New Year Musings

On Wednesday my parents and I went out for our traditional Boxing Day walk/ride. Yes Boxing Day was on Sunday but I’d been working since Christmas and Wednesday was my first opportunity. Cookster had apples, I had chocolate coins and everything was lovely.

At midnight on Friday evening I went outside to see if the church bells were ringing in the New Year. The ponies came over to see what was going on and whether there was any food in it for them. Naturally they ended up having a midnight feast!

Seeing in the New Year with the ponies was lovely and I have been enjoying the time I have been able to spend with them since then. It is amazing how much thinking time you get when you hack out alone. I started this blog because I found I was writing about the ponies in my head as I rode and I needed an outlet to share that.

Since I opened my stationery shop I have found that I am more likely to be designing new cards and letter paper as I ride. In fact, I have often wished that I could sketch as I ride – I end up taking a lot of pictures to try and keep the images in my head!

My stationery business has been taking up more and more of my time and as I only have limited free time I have reluctantly made the decision that it is time to stop writing this blog. I will still be posting on my Instagram account and the ponies definitely pop up on my stationery account too.

I have loved sharing my pony adventures over the past few years. Thank you for reading.

Christmas Deliveries

This week the time arrived for our annual pony post deliveries of local Christmas cards – and even a small parcel. This is something we’ve done ever since we’ve been able to ride the ponies – all inspired by one evening many years ago when my riding instructor’s daughter took me with her to deliver their cards. It seemed like something out of a story book and I was determined to do the same when I could.

The ponies have been getting more festive as we get closer to Christmas and we had a lovely ride, singing carols as we went. It was especially nice to have my sister with me again as covid kept her away last year. We were even rewarded with a beautiful view of the moon over the valley. It couldn’t have been a better afternoon really.

Dodging the Hail

This weekend my sister and I have been out riding together for the first time in weeks. I am very used to riding by myself but it was absolutely lovely to have someone with whom I could chat as we were riding along for a change.

It may be somewhat early to properly tinsel up the ponies but as my riding with tinsel is of necessity a bit limited I couldn’t resist getting some out and making a start. The good news is that the ponies have never seemed to mind our strange antics.

What they did mind was the incredibly heavy hailstorms we had yesterday. Most of them didn’t tend to last particularly long but they were vicious while they lasted – and the hailstones were huge too. Galahad very definitely wanted to turn his back to the weather and wait for it to be over. I was much more keen to carry on and get home!

The most exciting bit though happened when we were tacking up. The sudden downpour of hail made the most tremendous noise on the roof of the stables and made us all jump. Galahad’s rug – already undone – fell off and scared him even more, making him break the string to which he was tied. I had to hang on tight to keep him in the stable and even then he might have got away if my sister hadn’t swung the door shut. She wasn’t quite so lucky and Cookster was halfway across the field before he stopped. Thankfully though, he did not have trailing ropes like Galahad and everyone was safe. It was quite an experience!

Christmas Cheer

The ponies and I have been having a lovely, restful Christmas. It began for the ponies on Christmas Eve with apples and carrots added to their dinner. Then they had treats brought out to them early on Christmas morning.

The dog was very interested in them too – she has brilliant balance on two legs!

Today we went for our Boxing Day walk (yes we were a day late but I had to work yesterday) and I brought Galahad along too. He was somewhat inclined to think that the slower pace was designed to allow him to snack but was otherwise well behaved and happy to amble aong with the others. He may have been influenced by the knowledge that these rare walks together usually mean apples at some point! I on the other hand was kept going by chocolate coins.

We had a lovely time and had plenty to look at – the river has burst its banks and is rushing along very noisily. The weather was glorious while we were out but by the time I finished untacking it was hailing and the dog and I were glad to get back indoors for hot chocolate and stollen. For me at least – the dog had to make do with water!

Once we’re back on our own land the dog can come off the lead. She’s getting much better at coming along with me on a pony but is definitely not ready to do so on the roads!

Pony Express

Today it was time for our annual pony post excursion to deliver our local Christmas cards. This year my sister was able to come too so we had a socially distanced hack around the lanes. I had a parcel to deliver this year as well so the backpack was dragged out for the first time in months and we were ready to go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20201213_181959.jpg

This is one of my favourite traditions – I love dressing up in tinsel and Christmas outfits, singing carols as we ride. Although not much singing was done this year – the pandemic means that I don’t get to see much of my sister these days so a lot of chattering went on instead! Sadly it was pouring with rain just before we started so I had to wear a jacket but if you look closely you can just about see my elf hood and bell.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20201213_112235.jpg

We had a lovely time – the rain eased off and in the end we barely got wet at all so it was a fun jaunt around the lanes. I wanted to do this from the time I helped my riding instructor’s daughter deliver their cards when I was about ten and it still feels very special every time. Christmas is definitely coming now!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20201213_185054.jpg

Christmas Revelries

On Boxing Day my sister came round to ride and we set off for our very tinselly Christmas hack.

20191228_123553

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!

20191226_114123

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!

Christmas Deliveries

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!

20191222_200826

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!

20191215_150106

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.

Advent Carolling

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.

20191201_143046

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!

20191201_145944

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!

Winter Chills and Signs of Spring

Galahad and I made full use of the whole twelve days of Christmas – we have been wearing our Christmassy outfits all week.

dscf0179

On New Year’s Day we went for a hack with my sister and Cookster, then came back to wassail the apple trees.  This is something we do every year, although the ponies don’t often get to join in.  They definitely appreciated the apples!

DSCF0181.JPG

Yesterday was our last Christmassy ride and we had a lovely time, pootling along the lanes which were, for the most part, nice and quiet.

dscf0196

We had a couple of stops along the way – we met some new friends.

20190105_103635a_moment

We admired the view and we even spotted a few signs of spring.

20190105_103625a

It was a perfect day – sunny but with a chill in the air.  Wonderful.