjumping. I know it’s hard to take but you’ve got to be brave and I’m still more than happy to come and coach some of your new horses in the ways of the world. I can teach them moves which will make sure even after the great Viagra’s retirement you will always be the talk of dressage circles…

Anyway I’m off to hide from mother and mad women with clippers.