It’s day 999 billion of the human strangles epidemic, and thanks to the bushy blonde barnetted boss of the human herd giving them a route out of stable rest and restricted turn out, there is a sense of excitement in the air.
While it is good that the humans have something to aim at, to feel positive about and to put a little bounce in their stride, I do deeply despair for the potential impact on us equines for whom the consequences may well be dire. Why is that so, oh wise one? I hear you ask (well maybe not you, maybe it’s the voices in my head but no matter…). Because of “goals”, dear reader, because of “goals”.
Now clearly there are different type of goals — the type which the likes of David Peckham like to put their little balls into are one thing, but the type that delusional types like the mothership “set themselves” are quite another. Those type of goals are frankly dangerous and should be avoided like a government PPE contract award announcement.
Goals of this nature are spurred on by the same lack of self-awareness that leads mother to ever be seen in broad daylight in riding tights (never have I been so glad I am blind in my right eye) and usually entail highly unrealistic ideas as to the dizzy heights of brilliance our human and equine partnerships can reach. Be it the higher echelons of stressage poncing — BD (Boringly Dull) — or showjumping — BSJA (Big Scary Jumps Ahead) or even moving up to eventing at BE (Bigger Expletives). All of these goals will have the same lack of grounding in reality as Kanye West’s Presidential campaign. Now I’m not one to kill ambition — I am, after all, still dreaming of the call from the British Eventing squad — but it has to be based on attainable outcomes; in my case, I have been ridden on many occasions by the British Eventing royalty that is Mary King in a way that she will always remember. In my mother’s case having a dream of riding one side of me let alone to a standard above that of a three-year-old on a sea side donkey, is about as attainable or indeed likely as Kate Moss phoning her for modelling tips.
But it’s not just me that will suffer this fate, peoples; across the land our fat, furry, unfit, feral humans will be reaching for the 101 dressage moves for the deluded and re-upping their subscriptions to “pole club — the members area”. They will be there with fingers poised to book us into shows with the alacrity only seen in the last year when someone opened the biscuit tin while conveniently ignoring the last time they did any exercise was a jog across the car park as the Co-Op for more wine two minutes before closing time, which nearly resulted in an ambulance and Mabel from the post office’s first use of the village defibrillator. What I’m trying to say is, while we have been stuck on horse walkers and lunged to the point we have an identity crisis every time we see a weather vane, the same level of “ticking over” has not taken place with the humans: dipping a custard cream into their latte while watching Joe Wicks sweat in his shorts is not an upper body HIIT workout, no matter what Karen on Facebook says.
Now I am up for a party as much as the next boy but I’d much rather go between a set of thighs which aren’t strength testing the seam of the jodphurs they’re clad in every time I take a breath, nor risk a black eye from untethered airbags every time we go over a fence. While the material all this unprepared pee poor performance will provide to Shiteventers is priceless, I’d rather not have a “You’ve Been Framed moment” when my mother’s substantial arse goes airborne, to the extent she could clean the Perseverance’s windscreen on the way past…
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
Call me old fashioned, but a route out of lockdown is one thing, a one-way ticket to A&E is another. If this goes the way I am foreseeing, I shall dust off my “how to avoid work guide” next week in order help us save the humans from themselves. In the meantime, I recommend using the fact that spring is in the air to be “fresh” enough to give them pause for thought and buy you some time — think less Larry and more Levade the Lamb while snorting like a dragon with a sinus blockage. Trust me — works every time.
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.