News

Danielle Goldstein – So Much More Than The Girl With Feathers In Her Hair

Danielle  Goldstein
Photo by Kathy Russell

We are in the year 2019. We live in a modern society where our differences can be celebrated and respected more and more. However when it comes to Equestrianism does anyone feel that our sport is a bit left behind? Don’t get me wrong, the sport is full of strong women competing against men as equals and that is something to be proud of. It’s just that I feel that it is still expected for everyone to think and dress a certain way. Until now…

I have recently discovered someone that everyone needs to know about ( I may be a bit late to the party but hey). The woman with feathers in her hair. The woman who is a professional show jumper but will be wearing yoga pants and a belly top walking the course and looking fricking cool doing it. The woman who Heels Down Magazine called ‘a rebel with a cause’. It’s Danielle Goldstein.

The articles that drew my attention to Danielle were articles focussing on her appearance. Sure, Danielle has a very unique look. Particularly for a show jumper. But her story is about so much more than that…

Danielle was born in America and grew up in a non horsey family in New York City. She only started riding when she was a child because her friend invited her to ride her horse. After that it was fair to say she dedicated herself to riding. Goldstein, decided on her first trip to Israel at age 12 for her Bat Mitzvah, that she wanted to represent Israel and went on a quest to start an Israeli Show Jumping team.

World of Showjumping reported that after moving to Israel for a short period in 2010 and having lots of friends of family there she applied for and successfully obtained Israeli citizenship. Riding for Israel is something Danielle had always wanted to do . Firstly because she felt that she had a deep connection to the country and secondly because she wanted to help a country that she felt did not get much positive attention in the global media.

Photo by Noelle Floyd

Based in the Netherlands with her partner Alan Waldman, she actually trains half the year in Holland and half of the year at her yard in Florida. Her website Star Wyns Farm states that Danielle firmly believes that there is much to done in terms in impacting Israeli society through Equestrian sports. Danielle has started ‘The International Equestrian Education Series’ from her base from Florida, with a hope to starting a series in Israel too. As she feels young people can learn all sorts of transferable skills such as responsibility, attention to detail and the importance of hard work through her training to encourage a stronger equestrian culture in Israel.

Danielle’s dream is to be the first female Israeli olympic show jumper. Since gaining her Israeli citizenship it’s going well. Global Champions Tour reported that She lead the first Israeli show jumping team in the European Championships in 2013 and again in 2015 & 2017 and since then has competed in 2 world Equestrian Games in 2014 and 2018. She has had success on the Longines Global Champions Tour with her chestnut mare Lizzymary. Winning the Grand Prix class in Portugal in 2017. Danielle also served as the Chef d’equipe for the gold medal winning team in the Maccabiah Games dubbed ‘The Jewish Olympics’ in 2013.

Photo by Sportfot

However Danielle has had her fair share of criticism. Mainly about the way she looks. Noelle Floyd reported that people online accused her feathers of being a safety hazard and a insult to the traditions of showjumping. Danielle took to the internet herself to tackle these cyber bullies and had a strong message ” It’s good to be different – there is no reason we all have to look the same”.

I don’t know about you but I think we could do with more Danielle Goldstein’s in Equestrian sport! She is a fantastic role model and I absolutely love her feathers!

Danielle will be competing for the Scandinavian Vikings in the 2019 Global Champions Show jumping league. For more information head to Global Champions League teams

If you liked this blog then check out these…

7 Horse Riders That Have Really Famous Parents.

Inspo Interview #7 Para Rider Evie Toombes

Polo in Provence with The Styled Equestrian

Click on the images below to shop at Amazon

Kevin bacon hoof dressing £19.59

Woof Wear Competition socks £14.90

Gold: My Autobiography by Nick Skelton

Copyright 2019 http://www.induehorse.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Ideas, Top Tips

My 6 Top Tips For Remembering Your Dressage Test

The Eventing season is just around the corner. Your horse is clipped, fit and ready to go. You have mentally prepared yourself for the season ahead. Half scared half excited. You have carefully selected your events, you have maxed out your time and your money to be able to compete this season so you want to do the best you can.

