Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘It was like Swan Lake only the budget version — pigeon puddle’

  • Dear diary,

    So spring is in the air, little white clouds on legs are gracing the nearby fields, evil yellow perils are everywhere and mother is in “work Hovis to death” mode.

    It happens every year — we come out of winter into the first bit of good weather and mother seems to think this means we should leap into action like the Easter Bunny on a promise. She then seems really surprised when I’m a little forward— what does she expect?

    Take this last week for example — snitch bags Aunty Emily had reported to mother I was a little “full of it” and had had a significant spooking incident involving a pigeon. To be clear that would be unmanly and would infer I was in some way scared of said pigeon. I was not. We were practising synchronised jumping — the bird at me, me in the opposite direction: it was like swan lake only the budget version — pigeon puddle.

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    Anyway mum decided I must be feeling fit and well and thus should be worked harder. Cue her getting on me and us having a battle of wills for 45 minutes where I insisted I’d never heard of self-carriage, working on the bit or indeed doing any form of clean transition and mother insisting that I’d better remember that I did know how to do it rather swiftly. It’s fair to say I think we may have come out of that little battle 1:1 — she may have got some nice work for the last 10 minutes but it was only because I had decided I actually wanted tea and it was looking increasingly likely we’d be out there all night.

    So on Sunday when I was once again unceremoniously hauled in from the field, brushed and tacked up I was determined that I would not betray my ancestors by doing any prancing. I owed it to those who have gone before me to show the magnificent power of the feathered kind and demonstrate our speed and athletic prowess, not fanny about like a feathered Michael Flatley on a hot tin roof.

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    To be fair, I think mum thought the first walk to canter transition might have been because she shifted her, not inconsiderable, weight in the saddle at the exact moment I decided to demonstrate the take-off powers of the Destroyer. Suitably irritated she’d not noticed my brilliance was self-initiated. I waited until she’d asked Aunty Rosie to have a look at me to assess my way of going (mum is paranoid about me going lame again). I waited until she’d trotted me up the long side away from Aunty Rosie and then when we got to the top about turned (brilliant turn on the forehand I might add) and executed a walk to canter take off that the euro-fighter would have been jealous of. I hurtled back to Aunty Rosie, considering a fly-buck across the school as I did so. I might have started to arch my back to chuck one when mother’s fat bear trap legs wrapped around me and I reconsidered my ways. Aunty Rosie did say she was most concerned that I wasn’t going to stop as I slithered cowboy style nigh on on my haunches to an abrupt halt.

    I was chuffed with my brilliance.

    Aunty Rosie stated it was like watching a force of nature.

    Mum suggested my dam and sire weren’t married and that I might be an unmitigated banker.

    The upshot being I did a lot of rein back, a lot of transition work and a LOT longer in the school then I suspect I might have otherwise have done. Drat it.

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    So between mother questioning my parentage and Aunty Emily calling me the “prancing queen” I’m feeling a tad unloved and unappreciated. If anyone thinks they could offer a better home to a big chunk of male athletic brilliance, a home where flat work is to be considered the bits between two fences, where vertical takeoff transitions are appreciated and there is a bevy of hot mares then please call me. In fact just call me. Please.


    Yours unappreciatedly,



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