Getting ready for HOYS — the horse way

Ever wondered how horses get ready for HOYS? Oscar the hunter tells it like it is….

Oscar the hunter is not amused. Not only did they leave before second horses, they hadn’t jumped a twig! Ella, his human, wasn’t usually so lily-livered in the hunting field, but apparently they’re going to something called “hoise” in a couple of weeks and she wants to “keep his limbs clean”. Pah. Oscar is a very good jumper, never touches a stick, and besides, there’s been precious little rain in this part of the world for a while so he’s hardly likely to get grubby.

Apparently, keeping his “limbs clean” also means he can’t go out in the field for more than a couple of hours a day. Ridiculous! All right, he might enjoy a bit of a kick and a leap, but he’s not stupid, not like that flighty chestnut bit who’s always getting ponced up with baby oil and coloured ribbons for “the hack class”, whatever that may be.

Oscar snorts. The flighty chestnut is very pretty, but honestly, hacks? Sounds like they go round coughing…

Then there’s been all this walking in-hand around the lanes and lots of lungeing, which is as boring as watching barbed-wire rust, and he’s ashamed to admit that he’s been hamming it up a bit, bouncing around and larking about.

And Ella shouted at him! Called him a “great big, stupid lummox”! How dare she — him, who’s never let her down, ever, in the hunting field.

Oscar eyes a soiled patch at the back of his stable. So she wants “clean limbs”, does she? Well, she didn’t say anything about any other bit of him being clean…

Image: Working hunter (cropped), by S. Carter via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0


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