But I don’t know about you I really struggle to remember my dressage tests. I am historically a show jumper, however as I have grown older I have liked the challenge of being an all-rounder. I have now done a few riding club dressage tests and even a couple of one day events, with varying success. I can for some reason remember my jumping courses easily, however with dressage I am useless at remembering my tests. At my first one day event with my pony Cassie I forgot my dressage test twice and the horror of that Judge’s car horn beeping twice haunts me to this day. Since that day I must have a caller every time and that is just not possible sometimes. Even with a caller you still need to be able to remember what move is next to make sure you can do the test the best you possibly can.

So, You want to be the next Charlotte Dujardin? Here are my 6 top tips for remembering your dressage test. I have found best results need patience and a good sense of humour too!

Mya please remember the test for me! 

1. Walking your test on foot. This is a very effective way of making you look like a complete nut case! But I have found it to be very effective. The best way to do this is take the ‘Dance like no one is watching’ approach and pretend you are riding but do the test on foot. I mean walk, trot and canter on your own two feet as if you are your horse. Practical Horseman Mag suggest this way is particularly good for kids!   This also is a good way to repeat the movements of the test without your clever pony getting bored or thinking they know a better way. It can be done in the actual arena or any made up arena in your lounge/ car park/ office etc.

2.  Drawing your test on paper or on a white board. Dressage4All suggest another personal favourite of mine. Just draw out an arena with the markers in the correct place on a washable white board or a piece of paper and draw the route of your test on the sheet. This method works best if you have practiced the test and are familiar with it already. You can get as detailed as you want and use different colours for each gait or keep it simple. Just imagine that you are doing the test and draw it on the paper. I found this method very helpful as it is easy to repeat over and over again.

3. Listening to your test being called. Another method which could be helpful is calling your own test out and recording it on your phone. You can then replay it to yourself when you are riding it or repeat it whenever you want to revise the test. Alternatively Equivisions offer a service that plays all dressage tests from intro to advanced medium at 3 different speeds as MP3 downloads.

4. Watching others do your test online or in real life. This one maybe controversial. People seem to have differing views on whether it is helpful to watch others do their test. However the FEI have recommended it as a good way for you to visualise what your test looks like when it is ridden.

5. Dressage Today suggest reciting the test for a friend so he/she can follow your instructions to see if you can remember it properly. If he/she can do the test with you reciting it – well done! If they can’t you need to memorize it better!

6. Use an app. Of course there is an app for EVERYTHING. There are many dressage apps that incorporate the above techniques to help your learn your tests. The British Dressage app Testpro British Dressage is free. There are other ones to purchase available such as Equi Sketch Dressage and FEI Equi Tests to name a few.

So good luck for the season ahead. I hope that my top tips will be useful and give you some new ideas to help you memorize your tests. Let’s just hope this lovely weather stays around for a bit now!

Incase you missed it check out Keep Cool and Carry on! My Summer Tips for You and Your Horse.

Copyright 2019 http://www.induehorse.com

Advertisements

Equestrian Events

Everything you need to know about Jumping International de Bordeaux

Since Thursday the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre has been full of Equestrian sport’s top riders and horses from around the World. I was planning to go in person as it is not far from where I live in Toulouse, but then I planned to go skiing today instead. Then my car broke so I couldn’t do that either! So I think its fair to say I was destined not to go anywhere today. However I still felt that you needed to know about this amazing event. Running from February 7- 10th it is happening right now. So sit back and relax and I will tell you all about it!

Photo credit: Artiste Associé

Jumping international de Bordeaux has a lot to offer. Tonight (Saturday) it will host the penultimate leg of the Longines FEI Showjumping World Cup. Forty of the top show jumpers are competing tonight before the final in Gothenburg in April. I am sure it is going to be an exciting night of competition. I am hoping to catch some of it online, as my favourite french show jumper Penelope Leprevost is competing as well as Scott Brash and Michael Whitaker for GB.

After that this evening is the FEI World Cup Driving final. This is where the six best four in hand drivers compete against each other to be the world champion.

