Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘she had little choice but to leg it alongside clinging on to both her underwear and her pride’

Dear diary,

I shall start by apologising if any of this doesn’t make sense — the mothership had her back operated on on Monday, and judging by the fact her pupils are large enough to see from the moon, I’m thinking she’s on wwwaaaayyyy better medication than she ever gives me. Selfish wench. Thus, while I may dictate this in perfect Irish English, like the professional what I is, the mind bongles what she will write down…

So, enough about her health dramas, let’s talk about a far more interesting topic — me!

As I told you, on Friday I became one of the first few hundred horses in the UK to have new stem cell treatment for arthritis in my coffin joint on the front foot where I had the mystery mass. I am only the second horse that Herman the German Needle Man has done this on and so he was under masses of pressure, not least because mum has sold her first born into slavery to pay for this, not to mention the news she hasn’t broken to Aunty Emily yet about the new services she has promised the bank manager…

Many people have asked mum why she went down this route instead of the usual steroid route — they have suggested that it’s very new and untried — this is true, but then I am a supporter of the veterinary sciences and am always happy to be a guinea pig.

They have suggested it costs a lot of money and that I’m old — which might be true for 50%, but is blatant ageism on the second count. For the record, if it’s true you’re only as old as the mare you’re snogging then I’m three, which sounded a lot less unsavoury in my head I’ve got to be honest…

They have said it might not work and that it was a waste of money — the truth being it won’t hurt me. Mum’s bank balance yes, but me? No.

Being serious for one moment (only a moment, I promise), but mother sent a lot of time talking to a lot of people about all of this and reached a decision. I don’t respond well to steroids etc so that wasn’t really an option, which only left this or injecting my joint with gel. The gel is still an option if this doesn’t work or give the results we hoped for, but mum needed to know she’d tried this. And as those of you unfortunate enough to have met her will attest — this lady is not for turning. For all she moans, whinges and smacks my bum with a leadrope, I also know I reside firmly at the centre of her universe along with mini-mother, so that’s why we’re here. And if they learn from me having it done and it helps other horses, then so much the better. On a totally unrelated note, mother has been heard enthusiastically encouraging mini-mother to be a vet when she grows up…

Anyway, enough seriousness — let’s talk about mum trying to trot me up instead…

Clearly caught out by Herman’s request to see me run, the mothership had not thought through her wardrobe choice, nor indeed that I am feeling pretty good at the minute. I walked out like a better fed, slightly more ginger-in-the-wrong-light, Kate Moss in legwarmers, dragging mother behind me like a reluctant toddler down the aisles at Chavda with Herman trying to remember to look at my feet and not mother’s escaping air bags. After a brief sashay in walk up and down the drive, the order came to trot and who am I not to obey an order from the man who has fondled more parts of my body than we need ever to talk about in polite company? I sat back on my haunches and launched into the sort of power-house trot that Viagra can only dream of, and promptly flattened mother who had ground to an abrupt halt to rescue her jeans which had taken a sudden downward turn. Apparently, she can’t afford belts now…

Now in my defence, I am blind in my right eye which accounted for the collision, but to be honest I was grateful I am, as I’m pretty sure the entire neighbourhood got an eyeful of her lace knickers as she desperately attempted to stay upright under the onslaught of ¾ of a tonne of equine express engine. Since it was clear I wasn’t stopping for her, jeans half-mast or not, she had little choice but to leg it alongside clinging on to both her underwear and her pride — one with more success than the other…

The upside was that I was a lot more sound than Herman was expecting, which he ascertained in the oh, at least three seconds he focussed on my feet and wasn’t praying to every god there is for mother to remain at least partially clothed…

All of this was good news for me having my treatment, so we went into the barn for phase two of the operations which included him massacring my feathers with a set of clippers and mother getting a grip of herself and her jeans.

What followed was the most serious I have ever seen Herman in all the years I have had a ring side seat to the double act that is him and mother. I was scrubbed within an inch of my life and possibly theirs as well, sent to la-la land and then the stem cells injected into my foot. They are clearly delicate little souls and arrived in their own special container complete with dry ice and disco. Well the dry ice bit anyway — the disco might have been the side effects of the la-la juice…

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Three days of box rest followed, which was timed beautifully as it was scorching hot outside, so all my friends were in the barn too and now I’m back out in a little paddock. I’ve got to do 20 minutes walking every day this week, which is falling to the legend that is Aunty Em since she-who-is-a-drug-addict is not allowed to ride for three to four months — although this didn’t stop her charming Aunty Em into springing her from home and bringing her to the yard on Wednesday when she was freed from horsepital to “oversee” operations. And when I say “oversee” I mean “yell a load of instructions to Aunty Em about me carrying my own head” and other such nonsense. The woman sucks the fun out of life like icecream out of a choc-ice…

We shall keep you posted via my Facebook pages, but so far so good, hooves crossed that this works for me and I’m back in action very shortly ready for Your Horse is Alive in November…

Laters,

Hovis

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