So once again, as so often with my pitiful excuse of a life, I find myself caught between two ladies (well one lady and one female in possession of a colourful vocabulary and a lightening fast set of reflexes). One who thinks I am an equine angel, sent to rebuild her confidence and show her an equestrian experience of unequivocal excellence and the other who if made a half decent offer (and by that I mean half a stick of chewing gum and a small ball of pocket lint) would sell me faster than you can say “bargain basement”. One is a saint-like sharer who any horse can be proud to be associated with; the other is my mother.
You see Aunty Em gets it. She understands that I enjoy freedom of expression, and indeed if my expression on any given day is “feathery giraffe with piles” then I should be allowed to express this through running about with my head in the air. When I get too tired to carry my own head any more, this lovely lady understands it is incumbent upon her as my human hireling to carry it for me.
She gets that corners are optional and that it’s great fun to see if we can actually get her inside stirrup to touch the floor as we hurtle around the school. She is highly intelligent enough to appreciate that my evasive action in the face of dangers such as the rabbit militia and the diving bombing pheasants in the foliage are the only thing saving us from certain death and is, in fact, grateful for my gallantry.
She never once suggests that my mum and dad were not married as she is wrapped around my ears, caught unawares by my selfless heroics (she is in good company – my bestie Mary King also was caught in a similar situation). No mention is made of my walk resembling a sloth on marijuana or that funeral corsages would pass us, nor that my trot is the absolute antithesis and is so large that she runs the ever present risk of giving herself a black eye with her ample airbags.
SHE is understanding that I can’t collect stamps, let alone my canter, and that four strides down the long side is perfectly acceptable and indeed that asking for any more is like painting a smile on the Mona Lisa; i.e. a) it would ruin a master piece and b) it’s never going to happen…
All in all I love my Aunty Em almost as much as lickits. Which is saying something…
And then you have my mother. The one who if she was a horse herself would have been put down some time ago as the market for lame, over-the-hill brood mares, with zero talent and questionable temperament is very limited.
The one who insists that self-carriage is non-negotiable so much so that she caught me by surprise last week by literally chucking the reins at me such that the abrupt loss of the only thing holding us both up nearly put me on my nose in the middle of the school.
The one who questions my ancestry on such a regular basis that the large rat that lives under the haybarn has apparently bought me a family tree for Christmas this year.
The one who despite her portly demeanour has the reactions of a rattlesnake in the matrix and can land a lead rope across my derriere faster than Ed Sheeran can release another hit. Oh, and the one I might possibly have reared up on at the weekend…
Look, it wasn’t my fault. I was quite happily coming in from the field, she was faffing about with the gate tapes and chuntering away about some mindless nonsense that I have to feign interest in, when out of the corner of my eye I saw the pheasant in the foliage heading right at me.
I maintain I didn’t rear; I gesticulated to warn mother of the danger. Unlike you two legged folks I haven’t got hands so thus I had to swiftly drop up onto my back legs in order to free my front feet to point like an air stewardess towards the emergency exits. Or in this case the two-legged flying pie filling.
My actions, rather than being seen as the heroic actions of a horse hell bent on saving his human were met with a plethora of profanities, a smack on the snoozel and half an hour of lamented lunge work. Life is so unfair.
Mind you it is the season for unfair. As always at this time of year I shall be opening the Hovis Hottie Hotline for all attractive mares who suffer the seasonal silliness of owners with a penchant for dress up of the tinsel/antlers/jaunty Christmas hat variety. I will offer a shoulder to cry on, top tips for revenge, avoidance techniques for amateurs and for five lucky ladies the chance to shelter in my stable of sanctuary for the WHOLE Christmas period!! Now there’s a prize, ladies which no money on earth could buy. Ring now on 0800-HELP-ME-HOVIS* and I’ll be there.
*Mares only, contestants must be six years and older, no alternatives prizes offered, see terms and conditions for details.
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