I write this from the dump — not down in the dumps, although I can assure you I am thoroughly — but the actual dump, where I have been cast aside like an aged and now unwanted Christmas present, replaced by this year’s new shiny toy. Or in my case, a 14hh golden-haired, halo-wearing half pint.
Let’s make one thing (or several things — I’m on a roll) very clear. I have raised mini-mother. I was the first horse she ever knew; I was the one who snuffled her when she was still in her pram, allowed her to pull my whiskers with her little pudgy hands and put hay down the back of her baby grow just before mother was taking her to be weighed. It was my feathers she used to pull herself up when she was learning to walk, me who followed her round the field at snail’s pace as she weevil wobbled about, and ensured she didn’t fall over in the mud and me who let her lead me in like lamb, when normally I drag whoever is on the end of the leadrope all over the place. I was the horse she first sat on, it was my smell that intoxicated her with a love of horses, and it was ME that taught her what being loved by something 10 times your size feels like.
Now, I will grant you I am a little big for her and any Pony Club games may present a bit of a problem in the mounting and dismounting stakes, but it’s fixable. I could have a loft ladder fitted to my saddle or a rope one that she could climb up like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 55 (come to think of it, they are both about the same size — maybe I should offer my services to Tom too?). There is nothing in life that isn’t fixable with duct tape and some bailing twine. Well expect stupid. And a broken heart.
Instead, last Christmas Day, my hopes of being her first steed were shattered yet again when the blonde-haired himbo turned up. I’d seen off the pint-sized piebald after he pushed his luck one too many times, but this one I think is here to stay.
Then it got worse — she joined the masonic, horse-ist, secret hoof shaking, featherist federation erstwhile know as PONY CLUB, where it appears Barbie Boy is gaining quite the fan club, and I’m not even in the running as her second string ride, let alone her first team. THEN she went and got herself a stressage coach. I mean like a proper “been the Olympics and won” type stressage coach, who is working hard to cement the partnership of half pint and half wit and teach twinkle toes to dance.
THEN, at the weekend they went out to yet another party and went showjumping where golden goat won. Honestly, if his ego gets any bigger then the boss lady is going to need to build an extension — there’s no way eight horses and his ego are fitting in that barn this winter. And forget social distancing. Although to be fair, I’m suddenly quite the fan of the concept — he can socially distance in Cornwall…
So, you’d think that my weekend couldn’t get any worse? Oh, but it did. Honestly, the level of betrayal I have suffered hasn’t been seen since early episodes of Dallas. Et Tu Bute (Some will have to explain what white powder has to do with all this at some point, but in the meantime, the reference makes me look well clever).
On Sunday morning, mother led me out to tack me up and expressed real concern that I looked massively stiff. The fact that she needed a crane to mount because guess what, the weather had changed and every single joint SHE’S ever damaged (and there is a LOT) had seized up, was seemingly beside the point. She took me for a gentle walk about in the school for a minute before dubiously deciding to “try and see if he loosens up” (and for the record, I am neither a screw, nor do I have one loose). So off we tootled into the stubble fields at the side of the barn, where I walked out happily on the soft ground to the extent that I felt mother relax like Jimmy Carr passing a tax audit.
This feeling of tranquillity lasted until we got to the road, when I will admit to being a wee bit of a drama queen about walking on the tarmac. Cue mother jumping off in alarm and deciding to lead me back across the stubble field, where I may have marched out with such vigour I was towing her in my wake like an advert for the elderly and obese behind a jet engine. We walked another circuit of the stubble field before heading back to the barn, avoiding all the hard ground. And then it happened. The final betrayal.
Bob’s mother took my reins and led me into the barn to be untacked and mother took Bob into the school with him shooting me the venomous looks of a snake with indigestion. Peoples, she rode him. Not just that — she rode him in FRONT OF ME. I’ve never attended a wife swapping party with a bunch of batchelors, but now I won’t have to. I haven’t been so outraged since I found out that mother claims to write my diaries. Admittedly Bob didn’t look like he enjoyed the experience either and did have a fairly good go at an enthusiastic protest. I could have told him not to bother — resistance is futile when it comes to that woman. She also clings on like Kim Kardashian to her pre-nup…
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I think she did feel guilty because she sobbed on my shoulder for about an hour in the field while I calmly ate my breakfast and listened to her prattle on about big decisions. As the vets told her during a hysterical call during the week (mother being the hysterical one to be clear), I was experiencing a flair of my arthritis due to the sudden change in the weather and it would settle down again with drugs and a little bit of time. Sure enough, I’m almost back to bouncing again as I write this. Not that I feel like bouncing. Betrayal is a heavy burden…
So, I’m off to ponder my revenge — life is a cruel place. Last week plaits and unicorn horns, this week inflammation and infidelity. My life sucks harder than a turbo charged Dyson.
Slightly hobbling Hovis
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