Last night, saw the Devoucoux Indoor Derby. A competition for event riders, the course consisted of 20 jumps in total 12 fixed cross country style jumps at the height of 1m10 including a bank, an eye, some skinnies, corners and a brush fence. There were also 5 showjumps in the course set at a height of 1m30 and course was set with an optimum time. Eventing favourite German Michael Jung won on Corazon.

Photo Credit: HR BRICOT

Another highlight is the `Nuit Iberique’ A show made up of The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art from Spain, The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art from Lisbon, The Cadre Noir from France and a family run circus troupe Hasta Luego. The show pays hommage to the Iberian breed using Grand Prix dressage moves of which the breed excels at and a circus ballet with horses is performed without reins or other forms of restraint! Sounds very cool!

Photo credit: HR BRICOT

There are many other competitions at Bordeaux too. Including the Coupe des Clubs where young show jumpers from different riding clubs in South West France compete against each other.

90 stallions from studs all over South West France are presented in hand or compete in the Bordeaux Young Sires Masters showjumping classes with classes for 7 year olds and 8 year olds as part of the Bordeaux Stallions Show.

There is also an equine health forum, bloggers meet-up, demonstrations, Le Pony Club offer rides for children and there are clinics too!

Photo credit: Artiste Associé

But lets not forget one of the most important things! Shopping! In the Salon de Cheval there is everything an equestrian could want tack, equipment, clothing, saddlery, new technology for horse and rider – whatever your equine discipline you find everything you need here! And of course being in France you will find a fab restaurant or two as well.

I think you agree this just sounds fantastic, and if you do get a chance to go in the future you definitely should! I’m imagining a French non festive Olympia sort of vibe. So, anyone up for going next year?!

Tickets and updates on results from the competitions are available online at http://www.jumping-bordeaux.com

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #2 Krystal Kelly

For the second edition of our Inspo Interviews about inspirational women in the equestrian industry I had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Kelly.

Krystal Kelly is a California Girl, joining us from her current base in England for a talk about her life as an Equestrian Adventuress traveling around the world on the back of a horse. She is currently the ONLY FEI II Showjumping Coach from the USA and offers jumping and dressage clinics, yoga for horse riders, and even helps to promote horse riding adventures and holidays around the world. She organizes groups to off-the-beaten path destinations with her own travel company Krystal Kolumbus Travel (like her upcoming trip to Bhutan!) She talks with us today about her life abroad and what it’s like working in 14 different countries with horses and traveling to over 50+ countries including Iraq, Bhutan, Romania, India, Egypt and more!

1) What inspired you to do what you do?

I have always wanted to work abroad with horses. I never felt like I belonged in America to be honest and I felt since I was very young that I needed to go and see the world. I was always fascinated to see the Olympic Showjumping on the television. Seeing top riders from around the world gather in one place to share their love for horses has always been something that drove my passion to seek “unique destinations” and countries most people would never think of going to ride horses! I just recently returned from Iraqi Kurdistan where I got to ride some gorgeous showjumping horses and also meet a few local men who breed Arab and Kurdish horses. They welcomed me like I was one of their family members and treated me to local tea and even gifted me a golden horse statue which now sits on my dresser. I love exploring countries, but exploring different cultures and countries because of a shared love for horses…that is an opportunity unlike any other!

2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why?

I am too busy making my own lists of things I want to do and where I want to go that I don’t have much time to think about what others are doing. Especially because my goal of seeing every country causes a lot of anxiety to others (try telling someone whose never left their hometown why you took a secret trip to Yemen…) and you will realize that you often times have to be the source of your own inspiration. In order to drive yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, take the leap and trust your own judgement and gut, sometimes you have to take inspiration from any means you can whether it be scrolling through Instagram, reading other’s blogs or watching documentaries. I take my inspiration from many outlets and its difficult to pin it down to one specific person. I will say that any woman challenging the system and conquering her goals (whatever they may be) in a male dominated sport / business / culture etc. is always a key source of inspiration for me! I love seeing women “stick it to the man” and empower other sisters around the world to follow in their footsteps!

