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!
Galahad and I made full use of the whole twelve days of Christmas – we have been wearing our Christmassy outfits all week.
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!
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.
We had a couple of stops along the way – we met some new friends.
We admired the view and we even spotted a few signs of spring.
It was a perfect day – sunny but with a chill in the air. Wonderful.
My riding since Christmas has been enlivened by a new toy – I was very lucky to receive an action camera and have been having great fun playing with it.
The quality is not quite what it should be as I had managed to miss one of the protective films over the lens!
I have also been experimenting with the camera angle – I thought I had it more or less right, although perhaps it could do with being a little higher. Then we tried cantering.
Some work to be done there I think!
I have had so much fun playing with it though and I am very much looking forward to using it on more of our rides.
In other news, the dog has also been enjoying her Christmas present.
She is now much cosier when I am out riding!
This week it was time for our annual pony post delivery of Christmas cards. We had to leave it quite late in the day so we almost – but not quite – ran out of light. It was just an added bit of adventure for us!
We had a lovely time wending our way along the lanes with our tinsel and festive hats.
It is such a joy to be able to do it – when I was a child I watched my instructor’s daughter deliver their cards on horseback and it is so wonderful to do the same myself.
We have been having a lovely, quiet Christmas.
We went out for a hack on Christmas Eve and again came to carol sing at our own front door. The ponies got more apples and I think would have quite liked to come in!
On Christmas morning we have always gone out to see the ponies still in pyjamas. They have got pretty well used to odd clothing now and were very pleased wih the yummy treats they got!
I have been working since Christmas day so no riding for me but Cookster and my sister went on the traditional Boxing Day walk and by all accounts very much enjoyed it.
It has been a lovely few days.
On Friday we made our annual Pony Post excursion.
When I was a child I once rode out with my instructor’s daughter to deliver their Christmas cards and it seemed so wonderful that I have always been determined to do the same with our ponies.
The tack is still mostly decorated from the tinsel ride so we were very festive again.
We didn’t actually meet anyone on our rounds but when we got home we went carol singing at our own front door and the ponies were rewarded with apples. We had a lovely time.
On Monday my sister and I took the ponies on our instructor’s annual tinsel ride. It has been so long since I have actually been able to go with the group instead of having my own private ride and I had a wonderful time.
Waiting for our lift!
We could not have asked for better weather. The sun was shining and we all got rather warm. One of the valleys was full of mist and the views were absolutely beautiful.
I was a little concerned about the ponies’ fitness levels for a long ride (four hours!) but they actually kept up pretty well. They even had rather too much energy in a couple of places where they shied spectacularly and barged into other ponies. We were fine but I am always terrified of making a small child fall off.
In fact, the only issue we had was that Galahad felt a little footsore on some of the stonier tracks – he pretty much dragged me through a hedge at one point so my knee is a mess of bramble scratches. I expect Cookster to be footsore sometimes but it is most unusual for Galahad.
My sister also came away wounded – she banged her knee on a fence post at a gallop. She has an impressive bruise!
At one point we took a shortcut to avoid some particularly stony tracks and began walking down the grassy gallop to meet the others half way. Of course, they could not pull up so rushed past us but I was so proud of our ponies as they didn’t whip round and take off – we were very much in control.
I had a wonderful day and even came away with a lucky dip Christmas present. I am not a proper grown up yet!
I recently treated Galahad (or myself) to a new bridle. His old one was right on the bottom hole on most of the straps and I have been wanting to change the black leather for brown for some time.
I love visiting the tack shop and it is so good to have really nice leather to bring home. When I bought Cookster’s martingale it was so lovely that I knew I would have to get the same quality for myself.
I haven’t managed to get a decent picture of the bridle yet – the first time I used it we rode in a downpour and the next time I had already started decorating for Christmas!
I am so pleased with it though and it was definitely worth the wait.
Things have been a little hectic here recently. I do get very busy in the run up to Christmas but this week does seem to have been particularly busy. Therefore, it was especially nice to have a pootle round the lanes with the ponies this weekend.
It has been very cold for the last couple of days but there was no rain so we had a lovely, relaxing time. I was very proud of Cookster for not batting an eyelid when a pheasant flew up very noisily right next to us – even though I jumped out of my skin!
Galahad also made me proud – we had to squeeze through a narrow gap between the hedge and a car with an open boot and the hazard warning lights flashing. He did hesitate but when I asked him to move forwards he did so. He rather wanted to rush through but managed to contain himself.
There are beginning to be a few signs that Christmas is coming.
Galahad may have wanted to eat the wreath!
We have had a lovely Christmas. We had some great rides over the past week and even got in a spot of carol singing which was fun.
We had chocolate coins and the ponies got apples and pony treats which were much appreciated. We also finished most rides with some hot chocolate – it has been pretty chilly!
We also finally managed to paint the ponies’ toes gold. It wasn’t entirely successful as we had to wash their hooves and the glitter didn’t want to stick to wet feet. We still had fun though!
My parents came for a walk on our New Year’s Day ride and Galahad was not at all keen on my Mother’s wrap. He was desperate to dash past her and even wound Cookster up a bit. Once I had let him stop to have a proper look though he was fine. He just doesn’t like not knowing what things are!
I hope you all had very happy Christmases (or are having – Epiphany is not until Friday and we are keeping out the antlers as long as possible!).