Hovis‘ Friday diary: it was less dressage to music and more exercising to expletives

  • Dear diary,

    Happy New Year everyone! It’s fair to say 2019 has started in a way very familiar to me; with me firmly in the dog house. To be fair, I am not alone as my lady love and I are sharing a double room in casa del pero and may well be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future.

    To be fair, what exactly did mother expect? I hadn’t really been worked for most of the Christmas period due to the holidays and the school being more than a tad squelchy (for some days we did need armbands due the heavy rain), and neither had my equine sidekick. So, to ask us to just calmly allow our mothers (in my case a mother who has barely been in the saddle due to her kissing spines issues) to mount up and ride out all well behaved, a la some Disney channel movie was a little ridiculous.

    So, we didn’t…

    So, my wing woman at least had the decency to allow her mother to mount before starting to throw some moves while I found high humour in doing it during my mother’s mounting, which produces a far more comical outcome as she nearly slid over my ears as fast as she got her ample arse airborne. I is hysterical. Mother doesn’t agree.

    After she had adjusted herself, mounted an expedition to find her stirrups, retrieved her airbags from round her knees and generally stopped faffing about, while at the same time engaging in a five-minute litany of swear words without once duplicating herself, we set off.

    My lady love strode out like the hounds of hell were on her heels as I manfully tried to keep up until the point, 5m past the yard gateway she jammed her anchors on like a female spotting a sale in a distance shoe shop. I bumbled alongside to see the issue and instantly understood.

    Clouds with legs.

    Hundreds of them.

    More importantly (and this is the crux of the matter), hundreds of them in a field where they hadn’t been before.

    She was clearly most perturbed by this and as such I wondered if I should be too. Our mothers didn’t share our caution and as usual led us towards danger like suicidal lemmings using dressage whips, lots of leg and in my case, verbal threats that would have mother arrested in most civilised countries…

    All was going well, I grew to my usual 19hh and snorted, and the clouds ran away. I turned to my love with the look of a man who knows he may well be getting lucky as surely such heroics must be rewarded, only out of the corner of my eye to see the clouds wheel round, form themselves in a positive cumulus nimbus whatsit and come hurtling back at us like a woolly whirlwind. At this point, it was quite frankly every horse for themselves and with mother having her right leg jammed onto my side harder than a pro-remain campaigner clinging to their EU passport, I was left with little option but to make a hasty exit to the left. Sideways mind you — I couldn’t afford to take my one good eye off those barmy baa-baas.

    My lady love similarly legged it and we saved ourselves and our lemming-like mothers from certain death with a combined piaffe parade that would have made Michael Flatley and his river prancers look like a geriatrics with hip replacement needs.

    By this stage, we were in the village and it’s fair to say I had relaxed. This however was not true of my wing woman who was now cavorting about like a toddler on a diet of blue Smarties and Capri Sun. No amount of swearing on Aunty H’s part was doing a great deal other than provide a hilarious, if 18 rated, sound track to the goings on. It was less dressage to music and more exercising to expletives.

    By the time we were exiting the village and on our way home, she was two seconds away from spontaneously combusting and I’d decided that joining in might be fun. Which caused much consternation to the two cyclists who appeared just as my love and I were doing an interpretive dance down the middle of the road. Despite every attempt to get us to the side of the road, we were not to be deterred from our frankly stunning rendition of bolero and so Aunty H and mum were left shouting apologies to the two frankly terrified-looking men who had leapt into the hedges in horror. Clearly not appreciators of ballet the philistines…

    Aunty H was forced to admit that her and mother were not in fact riding two “babies” but two steeds with a combined age of nearly 40 after one of the men tried to mend bridges as they and their two wheeled mounts managed to find a gap to dive to safety through. Once clearly out of range of our spontaneous equine Morris dancing, the two men remounted and peddled away faster than Lance Armstrong from a dope test, probably espousing the view that all horse riders are both tapped in the head and, quite frankly in mother’s case, incompetent…

    By this stage, Aunty H had decided that discretion was the better part of valour and had dismounted to lead my love back past the clouds on legs, while mother gamely clung onto me with reins so short her hands were nigh on in my mouth.

    We did have one moment where mother thought she’d spotted a tractor coming, which by this stage, would have signalled game over — Aunty H was heard to yell “it’s ok, she’ll just run home”, to which the edited child friendly version of mother’s reply was “golly, that will be spiffing as he will follow and I’ve got as much chance of stopping him as winning the Lottery. But by Jove, it will be funny”. Luckily the tractor either went the other way or they’d be warned by the cyclists to stay at home as it never came our way.

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    Suffice to say, by the time we got back to the yard, Aunty H and mother were wearing the painted-on smiles of two people considering a new hobby — cycling perhaps — but refusing to admit defeat. For once, I was slightly less in the bad books than my love but only by a whisker; I think a hastily constructed offer of £1.50 and some pocket fluff might, at that moment, have secured a very nice equine BOGOF.

    Needless to say, I’ve been forced to “think about life” a lot and would undoubtedly have had to go out for cloud on leg desensitisation training if not for the fact I’ve blown another hole in my foot. But that’s a story for another day.


    Limpy Hovis

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