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.

New Toys

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.

DSCF0173.JPG

 

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.

20181230_112451A.jpg

She is now much cosier when I am out riding!

Delivery Ponies

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!

20181206_105349

We had a lovely time wending our way along the lanes with our tinsel and festive hats.

IMG_0390

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.

Christmas Cosiness

We have been having a lovely, quiet Christmas.

DSCF8101

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!

DSCF8114

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!

DSCF8146

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.

Pony Posting

DSCF8090

On Friday we made our annual Pony Post excursion.

DSCF8081

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.

20171222_101801

The tack is still mostly decorated from the tinsel ride so we were very festive again.

DSCF8087

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.

DSCF8096

Merry Christmas!

20171222_103517