 

3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date & why?

I have many. I’ve started the only horse riding program in the country of Bhutan, and now organize group expeditions there! I’ve fundraised to send a Yemeni girl to University. I’ve driven a junky car SOLO from England to Mongolia and back again. I met my husband in Azerbaijan (he’s German) and taught him to ride horses—where we now own two lovely horses in England and play polo, compete in Endurance and many other horsie-activities. I completed a 1,000 kilometer race on semi-wild Mongolian horses across the Mongolian steppes… I guess you could say there are a number of achievements I am proud of, but I also have quite a number more to cross off my list! I’m a big list maker so whenever I do cross something off I usually replace it with another equally challenging goal.

 

4) What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?

I think many people when they meet me, often tell me, “Wow, your life is amazing! You’re so lucky!” But the real secret is, I am not doing anything anyone couldn’t do. To be honest, back in 2010 when I first left America to work at my first international job for an Olympic rider in Belgium, the only thing I did that others didn’t was: I got on the plane. Many of my adventures, jobs and goals started with simply committing to getting on that plane. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have much money or I didn’t know where I would end up or how I would afford a return flight should the job not work out etc. It didn’t matter because I knew it would all work out. I would be able to handle any situation I came up against and I had faith that things would all work out in the end. And you know what? It has. So many doors of opportunity opened up for me simply by having the guts to get on that plane and take a chance that I never could have dreamed would be possible.

You don’t need to have all the answers, you don’t need to have everything planned. All you need is the will and a way will be shown. And if the people in your environment or life are opposing your internal goals and wishes and desires then STOP INTERACTING WITH THEM! Reach out to people with similar goals who’ve actually achieved them and start surrounding yourself with people that will lift you up (even if it’s only virtually on the internet for a while!) In this way the internet is really your biggest ally as there are so many inspirational women and horse lovers out there that are happy to talk and inspire other—and even offer them a job or a free bed for the night or a coffee! So get out there and start networking!

 

5) What are your plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve?

I have a few trips lined up for this year which I’m still looking to fill. I have several open spaces for people to join me on a once in a lifetime chance to visit the country of Bhutan —my all-time favorite country—on the back of a horse! Last year I took a group of 8 ladies and we had such a wonderful adventure that I’m excited to bring another group this year. I also have a few other trips in the making and my filming projects are beginning to pick up. I hope to release a youtube series soon about various Equestrian Adventuresses around the world so please join my Facebook group to keep up to date with the different adventures and projects I am planning as well as getting your horse travel inspiration and contacts from like-minded ladies in the group!

Thank you to everyone at In Due Horse for the feature and I am very happy to continue to follow along on your adventures!

Feel free to follow me on Instagram (https:// http://www.instagram.com/kryskolumbustravel/channel/) or check out my websites: https://www.kryskolumbustravel.com

https://krystal-kelly.com

In case you missed it click here to read the first Inspo Interview with The Sand Arena Ballerina.

Copyright of http://www.induehorse.com 2019.

Fashion, Lifestyle

Beat the January Blues with Boudica Equestrian!

Happy Monday everyone! Sorry it’s been a bit slow blog wise here of late. I have been a busy bee, but fear not I have been busy planning lots of exciting things for In Due Horse. So keep your eyes and ears peeled!

I must admit I have the post holiday blues today as I came back from a brilliant ski trip yesterday. But if you too are feeling a bit down – did you know that legitimately today January 21st ‘Blue Monday’ is actually the most depressing day of the year?!

Fear not my friends as I have teamed up with Boudica Equestrian (my new favourite shop) to change that for you!

Let me tell you a bit about Boudica. Founded in 2018 by Laura, Boudica Equestrian is an equestrian & leisure wear shop for horse and rider that stocks brands such as Montar, Chill Out, Hi Ho Silver & HKM to name a few.

They sell everything you could want as a rider including breeches, boots, jackets and have some very cool tee shirts too. They even offer a quiz on their website https://www.boudicaequestrian.co.uk/blog to help you find the perfect breeches. They also have very cool stuff for your horse and there’s even some things for your dog too!

