Dear Diary

Well it’s fair to say I have a problem. A BIG problem. Next weekend (8-9 November) I go to the biggest event of my little hairy life — to hob-nob with the stars, meet my fans and take my rightful place amongst the upper echelons of high equine society. “Well is this not all good?” I hear you all cry — “we can meet you and you can re-educate Mr Nester on the fact that stressage is wrong”.

No, it is NOT all good for one very significant reason.

Herman the German needle man.

Or rather the gung-ho antics of Herman the German needle man.

If the man had been anymore cowboy-like in his actions I would be buying him a big hat, a set of chaps and shouting “ride ‘em hard”. On second thoughts I now have an image in my head that is so disturbing I may need therapy…

I shall explain.

He came to see me on Friday as I told you last week — to do my joint injections on my remaining poorly front foot and generally check that this heavyweight future British eventing squad stalwart was going to live to fight another day.

This time I was ready for his sleight of hand with the needle and the night-night juice, but in fairness, he and mother had decided that perhaps a smaller dose would be in order this time — as mother wasn’t entirely convinced all my brains cells had survived the last trip to la-la land. Dolly’s mum had already snitched to Herman about Dolly’s, and more importantly, my antics the previous weekend and had told many a high tale of me prancing about on my supposedly injured foot and generally acting like Nureyev in leg warmers. I marked such tell-tale like behaviour down in my mental little black book and plotted wiping snot down her back at the soonest opportunity. Herman didn’t seem overly worried and suggested I was clearly feeling much better. I had a brief moment of loving that man. It didn’t last…

While it’s fair to say I was feeling a tad mellow, I wasn’t as fully knocked out this week as I was a fortnight ago, so I was only too aware of Herman’s approach with the clippers. Mum was just explaining about my upcoming appointment at Your Horse Live, when he made a noise that could only be described as a disbelieving snort and promptly massacred my feathers.

There is no other word for the hack job he has made of my white fluffy pride and joy. MASSACRED.

I look like an escapee from a serious ambush with a rouge set of hedge trimmers and their deadly side kick, the strimmer.

The look on my mother’s face as she picked up tragic mutilated remains of my feathers off the floor and cradled them to her jumper could only be described as 40 per cent horror, 10 per cent upset and 50 per cent murderous intent. It was at that moment in typical male tradition he added insult to injury by brightly saying (in his heavy German accent) “Ha! You were joking right?”

I’ve never heard anyone grind the word “No” out from between their teeth like a peppermill in need of lubrication before but I can honestly say I have now. Meanwhile, I was still staring at my feathers, now clutched in mothers hand and praying the length was some trickery of the light. Even Aunty Becky’s suggestion that I could go for an equine comb-over look — with the feathers at the rear of my legs did little to ease my pain. I’m going to go to the most important event of my life looking like I have been eaten by moths.

Mum calmed down relatively quickly, stating it was more important that I didn’t get a joint infection and so if needs must and all that. Easy for her to say — she wasn’t intending to try and pull one of Carl Nester’s posh stressage mares for a little bit of horizontal half pass behind the arena doors…

Aunty Alison didn’t help either when mum spoke to her about giving me a fantastically smart haircut before I come down to Your Horse is Alive — she took one look at my legs and shrieked “as long as no one thinks I did THAT”.

Mum tried to console me with the thought that all my fans will have my diary (how? It’s my diary and it’s private!) and therefore know that I have been very brave having had big nasty needles stuck in my feet. Unconvinced by this, I am desperately seeking someone who can either knit me feather extensions from the mutilated remains of my own feathers or make me some fakes ones? I cannot go to this event with a stripe of missing feather up both front legs — I look like a landing strip for horse flies. So can anyone help?

Yours desperately

A slightly less hairy

Hovis