Heather and Socks have been battling the elements recently. Here she explains how they got on
In a fit of New Year’s optimism, I’d forgotten just how much I (and Socks, especially) detest winter. I don’t really mind the cold, but the lack of light, gale-force winds, and inclement weather makes exercising a thoroughbred rather difficult. And then, on top of that, it snows.
We’re very lucky where we are to have lovely turnout, hacking and wonderful people but unfortunately, no indoor school. And while Socks dislikes wet and cold, she dislikes being cooped up in her stable even more.
It’s a lose-lose situation.
Out to polework
Luckily, I already had a polework session booked with the Riding Club so both of us could get some exercise! Being the last one before Christmas, everyone dressed up, and this time, Socks joined in!
Josh had tinsel in his tail and as a neckstrap and bells on his boots (Socks wasn’t sure about those), little Jack was Rudolph with antlers and a flashing red nose, and Socks had her Christmas ears on.
She only tried to shake it off for the first 10 minutes, or so.
So, no work for Socks for five days, and I decide to take her out to a flatwork lesson. Mum was ominously quiet, and although I knew (hoped?) I’d be able to deal with whatever might happen, I was braced for an explosion.
Socks jogged a bit. And then was a bit fresh. That was it.
Who is this horse and what has she done with Socks?
Actually, every step feeling electric worked in our favour! She gave me some really lovely work over the poles, and some of the most powerful medium trot I’ve ever had from her so I was over the moon! And gobsmacked. Maybe my little bear is finally growing up?
Santa comes for Socksy
Christmas at our yard always comes with such a lovely sense of community, especially because it’s the only time of the year that everybody is down at the same time! I brought down some gingerbread to share and I’m not sure who enjoyed it more – my friend Mia or her horse Ice!
It’s also the only time all the horses are out being grazed on the common together. I was reminded of last year, when my brother insisted he wanted to hand graze Socks.
“What if I let go again?” he asked me.
“Don’t!” was my reply. A couple of years before, Socks had jumped at something and had a lovely time trotting round and round the common before I caught her. Thankfully, that time she was good as gold!
Santa brought Socksy a new 200g liner and a new hood to stop her rugs rubbing away all her mane. This hood is quite long and has to go on over her head which, as you can imagine, being a head-shy thoroughbred, we knew she’d love.
And, er, actually, she wasn’t bothered. It takes a bit of time to pull over her ears and for that time her eyes are completely covered.
I thought she’d back up a bit, or even at the very least have a good snort. But no. I’m going to take this as a sign that we have an unshakeable bond of love and trust that transcends everyday spookery…
I hope you’ve all had slightly better starts to your 2018 than we have, although, I do have one trick up my sleeve that we’ve not tried before to try and alleviate the winter silliness… catch up with us next time to see what happens!
See you soon!