It’s that time of year again, the time that strikes fear into the hearts of self-respecting horses across the land, the time that makes grown geldings cower in fear.
What could make such a manly man as yourself tremble Hovis, I hear you all ask? Is it the fact that Michael Bublé has been released from his cell to wreak havoc across the airways for the next month? Is it the fact that the dark nights are meaning that your exercise regime consists purely of stressage? Is it the fact that the cold weather is meaning all the foxy mares are wearing so many layers that even if you could get near their leg straps it would take so long to unpeel them that the mood would be lost?
Well yes, all of those things are depressing in the extreme but that’s not what I am referring to. Oh no. There is a menace far far worse.
And Santa hats
If those three things don’t make your knees tremble, then quite frankly you’re no man.
Indeed you’re possibly my mother.
Or Aunty Becky.
Or any other sadistic owner that thinks turning your equine into a walking Christmas tree is “festive fun”.
Let’s be clear here I am NOT a ruddy reindeer. The only red nose around here is usually mother’s. I am NOT a Christmas tree; I may have once had baubles but that was a long time ago and I really don’t want to talk about their loss.
And I most certainly am not an elf of any description. Have you seen the size of me? Really? Just because I am an affable type (and a tiny bit scared of she-who-must-be-obeyed) and thus seem to consent to the sporting of various tinsel covered appendages does not mean that I WANT to. Come on people, stop with the blatant cruelty. Think of your poor gelding who’s probably been trying to score with that foxy Arab at the next stable yard for a year or more, having to scuttle past dressed up like a reject from the Christmas display at the local garden centre. You’re just not playing fair. Any hope he had with her has disappeared like mince pies at a slimming class. So spare a thought for us this festive period and think: A gelding’s pride is for life not just for murdering at Christmas.
Anyway in other woes, Aunty Becky and mum continue their quest to turn me into a stressage pony and have been beasting me around in all weathers.
I have to point out that yes my trot has been very elevated of late but this has less to do with my desire to prance about like my mate nip and tuck shop and more to do with the force of the wind up my derriere.
If my pirouettes are coming along this is less due to Aunty Becky riding like Charlotte-what’s-her-face and more to do with a requirement to swiftly change direction in order to breathe.
My leg yield is less due to my secret desire to turn into an equine Michael Flatley and more due to being hit broard side by a force nine gale. River dance? More like rain prance. Seriously, the women in my life are utterly deluded.
The other day mum worked me in the school for an hour in howling winds and seemed surprised by my turn of speed and arial gymnastics. Even Aunty H suggested she’d been mental to work me in such conditions. And when Aunty H is the voice of reason then it’s definitely a world gone totally mad. THEN the other night Aunty Becky made me do an hour of no stirrup transitions with me carrying my own head. In the wind. And the DARK (and no the arena lights being on does not make it any more excusable). Which is unfair and frankly unsporting.
What’s next? Stressage in the dark with light up antlers? Oh God! That’s it isn’t it? That’s what will happen to me! I’m going to go down in history as the horse that could be seen from space. Prancing about in antlers like an Irish elf after one too many glasses of the dark stuff. My life is over. I am doomed.
If any of you love me at all, if I have ever made you smile or vaguely cheered up a bad day then please, please I beg of you send rescue immediately.