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Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘a boy has some standards and the egg and spoon race is mine’

Dear diary,

It is day 978,504 of the human strangle epidemic; personal grooming is a distant memory while stampedes of wild humans herd to new grasslands in far off lands such as KFC have been witnessed. New guidelines are set to be issued at the weekend by the BHS (British Human Society) on how to handle these increasingly feral animals in a safe way; we do expect to have to increase in-hand grazing slightly, so I would recommend the ordering of a suitable control device such as a stun collar or cattle prod in preparation. It is likely that the recommended amount of lunge work may also be raised with concerns around unfit, over-conditioned humans falling like fat, asthmatic flies a real issue; I would recommend an aggressive regime of strip grazing or super-gluing the biscuit barrel closed is implemented as soon as you can acquire the required amount of electric fencing or gaffer tape. Whether you use the gaffer tape on the object, or the human muzzle is entirely a personal choice…

What I am, however, hopeful of is that any minor relaxing of the strict box rest may lead to a slight change in focus for the humans; for many of you who haven’t seen your humans, then brace yourselves for the fresh hell that we who have formed the equine equivalent of a boredom breaker for the past six weeks have had to endure. Grooming, lots and lots of grooming, and lungeing. I now have PTSD if someone says the words “20m” and “circle” in the same breath…

For those of whom who have provided the only form of entertainment our humans have had access to outside of Netflix and nachos, then I am hopeful that other distractions may now begin to emerge; useful new focus areas such as bathing, toe nail clipping or facial hair topiary… If I have to be seen out in public with she-who-needs-a-haircut anytime soon, I would like to not look like I’m owned by Captain Caveman. I don’t think it’s asking much.

Hovis

Talking of being the only form of entertainment, this week I am torn between outrage and minor excitement at the possibilities this latest development grants me. There are two ways to look at what happened: either I was exploited for my good nature and generous soul to be used like an enormous (and frankly insultingly free) seaside donkey, or I am about to embark upon the greatest infiltration job since the Trojan horse. Let me explain…

On Monday, Aunty Em rode me in the school as usual, with me being my usual self-regarding my inability to carry my own head, as well as an understanding that Aunty Emily asks me for certain things and I wilfully ignore her until the level of questioning of my ancestry gets almost level to mother’s resting volumes, at which point I comply. But this time when she had finished, instead of leading me towards the barn, she took me back to the mounting block where mini-mother (pictured throughout) was waiting with an expression that resembled mother’s when she split her jodhpurs halfway around a showjumping course — part terror, part resignation and a lot of bare faced cheek…

Watching her scramble up onto me like a monkey onto the sunroof of a minibus at Whipsnade Zoo, I was filled with a degree of pride — I had taught this human foal of mine well over the years, and while I fear I can’t counteract the heavy genetic burden she carries (i.e. she’s my mother’s daughter), I have at least ensured that she is confident around horses. So much so that not two minutes later she’s waltzing me around the school berating Aunty Em who wouldn’t let her off the lead-rein.

Hovis

I did feel at times all I needed was a name change to Dennis and I’d fit in well down Blackpool sea-front, but she was happy, if marginally frustrated at being denied the opportunity to see what a real horse feels like. However, I could tell from the gleam in her eye that this probably wasn’t our first and last joint sojourn; and let’s face it, who could blame her? So, okay Barbie Boy is attractive enough to confuse me at times, clearly no slouch in the “suck up to the mother-ship” stakes, and hasn’t mullered mini-mother yet but, put simply, he just isn’t me. Which leads me onto the world of opportunity this opens up. Yes, PONY CLUB. Peoples, I figure if you can’t beat them (and sadly there are laws against it, I have checked), then join them. I mean think about it, going away to parties, hanging around the campfire at camp telling tales of when I went round Belton with my favourite lady Mary King, while moral-less half pint hussies hang off my every word, stabling with a posse of pretty ponies. Well, there are worse things in life. I am, to be clear, aiming to just be the first line in her Pony Club eventing string and will not, under any circumstances, be doing Pony Club games — a boy has some standards and the egg and spoon race is mine.

Continued below…

On a final note, I wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you to all who donated to my Covid-19 appeal — we raised an ace £1,510, which was split equally between Bransby Horses and the RDA emergency appeal. Both charities now have the money, so thank again to everyone who helped us. I’m off to make preparations for more in-hand human herding and see if they make Pony Club colours that suit my ginger-in-the-wrong-light complexion.

Laters,

Hovis

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