Hovis’ Friday diary: call me on 0800-HovisHelps

  • Dear diary,

    It’s day 1501,999 of the human strangles epidemic. Toilet roll hoarding is now thought to be coming under control but reports state that the curve is fattening; mainly due to the binge eating of the 7,000 packets of biscuits, binge-bought with the toilet roll in the first week. After initial enthusiasm at in-hand grazing, the average human is now having to be coaxed into movement by edging the crisp bag just out of reach, while social distancing is being aided by questionable hygiene habits and the fact all botox is now firmly wearing off. The Joe Wicks is now only being used by endurance animals or those praying for their stable mates to suffer an unfortunate life-ending injury during an over-enthusiastic lunge. According to statistics, the cases of laziarseistis are rising rapidly and concerns have been raised about the undue stress this will undoubtedly cause.. to screams across the land…

    This week has seen me see Cool New Shoes Man, as due to my immense fame/ animal magnetism/special needs feet/his need to pay for his wedding (*delete as appropriate), I am deemed a “red” case and thus, even with lockdown, CNSM has to come and see me. Or so he tells the mothership…

    I had the old resin taken out of the hole of Hovis and CNSM reports he is very pleased with my progress, so much so that he’s now left the gaping chasm open to the elements, ensuring that I will have to sleep with one eye open for fear of squatters. Seriously, you could lose small children in there. And with lockdown and tensions now starting to escalate, I do have concerns that mother does an equine equivalent of that Baskin Robins woman, but rather than feeding dad to a tiger she shoves his dismembered corpse into the hole in my hoof instead. Stranger things have happened.

    Talking of lockdown, strange things and feet, let’s also take a moment to set a few facts straight after yet again the parental papparazi posted pictures on MY Facebook pages that appear to show Cool New Shoes Man and I engaged in some sort of man-love during the third trimester of his pregnancy. To be clear, he instigated it, but he did tell me he was just checking I didn’t have grass stuck to my teeth before I went back to the ladies. And when it comes to his waistline, it was a very unflattering angle, but if mum hadn’t have taken it in panoramic mode, she wouldn’t have got him all in…

    Anyway, returning to the earlier topic, what did become clear when we were arranging CNSM to come and visit me is that the rules of when professionals (or CNSM) can come to deal with issues aren’t clear and despite the new traffic light system, there is probably much confusion. In my advice over the past few weeks about your box-resting human that I may have missed this vital information out, so thus, I shall now correct my error. So here is a simple guide to the traffic light system.

    Green means that your human is still functioning reasonably normally: they are rugging appropriately to the circumstances, are grazing politely with others and are moving about with little encouragement other than the fact the kettle/gin is in the other room. Good dental health is observed as they munch without issue on hard feed (mainly biscuits), while from a farrier’s perspective, nail growth is at least still confined within some form of hard soled footwear. Grooming may be more infrequent but is still occurring to the required level. Some geldings have been reported to be growing curly coats, but diagnosis of Cushing’s is too early to call. Green means your human is requiring non-crucial intervention and a professional shouldn’t attend. This category includes humans whose personal hygiene, nail and haircare cycles can be easily extended without any long-term detrimental affects to the human or the wider public.

    Amber means your human is starting to show the early signs of laziarseistis; their movements are stiff and stilted and they show a reluctance to move forwards. The kettle is now in reach at all times as is the biscuit barrel. Fatty deposits are starting to be obvious and crestiness can be detected — sudden movement of arms can result in injury to other stable companions due to excessive bingo wing swing. More alarmingly, inappropriate rugs are being utilised — with both the “onesie” and the “jogging pant” making more of a frequent appearance, which makes body condition scoring difficult. Rug chaffing may be evident due to the lack of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders being used. Dental health is becoming questionable with crumbs evidenced on both rug and facial hair (mares and geldings). Farriery is now starting to cause a potential issue with long term soundness as nails begin to do significant, but repairable damage to socks. In amber cases the professional should still consider delaying where possible as they won’t have the urgency of a red case. However, the professional must consider how far an appointment can be delayed without the human becoming a red case.

    A red case human is one who needs urgent professional assistance as further missed interventions would have “serious detrimental effects”: movement now is restricted to a hypnotically repetitive one between mouth and food/fluid source with the human refusing to move forward and often seen laid down on any flat surface. When a human is seen to move a degree of tripping may be witnessed due to the gravitational impact on unsupported front air bags and longterm neglect of botoxed areas. Excessive gut noises or wind production may hint at early stage colic or excessive takeaway absorption, while dental health will have further deteriorated resulting in dribbling or the spraying of food from the mouth areas during animated discussion on tiger keeping. Farriery is now critical with the humans’ feet now in need of serious remedial work, including excessive clipping and exfoliation using heavy duty gardening tools and a welding torch. Usual grooming techniques are rendered obsolete and nothing short of a full clip and hog will allow features to be rediscovered like a lost city in the Amazon rainforest. Put simply: professionals should attend red appointments

    As always, I am available for advice and support (particularly if you’re female and lacking in any form of morals), so please let me know if I can assist: 0800-HovisHelps.

    And on one final serious note while I’m trying to find humour in the current situation (I live with my mother, so life is one big joke!), for a lot of the equine-based charities and services this time is seriously tough. With that in mind, I have launched a fundraising initiative to raise funds for two deserving charities; Bransby Horses in Lincolnshire, who suffered from horrendous flooding last year and now have lost all their visitor income. They are currently looking after over 400 equines and do a brilliant job both in welfare and education.


    The RDA Appeal to help support struggling branches across the UK. The RDA do incredible work bringing both mental and physical rehabilitation to thousands of disabled people and while their centres are closed, their incredible equine heroes still need taking care of — and as my mother bank manager will tell you, we horses aren’t cheap!

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