Dear diary,

So as you read this I’m en-route to Your Horse is Alive, ready to launch my new book, hob-nob with the stars and meet my adoring public.

Mum will be moaning about sleeping in a lorry for the weekend, dad will be pointing out all the things she’s forgotten to pack, Aunty Becky will be bouncing about like a tigger after too many blue Smarties and Frenchie will be wondering what the hell is going on and what she has let herself in for…

So this week had been all about the preparation for the big event and burning off enough energy that I don’t totally embarrass myself and my breed at the event by behaving like a highly strung feathered thoroughbred.

On Monday Cool New Shoes Man came to fit my new dancing shoes and what shoes they are! They are engraved and very fancy. Mum and Cool New Shoes Man have agreed that when they come off we will auction or raffle them off for charity so watch out for that in a few week’s time. They have YHL and CNSM on them and then because he’s a joker he’s put “left” and “right” on them so that I don’t forget; I think he’s confusing me with mother…

So he and I had fun, me wearing his hat and generally drooling all over him and him holding my legs while I leant adoringly on him. I do love how embarrassed he gets cuddling such a superstar as me – he goes so red in the face every time…

On Tuesday Aunty A came and clipped me out much to my distinct horror. I know I go through it every year but the minute I shed my manly exterior coat which is not-really-ginger-its-just-the-light and reveal my seal pup grey colour underneath I trigger a tidal wave of gooeyness from every female within a 25 mile radius. It is NOT my fault I have massive brown eyes, a perfected melting eye look and the colouring of the star of a Green Peace poster. I am NOT some cute little pup, I am the destroyer so please will you all stop with the “ahhh”s?

In the meantime I have been worked every day by Aunty Emily who seems hell bent on slimming me down to the size of a Shetland and ensuring I have as much energy as a tortoise after a zumba class. I’m barely going to be able to put one weary foot in front of the other at this rate.

Yesterday I was subjected to 20 minutes lunging the “legs off me” before operation “scrub every inch” commenced. Oh and I do mean EVERY inch, I was positively mortified. My tack is so clean I worry that it may disintegrate and I have been left strict instructions to levitate all weekend to avoid getting any muck on my feathers.

So me, my clean body parts and my gleaming tack are en-route. I’m spending the weekend hobnobbing in the rare breeds village so come and say hello, exclusively pick up a copy of BOOK NUMBER FIVE (!!!) and don’t forget to head over to place a bid on my lot at the Wilberry auction.

My 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.

All the money raised goes to the charity Willberry the Wonder Pony and will carry on the amazing work started by Hannah Francis. Please be as generous as you can and I look forward to a great day with the lucky winner.

Continued below…

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And on one final note on such a meaningful day, it wouldn’t be right to not mention all our wonderful service men and women and all the animals that have served in all the conflicts around the world on behalf of our country. We owe them a debt no money can ever repay and all deserve our respect:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.

Lest we ever forget.

See you all at the weekend.

Laters,

Hovis