Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘getting muddy is fun’

  • Dear Diary

    Well it’s finally here, the first white stuff of the year. Admittedly it’s been a tad half-hearted, fluttering about like a male butterfly refusing to ask for directions but, none the less, actual flakes have definitely fallen on my mane. And no I do NOT have dandruff.

    To be honest it makes a pleasant change from all the rain and wind — resembling a soggy startled poodle is wearing a little thin. I have long since accepted that in inclement weather I don’t look brooding, wet and wild but more of a dripping doe-eyed doofus. It’s impossible to do brooding when your feathers are clinging to your legs like off-white spray on leggings and you have droplets hanging off your ridiculously long girlie eyelashes.

    The change to the white stuff also might stop mother moaning about the state of my legs, it’s not as if I asked to be a magnet for mud. Since she insists on still working me in the school in this weather, then I’m certainly not to be blamed for the fact the wet school surface has caused my once white feather to go a tad “Essex” in their orange glow…

    Mind you getting a bit muddy was fun last week when my number one wingman, Billy, and I went out for a quick “boyz in the wood” hack. It actually stopped raining for the hour or so we were out and a brisk trot out in the countryside was most fun.

    Despite adverse reports from my mother I did not spook at the bird (even if it does sound like some form of screeching flying dinosaur). Nor the tractor lurking in the hedgerow and certainly did NOT leap like an electrocuted alley cat with all feet off the floor at a comedy angle when that bag blew across the road. No sir that wasn’t me.

    Coming through the back of the village to our favourite canter track, Billy and I were saddened to notice that there were walkers half way along it, with three things that bark cavorting about our racetrack. Which was, quite frankly, rude. Aunty C suggested trotting to catch up with them and asking if we could canter ahead. I favoured the “let’s canter up behind them and flatten them” approach but sadly mother sensed this and kept a firm killjoy hand on my reins; she has no sense of adventure my mother…

    When we got close enough for Aunty C to communicate without sounding like a fog horn, we politely requested clearance for a fly-by. Billy had taken point at this stage and I was holding a rear guard position in case the smallest of the three things that barked tried anything funny. I personally didn’t like the way he was eyeing up my feathers.

    Therefore when we were given the go ahead for lift off, Billy executed an impressive walk to canter transition for a man of his advancing years whereas I merely sat back down onto my haunches and launched into a halt to canter transition that NASA would have been proud of. Hearing an awed “wow” from the walkers now in my wake, I steamed forward only to nearly end up wearing Billy as a balaclava.

    I do forget sometimes that my canter stride is about twice the length of his, which does occasionally result in circumstances when my head is perilously close to his posterior. Adjusting my stride to something resembling a constipated Shetland, we finished the track and pulled up with a flourish. Billy and I looked smug, we gave a mane toss to the walkers and strutted off the track — at which point I can neither confirm nor deny I ruined the overall impression by falling over my own feet and head butting Billy in the neck.

    Luckily mother’s seat is improving these days and she avoided being catapulted onto Aunty C’s lap, something for which Aunt C was undoubtedly highly grateful for. The rest of the hack passed off without incident and a smiley mother and Aunt C lavished treats and praise back at the yard.

    This praise continued over the weekend when I reluctantly ignored the inner voice in my head whispering “buck, buck NOW, go on you know you want to” when forced to play riding school pony to Dad’s nephew. How a child can be that uncoordinated I’m unsure — perhaps his legs and arms where bought from different places and are not compatible? I did briefly consider an amusing but, none the less, probably ill-advised spook whilst he was trying to wrap his head around the complicated manoeuvre that is rising trot but one of those looks from mother made me swiftly reconsider.

    Honour and halo therefore still intact after an hour of pained bouncing that made mother’s riding look like Charlotte Whats-her-face in comparison I was returned to the stable, groomed and fed treats whilst mother’s eyes conveyed her silent apology for the indignity.

    Add in the fact that I’ve had my portrait painted this week and overall I’m in a pretty good mood. I’m sure mother, Aunty Becky and the mother of the ginger flytrap will conceive new ways for that to be altered but right now all is good.

    I’m off to convince Dolly and Foxy that the white stuff in the air means there is a genuine need to huddle together for warmth, and that there is absolutely no correlation between my desire to safe guard their health and the fact it’s Valentines day.  Absolutely not.



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