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xmas hacking outfit

My ‘to do list’ was ridiculously long

Riley's Christmas day hack image
Words can’t explain how happy I was to be hacking on Christmas morning.
I was really looking forward to this week as Saturday would mean Christmas Day, and I love this time of year. As with every other year, my ‘to do’ list was ridiculously long with food shopping, wrapping, Christmas decorations and all the other prep that comes at this time of the year so Riley did get an impromptu day or two off.

This time he behaved and worked beautifully

We began the week with Emma schooling Riley which I think was high on her priority list. Particularly given how determinedly he had tried to buck her off during the last session. This time was a completely different story however. He behaved and worked beautifully, which prompted another of the people at the yard who had observed the session to comment on just how good he looked. This was music to my ears and such a relief.

Sharon and Riley hacking on Christmas day
We met lots of people along the way on Christmas Day including a family of walkers who stood to one side to let us pass. They asked the name of the horse and the young children kept shouting hello and Merry Christmas to Riley. It was a very special moment
Later in the week, Riley and I had a lesson together. It was both cold and extremely wet. As I tacked up in readiness and looked outside, the thought of riding at that moment was not appealing.

Something I need to work on constantly

At the same time each week, I knew there was a lesson in the indoor arena and so that wasn’t going to be an option for us.  I saw Emma who mentioned that the indoor lesson might not be taking place this week, so I waited patiently in Riley’s stable hopeful that I might stay dry.  When Emma came to get us for our lesson and asked if I wanted to be indoors or outdoors, the answer was a resounding indoors. Even though the rain had almost stopped and I always prefer outdoors, I was relieved on this occasion to be heading to the indoor school. Riley and I had a good lesson and Emma gave me some tips for building up his canter work as he does break out of it far too often. This is something that know I need to work on constantly until his canter is more established and I was grateful for the pointers.

The Christmas morning hack of my dreams.

xmas hacking outfit
Wearing my best Christmas hacking outfit, I’m ready for the day I have dreamt about for many years
One of the highlights of our week though was our Christmas Day hack.  When I first bought Riley in January 2020, I knew that Christmas Day would see Riley and I hacking together as this had always been one of my dreams whenever I had thought about owning my own horse over the years.  Unfortunately however, this was not to be, as he spent that first Christmas, last year, in his stable recovering from Strangles.  So of course, this year was going to be the year we had our first hack together and I secretly prayed that nothing would prevent it. And so, wearing my Christmas Day hacking outfit, it was a complete joy to head to the stables on Christmas morning and tack up. The weather was atrocious. It was howling with wind and was so bitterly cold that I couldn’t feel my fingers however nothing was going to stand in the way of our Christmas together.  It was so lovely to meet people along the hack walking their dogs or families and wish them all Happy Christmas.  They in turn all looked happy to see us and it was the Christmas morning hack of my dreams.

Once we returned to the yard, I untacked and settled Riley in his stable with a full haynet. Then it was off home for Christmas Dinner before returning later that day to tuck him in for the night, along with a few extra Christmas carrots that Rudolph hadn’t been able to manage.

If you enjoyed reading this, you can catch up on all of the earlier instalments of the life of Riley here
 
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Sharon Howe

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