Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘despite Darwin’s theory of evolution, dumb things can and do survive’

  • Dear diary,

    So, this week I have discovered an enormous betrayal, a betrayal so devastating that I am not sure I shall ever recover. This makes the whole Roman thing look like a kid’s spat in the playground. It makes Hamlet look like an episode of the Teletubbies. I am more offended than a cat at a grooming parlour, more upset than a TOWIE member during a national fake tan shortage — well, you get the idea.

    What has caused this angst, I hear you ask? Who has upset you, you magnificent manly beast? Well do you need to ask? One word. Mother. Or actually two: mini-mother.

    So, I knew mini-mother was having riding lessons. She’d been having them for a while, but I was always of the view that when the time came to take the step into “owning” her own steed, that I would be passed down from mother to daughter like some sort of family antique.

    Now I know I am a little bit big to be your average “lead-rein/first ridden” but let’s face it people, I’d be diamond at Pony Club games, and Pony Club camp would be my idea of heaven. I’m a great fan of moral-less mares of any size and shape and I often find ponies are a lot more likely to be in awe of my brilliance. Admittedly they would have to stand on a box, but life is all about compromise…

    But anyway, going back to the issue at hand. I have on occasion thought mother had the faint whiff of pony wee, but I’ve got to be honest, she’s of a certain age, so it might not have been. But then, THEN I have discovered him.

    The interloper.

    Mini-mother is loaning another steed.

    The betrayal! The anguish!

    Apparently, he lives at the riding school she used to go to, is very old and grey. None of which soothes my soul.

    She’d taken him to a show the other week and made him wear a unicorn horn so I do suppose there are small mercies to be gained, but still, I am hurt beyond words.

    One of the ladies at the yard suggested we could hack out together, but mother (once she’d finished laughing) declined this idea. Apparently, I’m not “trust-worthy” out hacking. Not trustworthy?! How very dare she! I have, on numerous occasions, saved us both from the jaws of death, effecting evasive manoeuvres that have shown cunning and creativity and genuinely ensuring that despite Darwin’s theory of evolution, dumb things can and do survive. And by that, I mean mother — just for clarity…

    Continued below…

    To be honest, the likelihood of some short-bottomed pony pet keeping up with me is pretty much zero anyway so it’s a very daft idea, but let’s not make this be my fault. Next the argument would be I couldn’t be mini-mother’s steed because I tend to get excited when out in public. God forbid that I might even chuck in a buck or a spook or two. Oh wait… ok let’s brush over “those” incidents and move on to the main argument.

    How could she?

    Apparently, the chances of us ever meeting are “slim” as mother does view the likelihood of my squashing him as pretty high, alongside I suspect a desire to make sure I don’t impart any of my knowledge to him. Among other traits, she is a total spoilsport…

    So, in other devastating news, I was saddened to hear of the passing of the one and only “Tank”. My absolute equine hero — Denman. He proved that big is better, that having the heart of a lion and tiger like tenacity outstrips fancy looks and pre-disposed ideas of what makes someone perfect for the job they do. Run free big man — you will be sorely missed.



    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

    This week’s pony special, out 7 June, features Britain’s naughtiest ponies and how to find the dream smaller equine. We also look at the pros and cons of equine treadmills, talk to showing producer Aimee Devane and have reports from the H&H Festival of Eventing, Tattersalls Horse Trials, racing at Epsom and much more.

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