On Boxing Day my sister came round to ride and we set off for our very tinselly Christmas hack.
I always love riding out but it is especially great at the moment – it is such fun to dress the ponies up and carol our way along the lanes. Good King Wenseslas was obviously the first choice for Boxing Day singing!
Added to that, our parents usually come out on Boxing Day as well – their company is lovely but it also means we may get some tasty treats which are very welcome!
One of the exciting parts of Christmas for me is delivering our local Christmas cards by pony post. We always dress up the ponies with tinsel and set off around the lanes carolling – although usually only when we think we can’t be heard!
This year for the first time we were spotted by one of the recipients who very much admired us. It is always nece to feel appreciated!
Of course, such a ride has to be rounded off with hot chocolate and Christmas goodies. The ponies got some carrots too.
If you celebrate I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
I love feed samples. It is just so fun to try out different food for the ponies. Of course, they usually come with a short conversation about the ponies and what they need, which means I get some samples of food that are actually recommended for them and not just random food which would not be suitable. I lugged a huge range of samples all the way back from Burghley and I tried every single one.
It works too – I have actually bought a bag of Allen and Page’s Fast Fibre to try on the strength of the sample I got at Burghley. It has lots of things to recommend it but I have to admit that the fact it can be served warm was a huge draw for me!
This week Christmas came early for the ponies as we received a huge box of samples from Mikholl Ltd. This is a new feed company based in the UK who makes organic horse feeds from what sounds like great ingredients. They come in recyclable packaging too which is a excellent point for me – I love the sample bags!
They have only just arrived so I can’t comment much on them yet except to say that the ponies seem to like the alfalfa treats and the apple flakes went down well too. I am very excited about trying them though.
For a couple of months every winter I can usually only ride twice a week on my days off. It is almost dark when I leave for work and definitely dark when I get home so – as I don’t have floodlights – it is just not possible to ride. Having said that, I did ride Galahad in the very, very dim the other day. It was only around our fields and not on the road but was still rather nervewracking!
This year I seem to be more than usually burdened (though they are not really burdens) with odd hours at work and extra rehearsals for Christmas concerts so that even when I have a day off I am still not free to ride in the daytime. I am currently in the middle of what will be almost two weeks off for the ponies – something which can make me feel incredibly guilty, even though there is not really anything I can do about it. It is what comes of having too many hobbies!
I have to remember that the ponies really don’t care if they don’t get ridden. They have a whole field to gallop round and each other to play with so it’s not as if they are cooped up and getting bored. In fact, it is quite possible that they prefer being left alone!
It does sometimes seem as if I have all the hard work and none of the fun at the moment – the ponies still need mucking out and feeding even when they are not being ridden. However, I do really enjoy all of that too – just spending time with them is wonderful and I wouldn’t want to ride instead. Besides, I will get to ride soon!
Today being the first of December – and also Advent Sunday – I allowed myself to bring Galahad’s Christmas ears out of storage. After all, we can use them for such a short time, we might as well make the most of them.
As usual he did not object to them at all, despite the fact that I made a complete mess of actually getting them on in the first place. Those pom poms can be tricky to get under the bridle!
We went out for a ride with my sister and Cookster and had a lovely time, singing as we went. The ponies seemed to enjoy themselves too and were bouncing along until Cookster got spooked by a pheasant flying up behind him. He’s not normally a spooky pony but he didn’t enjoy that so much!
On our way back to the yard we stopped off at the house for some Advent carolling and the ponies were rewarded with some lovely looking apples. We, however, had to wait until we had sorted the ponies out and got back inside for some delicious cherry shortbread stars and hot chocolate to warm up. It was a good day!