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Dear diary,

By this time next week, I shall be primped, preened and primed; en-route to meet my adoring public and star struck celebrities; set to strut under the spotlight to which I was born to shine beneath. I shall spend the weekend meeting and greeting fans, posing for photographs and hob-knobbing with the equine elite; essentially doing what I was made to do.

In total contrast, this week I’m stuck outside, freezing my baby makers off while the wind wafts my mane about like kelp in a rip-tide. Over the last weekend there were days when my tail and I were nearly in different postcodes as we were battered by freezing cold winds and arctic blasts. I swear I also saw some of that white powder stuff — and no I don’t mean the Columbian marching powder that mum sneaks into my tea while pretending she doesn’t drug me. I have eyes mother. Well one anyway and it’s bionic so it more than makes up for the fact my other one is now pretty much useless…

Where was mother in all this? Battling across freezing cold fields to alleviate my suffering with warm steamed hay and nourishing warmed mash? Armed with thick rugs and possibly a hairnet to try and keep my tail attached? No. Don’t be daft. She was in a pub. In Devon. Where apparently it was very sunny. You know when you all come to Your Horse is Alive and meet her? Don’t be fooled by her “paragon of horse ownership” exterior — she was in a PUB while I was clinging to my gatepost with my TEETH to prevent being blown away and finding myself having to be mates with a tinman with no heart, a scarecrow with no brain and a lion who is both cowardly and in need of some curl calming product. Mind you if I think about it, that could have been an improvement; here in the “real world” I have Cool New Shoes Man, Herman the German Needle Man and mother. You can decide which one is which…

Mind you, despite the weather I do enjoy me a good slice of autumn. Because it’s free pass time. Same as spring time. You see these two times of year are known to all equines as the “mischief months”; the clue is the titles “spring and fall”. i.e. we spring, you fall off. The hilarious thing is that you all put up with behaviour that in other months would result in a very sore bottom and a one-way ticket to the local sales. Why you do this I know not, but allow me to let you in on a very big secret. We KNOW. So when we see usually calm cobs can-canning, Haflingers half-passing hastily, warmbloods waving, Irish draughts dancing (I don’t know why I went down the alliteration route here, I’m backing myself into a corner) and thoroughbreds, well to be honest just being themselves, and then hear owners saying between gritted teeth the immortal words “he’s being a bit fresh”. Well let me let you in on a secret. We are laughing. A LOT.

Continued below…

Spring and autumn are the R&R seasons; revenge and reminder. Revenge for the tinsel, the fitness campaigns, the summer strip grazing and quite frankly any form of flat work. Reminder that we weigh on average ½ a tonne (well in my case ¾ tonne, but then I’m far from average), and if we want to play you up there is, in reality, very little you can do about it. For most of the year we are content to let you operate in the no doubt lovely belief that you are in charge — and since you bring us treats, we consider this fair. But every year around this time, it falls upon us to remind you that this is deceptive. So, this weekend when you’re out competing or hacking and meet a fellow equestrian who is smiling between gritted teeth, while clinging on like fan to Justin Thingie-me-bob’s leg to a rampaging, snorting dragon while telling anyone in kicking range that “he’s never normally like this, he’s just a bit fresh”, just look said equine in the eye, smile and whisper “Hovis told me about mischief months”.

Now I’ve educated you, I’m off to create a bit of mischief of my own.

Laters,

Hovis

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