Dear Diary

So mother has finally done it – totally and completely lost her tiny little mind. Admittedly her heart is, as always, in the right place, but I think the disassociation between reality and fantasy going on in that tiny brain of hers has now reached epic proportions. I shall explain more in a moment…

I finished off the end of last week somewhat in the dog house after accidentally flattening the boss lady in a slight incident in the field. She claims she was grooming me and I spooked suddenly, knocking her flying like a human skittle to land with a thump on her much-less-padded-than-mother’s derriere and hip. She blames a bird in the hedge next to the field, but did cite it was “most unlike me”. I do have a slightly different version which is more like “taking evasive action to avoid potential ambushes by armed rabbit militia”. Oh and possibly forgetting the boss lady was in striking distance as I leapt to safety…

I was very sorry for knocking her into next week as she’s very lovely and gives me far better dinners than she-who-must-be-obeyed. She does appear to have forgiven me, but is now insisting on doing everything in the middle of the field away from any potential ambush areas – she’s a switched on cookie – giving the enemy no strategic advantage is a good thing. Wish mother was as clever…

Boot camp continues with Aunty Em in preparation for Your Horse is Alive with a scary amount of stressage featuring in my life. Which is depressing, but is offset slightly by the jumping. I do so love my jumping. Stay tuned for more YHL news in the next few weeks – exciting times!

Aunty Emily reports to mother that I am a total star and that I am putting a smile on her face every time she rides me. Mother has suggested she needs to lay off the happy pills and accept that I am a mongrel fur ball with attitude and the day I actually behave will be the day mother is asked to runway model for Armani. Mother is a cynic.

Mother is also nuts.

So as you all know I like to do a lot for charity – all my book proceeds go to equine charity Bransby Horses and I have helped out on various campaigns. Mother too has jumped on this bandwagon and has run mud races and all sorts of other stupid things in aid of various cancer charities so really this shouldn’t have been a surprise. But still…

I’m sure all of you know of the incredible, awe-inspiring beautiful soul that was young Hannah Francis, who died in August this year from terminal cancer. The charity she set up – Willberry the wonder pony – is carrying on her legacy and doing all sorts of amazing things to raise money for bone cancer research and to fund equine wishes for terminally ill people.

All involved are legends and none less so than the remarkable team who have come up with the idea of the Wobbleberry Challenge. Now the way I hear this is that they have challenged middle-aged, unfit, non-eventing types to train as hard as they can to be able to complete a BE80 next year in Hannah’s memory and all to raise money for the charity. An amazing idea and one I am whole heartedly behind – in principle. I am more than happy to be the pathfinder at such an event, say with someone like Ben Hobknob on board.

But life doesn’t work like that does it?

So who do I know who is portly, middle-aged, a less than brilliant rider, delusional and processing of a steed more than capable of completing such a feat? Erm…


So my lame, unfit, overweight, scaredy cat, doesn’t-like-to-leave-the-ground-these-days-unless-its-in-an-aeroplane mother has agreed to sign us up for this. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or hide in the hay barn.

Continued below…

More about the Wobbleberry challenge:

I mean I will have NO problem with any of this – apart from the stressage, for which I am on the hunt for a sneaky body double possibly in the shape of that breed traitor and prancing supremo Boston – but with mother on board? We’re DOOMED, I tell you DOOMED. If I make it past the first fence with my pilot still intact then it will be a miracle. I’m just wondering if we can convince Aunty Becky to come out of retirement instead?!

So stay tuned over the next year and follow my attempts to coach mother in the ways of us talented eventer types, possibly try and convince someone else to ride me – I don’t know who so I’m up for suggestions, but anyone who can actually ride would be good – and please get behind me to raise a tonne of cash for an amazing cause and in memory of a truly remarkable young lady. Our just giving page details can be found on my facebook page: We love Hovis and His Friday Diaries on H&H.