There is a very real chance that you may find the following extremely distressing reading. It lays out in horrific detail some of the worst suffering ever seen in the equine world and may leave many of you stunned and weeping.
This is understandable and I would implore all of you to reflect upon the life lessons that will be hereby told, and hug your own horses a bit harder tonight…and feed them lots and lots of carrots…that’s important too…
But it’s a story that must be told. For all our sakes.
Looking back, I have reflected this week how the sadism I have been exposed to has developed from a slow burn to the climax that occurred last night. It’s true what they say — put a frog into hot water and they jump out like me in my heyday, but put a frog in cold water and warm it and they stay as still as a Shetland in a clover field. It’s so sadly true peoples, so sadly true. On Sunday I definitely was in cold water but by the end of the hack mother was definitely steaming…
Her mild ire had started when she fetched me in from the field and I stood on my back legs to Mr Miyagi a fly. Admittedly the fly was rather close to mother’s head and my aim isn’t the best (I iz blind in one eye peoples, it’s not my fault!), but I do think her reaction was a little extreme: I was, after all, saving her from being eaten by the same filthy biting beings as the ones that had turned my ass into a puss-filled place map of somewhere no one wants to go. I also think rearing is such a negative phrase and one that is open to a huge amount of interpretation — or in mother’s case, a LOT of swearing.
Things didn’t improve as I then started to think that, like Micheal Jackson, that fly was not alone, which meant that to the untrained eye, mother tacked me up while throwing some very cool moves — in reality she was avoiding playing whack-a-mole with her feet in the starring role of “mole” and my feet doing the whacking.
By the time we went to head out to the school to mount, I was beside myself and waving my feet about like Mr Bean conducting an orchestra, so mother about faced and went and fetched my black riding mask. Which sounds kind of cool right? Like a Batman mask for the super-hero hacking horse that I am? Yeah right. At best I look like the losing side of a fight with a pair of net curtains (and no, I do not want any jokes about pulling myself together) and at worse, like I have mother’s pants on my head. Ok, they might keep the flies off me, but they have the same effect on any mare in the same county.
So, off we went with me marching out to avoid anyone I knew getting more than a high-speed blur as I shot past and Bob shooting me very perplexed sideways glances. Well either that or he had wind. Equally in my defence, the mask messes with the remaining depth perception I have left, so every time I heard Bob’s tail swishing (and it sounds like an incoming mechasmit) I may have taken precautionary evasive measures — which again I do appreciate may have looked to those uneducated individuals like I was re-enacting the Flight of the Bumble Bee while mother increasingly gazed skywards and implored some god or other to do something. Which they did. Only rather than having called upon Zeus to whack me upon my prancing bottom with a lightening bolt, mother clearly misdialled and got Neptune instead, because the next thing we knew we were riding into the biggest wall of water since Moses parted the oceans. Did I ever mention I don’t like getting wet? What followed was very wet and a little wild as the mothership and I battled for supremacy whilst I Sebastian the crabbed down the road sideways to avoid being waterboarded by my now soaking wet through lace mother knickers. To be fair, the pants that were actually ON mother’s substantial bottom were just as wet so we made quite the pair.
By the time we got back to the yard, mother’s arms were two foot longer than when we set off, I held the world record for the longest shoulder-in and we were all wetter than windscreen of a submarine. Good times it was not…
But worse was yet to come.
On Thursday, Aunty Em and mini-mother came down to the yard to sort me and Barbie Boy as usual. Brought us both in, again as usual. And then, well then it happened. I was ATTACKED. Violated. Humiliated. And very probably scarred for life.
They plaited my feathers. Like right down the back of my legs like some sort of extra from Frozen. My leg looked like Elsa’s stunt double and I’m sorry, but I am never going to let it go.
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
Hovis explains why maybe he isn’t suited to taking one particular Pony Club badge
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
But then it got even more horrific — and I know, right? You’re wondering how on earth it could get worse? Well it did.
I have two words.
A rainbow hued horn of humiliation. On MY head. Then they took photos of it and splashed them all over Facebook. My life is honestly over.
So, I’m sorry if this has rendered you to tears over your toast, if you’re crying into your coffee, but I had to share it with you all. My street cred has shrivelled and died in the corner of a round room but I feel there are lessons to be learned from my suffering and if they help just one poor equine to not have to go through this then it has been worthwhile.
I don’t know if this will be my final diary entry, whether I can find it in me to carry on, but know this — I will never be the same again.
Helplessly Horn-Headed Hovis
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.