Dear diary,

So my appointment with Cool New Shoes Man is booked, my hairdresser is booked, mum has bought so much shampoo that she could wash the entire Household Cavalry including the men (and don’t encourage her to pursue that mental image, please) and the never heard words of “I think we should probably clean his tack” have been spoken. That’s right, people, it’s countdown time to Your Horse is Alive and the release of book number FIVE!

Mum’s seen the proofs and assures me the new book looks great and since I wrote the content, I know that it is a masterpiece of hilarity, witty observation and training advice for other talented equines. So come and get your copy — and if you’ve not read the previous four then grab them too! All the money, every last tiny weenie penny, goes to the charity Bransby Horses and supports the care of neglected equines across the UK, and the education to prevent cruelty in the first place. I know that the irony of me giving all my money to prevent neglect is enormous given the cruelty that I am subjected to on a weekly, neigh (do you like what I did there) daily basis but still, I am a generous soul who just hopes my generosity is duly noted in the next life because no one is noticing it in this one. I know, I know — I can hear the violins playing from here…

Anyway if you can’t come to the cult event at Stoneleigh then please look out for ways to get involved in an amazing charity auction in aid of Willberry Wonder Pony set up by the incredible Hannah Francis. Mum and I were asked to provide a lot for auction and since I’m the power house of the relationship then it’s all from me. The lot includes:

• A full set of all five books, signed for some bizarre reason by mother.
• A piece of the original artwork from the books by the talented Pilar Larcade and signed by Charlotte-what’s-her-face, Geoff Billabong, Karen Dixon, Jay Halim, Jason Webb
• A day with ME at Arena UK! Including the chance for cuddles, selfies, (you) grooming (me), a chance to see yourself in the magazine AND then a lesson (tailored to the ability of the rider) on ME.

Clearly I am expecting secret bids from the majority of the GB eventing team but they will be declined in favour of my actual fans. Please, please be generous and look out for ways to get involved and bid on me. I will be gutted if no one wants to come and ride me.

After 13 November the books will also be available to buy from the online shop at www.bransbyhorses.co.uk so keep in mind I’m a great stocking filler (well my book is — I’m a man and simply don’t do ladies’ hosiery) for all the horsey people in your life.

Continued below…

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I’m going to be in the rare breeds area at the show (ignore mother’s snide comments about how “rare” I will be if I don’t start behaving), so come and have a cuddle. Even if you’re “famous” don’t be shy — I don’t bite as Mr Nester and the wonderful Ms King found out last time I was there.

I am of course assuming that I do actually survive the next few weeks and get to YHL. Apparently if I lunge with Aunty Em the way I did the other day again then I might not make it. She’s apparently all in favour of the sport in which you skate or snowboard behind your steed but was less keen on doing it merely in her boots. I don’t see the issue personally — me spinning her round like a weather vane in a force ten gale is merely a sign of affection — ask mother, I’ve been doing it to her for years…

Anyway I’m off to brace myself for a weekend of feather washing while mother cries into my shoulder about the state of my mane.

Laters,

Hovis