Dear diary,

So it’s that time of year again — the time of year when perfectly sensible people have some sort of brain fart and start dressing us poor exploited equines in all sorts of “festive finery” which includes (but is sadly not limited to) antlers, Santa hats and tinsel.

For the record, (although why I am bothering wasting precious oxygen is beyond me) I am not a ruddy CHRISTMAS TREE! I am 16.2hh of muscled equine magnificence and should not be treated like some sort of dress up Barbie at this awful time of year. I had pride, I had street cred — note I say “HAD” as trust me, they have long since disappeared in the rear view mirror in the same way as mother’s size six jodhpurs have…

So last Friday I was subjected not only to being forced to wear hats and tinsel and the like but was also photographed and videoed doing so for the footage to be used in Christmas messages and the like. The downside of international stardom? Your humiliation is seen around the globe.

Mum and the video ladies forced me to waltz around the school in a variety of outfits while the wind blew and my tinsel wafted in the breeze like a hyperactive octopus at a rave. Seriously, most horses would have been spooking all over the pace and what praise do I get? Mother squawking at me like a hyperactive crow to “look up and stop putting my ears back like a seaside donkey”. I am SO underappreciated, seriously people, I hope 2017 is the year of the adoption…

So said highly embarrassing footage will no doubt be viewable soon and you can all revel in my Christmas spirit and good natured bonhomie while I seethe in silence and plot my revenge.

Talking of Christmas and good will to all men and horses, I do want to wish Viagra a long and happy retirement. Admittedly he has done more to ruin the lives of ordinary equines like me by inspiring them to think they can look briefly like Charlotte-what’s-her-name but even I have to confess he is a talented dude and has certainly put British dressage on the map. Enjoy your retirement, dude.

I was even more thrilled to see that my mate Nip-and-Tuck-shop has done so well at Olympia too. Two short years ago he was barely a blip on the dressage landscape and now look at him! That just goes to show what being stabled next to me for two nights at Your Horse is Alive can do — back in 2014 I gave that boy some sage advice and now he’s blossoming.

Why the head honchos of the British equestrian teams don’t recognise both my individual talent but also my coaching capabilities is frankly beyond me…

It’s fair to say Aunty Em isn’t appreciating my talent either at the moment, unless she was secretly looking to improve her line dancing and actually enjoyed the dosey-do around the school yesterday. I was adamant that I wasn’t going the way she wanted and she was adamant I was. We were doing some nice salsa footwork when the boss lady came out, ruined my Strictly Come Dancing moment and slapped a roller and double lines on me. That woman is small, perfectly formed, talented kill joy. Mind you it’s nothing compared to what mother will do when she finds out.

Continued below…

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So I’m preparing for force 10 mother and yet more flat work at the weekend, just hopefully sans Santa hats, but knowing her she’d do it out of spite.

Keep your eyes peeled for my video footage and don’t forget that for last-minute presents you can’t beat my book for a good stocking filler. Go to www.bransbyhorses.co.uk to order all five and remember in doing so you donate all the money to the charity — I don’t even get a carrot out of it.

Laters,

Barr bum bug Hovis