Happy New Year! I’ll be honest, 2021 is not something I thought I’d get to see at one stage there for a while — although one could argue with one fake lens in one eye and stone blind in the other, my vision is hardly 2020 on a good day. Which then again might not be a bad thing either as 2020 was hardly a thing of beauty, was it?!
But I’m still standing, better than I ever did, acting like a true survivor, bouncing like a little kid — you’re singing this, now aren’t you? Go on, admit it…
Christmas passed by with mother at least resisting the urge to dress me like Santa and Rudolph’s never-admitted-to love child, but that could have been mainly due to her dodging my flying feet as I recreated all the post-modern ballet classics every time we went for our little “calm and collected” in-hand walk for five minutes each day. It would have been closer than a Georgia senate run-off ballot to have decided which one of us she swore at most on those days—– me for waving to all around me like the equine royalty I am, or Herman the German Needle Man for his (and here I quote) “idiotic and ill-thought out idea, which could only be suggested by a tea pot (and I think that’s what she called him?) that doesn’t actually have to execute it”. Her version was peppered with many more adjectives and suggestions that Herman’s parents might not have been wed, but you get the gist…
Barbie Boy didn’t get off so easily so I did have an enjoyable few minutes watching him prance about the arena looking like a blonde Blitzen, compete with bells, while he alternated between glaring daggers at me and plotting mini-mother’s imminent demise. The poor lad didn’t have a good Christmas period as he then pulled a buttock muscle resulting in the steely fingered one coming to see him and doing the sort of unmentionable violation not seen since Herman last tried to take my temperature and didn’t have the decency to use an ear thermometer. I’ve got to be honest; I haven’t been so amused since I last face planted mother into the manège after ejecting her from Hoverine airlines during a flyby.
But the big news of the holiday period was yet to come, because the unmentionable was still to happen. No, not the humans going back into box rest, but more me being released from it!
After one especially energetic and gloriously expressive modern dance routine in which I depicted the struggle of the ginger-in-the-wrong-light heavy horse to overcome the forces of injustice and socially embedded discriminatory tyranny of the eventing world (trust me, it was breathtaking — ask mother, I swear she didn’t breathe for the entire eight minutes she battled to suppress my artistic expression) a phone call was made to Herman. Again, I will give you the PG version, but it went something along the lines of “this was a frightfully good idea old chap, but in reality I am unlikely to see 2021 due to the imminent likelihood of being crushed to death by the equine equivalent of Nureyev in fur boots, so could we possibly consider another more pertinent direction of travel which is something other than vertical”. Well, in my head that’s what I think she meant, but perhaps being German he only understands her if she swears? Profusely…
After the call, she-who-really-does-have-an-impressive-array-of-expletives stormed off into the fields in the dark, armed with a post whacker, a lot of electric fencing and the grimly determined look of a woman with a weak bladder on the waltzers. She was some time.
I didn’t think anything of this as quite frankly mother behaving like a slightly erratic, possible serial killer has been my norm for years, but the following day something I never thought would happen again happened. No, mother didn’t smile, but instead she fetched out a turnout rug. Like a rug you wear OUTSIDE. Something I hadn’t seen for the best part of four months, and if everyone had been listened to, something I was highly unlikely to ever wear again — sort of akin to mother’s size 10 trousers…
So, on it went, as did the bridle and the lunge line and off I went. It was freezing cold, everywhere was covered in ice, my paddock is the size of a London bedsit’s toilet, I was allowed out for a whole 1.5 hours and I have never been so happy. What’s more, is that clearly mother has finally come to her senses about my royal lineage as I have a carpet to walk on to the field. Now it’s not red so she clearly isn’t brushed up on the correct etiquette, but there’s only so much one can do to educate someone whose IQ is in single digits. I was finally free!
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
Hovis would like to make a Christmas plea
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
Since then I have been out every day and am now out as long as everyone else, although my paddock size still resembles mother’s brain — small, not a great deal in it and limited in terms of being able to produce any impressive moves. But still, it’s FREEDOM!
I’m off box rest and back outside while the humans are back on it for the foreseeable future — who had that on their 2021 bingo card?
I’m off to work on my News Year’s revolutions, await my physio session at the weekend and reopen my hotline to cope with your human strangles woes.
HRM Hovis the Happy-and-not-so-Hoppy
P.S. If any of you are looking for a good book during this new lockdown period then my seventh Hovis’ Friday Diary: Parties, Piaffes and Pandemics is out now and available at www.bransbyhorses.co.uk in the online shop. Like most charities, Bransby Horse have been devastated by COVID and so really need our support. The money from the book goes 100% to them, so you get a hoot and they get some loot — looks like a win-win to me!
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on completely ad-free