Matt’s Diary – Week 12


Young Mum promised me a hack this morning and I was really looking forwards to it. I worked so hard practising my dressage tests but she decided that it was still too dark at 8am so we spent longer in the school and only did a little hack round the block. I was quite disappointed. But better safe than sorry I guess. Even with her fluorescent coat on… 

The rest of the day was spent in the field practising my tests in my head. To my surprise she didn’t groom me when we came in for bed.


Now I understand why she didn’t groom me! Because at sunrise today Young Mum turned me out with my breakfast. Obviously I had a quick roll after eating. But it wasn’t long before she and The Chauffeur poo picked and brought me in. Before I could start fidgeting and being a pain my boots were fastened and we were at the trailer. I marched on. I was ready! All these weeks of preparation. It was my moment!

We arrived at the same place as last time, but the warm up was very soggy so I did my best to get in the zone and stop trying to find my friends.

I confidently marched down to the nice big arena we used last time where I could study my reflection and see how handsome I am. To my horror I was redirected to a large outdoor arena. I wasn’t expecting this! Caught off guard, I hadn’t gotten my bearings before the bell went and I was heading down the centre line.

I’m ashamed to say, that it wasn’t my best performance. I had to neigh a comfort to a youngster being lunged in the distance. And as I was about to go across the diagonal for my speciality – medium trot – I realised Old Mum was there. Where did she come from? Distracted, I wobbled into canter.

I was really ashamed and felt bad for Young Mum. I thought I’d try harder in the second test. But they loaded me back onto the trailer. Well, tried to. I put my hoof down – I thought there were two Novice tests!

Back home I was thrown into the field to commiserate with Otis. Barely two hours later, when I had just enjoyed a thorough roll, Young Mum and Old Mum came back! I stood still, perplexed at the repeat of this morning whilst they cleaned me up and put on my boots. Still waiting for an explanation, I took a while to load. Perhaps I was being sent home in disgrace?

We turned up at the big posh competition again, and Young Mum soon mounted to go to the warm up. I groaned – that was a large roast dinner she’d had! This time the warm up was full of Valegro wannabes, turning their noses up at me. So I pinged around in medium trot to show off. That’ll teach them!

This time my test was in the luxurious indoor, complete with my reflection and a photographer. I tried my hardest and apart from a slight gawp at the next horse coming down I concentrated really really hard. Young Mum was pleased, she gave me a big pat as we left the arena. 

I loaded immediately, I was ready for bed after all this excitement! Young Mum told me later I’d scored 66.9%. The judge was hard to please, and we were fifth. Less than 1% behind the winner. With that news, I swaggered over to Otis to tell him. I was a challenge to the big boys now!


It was early this morning when both Mums arrived. I expected a day off, but Old Mum insisted on lunging me. She was better than last week, so hopefully she can remember it all when I go home in January. She turned me out and did my stable, as well as poo pick my field because Young Mum had to go and learn how to save lives. I’m glad Old Mum is learning the ropes, I have high standards now!

The Chauffeur brought us in this evening and Young Mum was pleased to know that we’d behaved ourselves for him.


Finally, today was my day off to recover from my dressage. Young Mum has been battling the darkness recently, so Otis and I stayed out until dark. We didn’t even get our mud packs brushed off our faces, but at least we had perfectly level beds! I let her off though, riding seven horses in one day is pretty tough on the legs and tummy muscles.


Another day off for me. I think this is my Christmas holiday come early. Young Mum turned us out early, but was back quite early to bring us in because she still had to teach two kids and ride a horse – all after our bedtime! She’s regretting taking my hood off now. I however, think it is perfectly pleasant being able to rub mud up under my rug and embed it into my eyelashes and nose.


Today Otis and I got so fed up of not having our face masks cleaned off we tried to tidy ourselves up a bit. Perhaps if grooming us doesnt look like such a huge, arduous task she’ll do it?! 

Unfortunately for us The Chauffeur brought us in because Young Mum was so busy fighting the darkness. Otis thought about being naughty, but I reminded him of his bad leg and the Vet Visit next week.


It seemed to be back to normality today; Young Mum lunged be before breakfast. I showed her my best canter work, but couldn’t spook and show off my prancing trot because it was still dark! 

Then this afternoon she tied us both outside my stable, took our rugs off and let us groom each other while she did the bits we couldn’t reach. Otis kept insisting I scratched his right side, but I wanted my left side scratched so after a couple of asks he turned his bum to me and sulked. I thought we both looked pretty smart afterwards.


It was really foggy this morning so Young Mum couldn’t hack me. Tomorrow afternoon, apparently. But we did some jumping. 

I loved it! I made sure I picked my feet up over the scary yellow things in the middle. I was just getting into my stride when the yard came to life. All I could hear were voices and hoof falls. So I pretended to be Valegro, passaging around; giving a loud, dragon-like snort for full effect. Unfortunately, the fog hid the large puffs of smoke that spirals out my nostrils when I snort, somewhat reducing the effect.

We had to come in early today because Young Mum had to take the cat to the vets for her jab, but I didn’t mind because there was extra hay in my net.

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