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Dear diary,

So, I think it’s fair to say this week has been a roller coaster! Not, before any of you panic, in terms of my health, but certainly in terms of the percentage likelihood of me being sold to the nearest and, in my mother’s eyes, daftest bidder. I also suspect Aunty H might have chucked in my lady love to make us a BOGOF deal. One that clearly cheapened my value by introducing the jet-black diva into the mix…

My descent into the realms of “sold as seen” started earlier in the week when my reluctance to go forward in anything other than my most pedestrian of walks had resulted in Aunty Em ringing mother, most concerned that I might be broken again. Apparently, mother’s hysterical sobbing could be heard from Scotland — without the benefit of a phone…

Mother however, having poked, prodded and trotted me up on her return on Friday, had a rather different view. One that possibly implied I was an attention seeking, work avoiding, ginger hued, drain on her emotional and financial resources. A hack was thus planned for the Saturday morning in which myself, she-who-must-be-obeyed-because-she’s-really-mad-with-me, Aunty H, my lady love and Aunty Em on a bike would go forth on a gentle saunter to see if, once working, any reluctance to move forward might be detected. All agreed on this and Aunty H departed on Friday night with a jaunty wave and the view that there was a 40% chance of mild drizzle.

Saturday morning arrived and with it the kind of downpour usually associated with the Caribbean in hurricane season. I looked at my lady love, my lady love looked at me and both of us resigned ourselves to getting wet as the one thing we share (other than a love of food) is mothers who are epitome of the word “stubborn”.

So, the fun started when we had barely left the yard. We were stood at the top of the driveway when a tractor of terror with its trailer spawn rattled menacingly towards us. I proved a total lack of reluctance to go in any direction — as long as it was away from said beast, spun round in a way that would have made Christopher Dean weep and attempted to abort the mission down the drive. Now at this point normally in fairness my lady love is the very definition of calm, but at this second, she spotted her nemesis – irrigators- in the next field so equally demonstrated her unhappiness. Thus, a combined weight of over 1.5 tonnes was cavorting about the lane with the little man in the tractor’s belly looking most unhappy. I think that was either due to being eaten by a tractor or having his innocence forever damaged by the litany of swear words pouring forth from mother and Aunty H as they tried to gain some semblance of control is debatable.

Eventually, with Aunty Em acting as ballast hanging off my bridle so I could go nowhere fast, they managed to coax the tractor past us and on its way up the road. So that just left the irrigator.

Now here I will point out I normally have no issue, but unnerved by both the close encounter of the tractor kind and my normally solid wingwoman now throwing a strop of epic proportion, I wondered briefly about doing the same.

“Sing!” came the barked order from Aunty H as she danced around us like a dancer in a Polish bar.

“What?” replied a baffled sounding mother.

“The Grand Old Duke of York,” shouted Aunty H, as she once again pirouetted past.

I now am enriched with two further pieces of knowledge in my education:

1. Mother can’t sing
2. Mother doesn’t know the words to the Grand Old Duke of York.

Now as a plan, it actually had finesse, because the minute the frankly hideous sounding caterwauling started, I suddenly decided the irrigator was the lesser of the two evils and smartly walked past that, the hissing pipe spewing a small column of water across the road in not just one but two places, and the lair of the tractors of terror with hitherto unseen confidence. Anything to shut mother up…

My lady love cavorted behind me, but womanfully mother and Aunty H managed to contain us both into the mildest of sideways jogging and averted a potential high-speed game of chase me Charlie down the middle of the road.

By this stage it had equally been determined by a slightly awestruck Aunty Em that I appeared “very sound”. Mother’s stinging retort of “Really?! You think?” was lost to the sound of Aunty Em’s panting as she pedalled valiantly along trying to keep up with the horse that wouldn’t go forward.

Thus, deciding that all was well, we were also totally soaked and as such, might as well stay out longer, we embarked on a much longer route where my lady and I vaguely behaved. I did actually manage to follow orders and walk across a stubble field which went against every principle I hold dear, but I did in this instance sense that mother might be less than amused if I took off like Frankel if she so much as twitched. I did however keep my eyes glued to my lady love who was by this stage in front just in case I had in fact misjudged the situation and a full on yeeha! Canter might have been on the cards. Sadly not…

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I feel by the end of the hack I had redeemed myself enough to avoid the sale room for this week at least, but that may all change in a heartbeat. Did someone say schooling? Oh wait! I might be lame again…

Laters,

Hovis

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