One of Boudica’s pop up shops at an event last summer.

I was happy to collaborate with Boudica as I like to support small businesses, but also I also like their ethos as they promote ethical training & the practice of always putting the horse before your own goals. How cool is that?!

So be sure to sign up to their mailing list on their website to find out which breeches will fit you perfectly. If you do, you will be rewarded! Just use the code ‘DUEHORSE10’ for 10% off your purchase. https://www.boudicaequestrian.co.uk/blog

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #1 The Sand Arena Ballerina

Welcome to the very first In Due Horse Inspo Interview! In these interviews I plan to interview inspiring women from the Equestrian Industry. For this first interview, I had the privilege to interview Andrea Parker AKA The Sand Arena Ballerina who will be the first person in this series of interviews.

Andrea is an Australian blogger, her dressage blog The Sand Arena Ballerina follows her & her horse Nonie and their journey as they compete (very successfully) in dressage. The blog also features interviews, features on riders and horses, nutrition and fitness, fashion and mindset to name a few.

Andrea often talks about motivation, improvement and inspiration in her dressage blog, which is why I thought she would be a perfect person to interview for the Inspo Interviews.

1) What inspired you to become a dressage rider and start your blog?

I have always loved dressage, even back in my pony club days I was the kid who loved torture time (aka sit trot without stirrups) and ride around the barrels in a perfect figure eight rather than going flat out. While I used to ride all disciplines a few bad falls in my late teens steered me away from jumping. But it was probably the experience of riding a coaches Grand Prix stallion and advanced mare in my early twenties that sealed my fate as a Dressage rider. The opportunity to feel some of the higher level dressage movement like passage and canter pirouettes had me hooked and is something I will forever be grateful for.

Creative writing is something that I have always loved. However during my university years I had to put my creative thoughts aside and learn how the human body functioned and to write scientific reports in order to gain my Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. After graduating I often thought about starting a blog, but I worried I wouldn’t know what to write about, how to write it and whether anyone would read my ramblings. In 2016 I became a brand ambassador for an equestrian clothing company and needed to write monthly updates for their blog. It was through doing these updates that I developed confidence in my writing and took the plunge into the world of blogging at the end of 2016.

 

2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why? 

There are so many people in the equestrian community that inspire me – I could go on all day.  Of course high profile riders like Charlotte Dujardin, Laura Graves and Ingrid Klimke are a source of inspiration, however one of my key sources of inspiration is my wonderful coach Danielle Keogh. She is one of the hardest working, most humble people I know and of course she is a beautiful rider. It’s  been awesome to see her do so well this year and kick her goals. She works full time as a physiotherapist in addition to having several horses competing and a number of riders that she coaches – this is something I would love to do in the future too so she is an inspiration in that way as well.

Another inspiration is an Australian Para Dressage rider Emma Booth who also inspires me hugely. Emma began her riding career as an Eventer but a car accident in 2013 left her a paraplegic. Just seven months after the near fatal accident she was back in the saddle. Aside from being a beautiful and tenacious rider she is also an incredible role model eloquently calling out bullies and trolls online.

3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

I have been so fortunate to have a number of amazing experiences with horses, but if I had to name just one thing it would be competing at the Australian Adult Amateur Owner Rider Dressage Championships this year. This was my first time competing at a National level and what made it even more special was the fact that I have brought Nonie along from a green baby to successfully competing at medium level. As we come down the final centreline of our first test I was fighting back tears. Receiving a sixth place in this test was the icing on the cake.

4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?

I find few things to be as inspiring and satisfying as feeling Nonie and I make progress. If I feel that I am letting us down, struggling with the basics or just stalling this can make me feel a bit unmotivated and uninspired. How do I get past this?

1. Set goals which are realistic, meaningful and achievable.

2. Take lessons as often as I can afford to – sometimes you need an outsiders perspective to know where you are becoming stuck or to help push you through something challenging.

3. Reflect on every ride (I find it really helpful to do this in writing) and make myself find at least one or two positives from the ride – I promise you there will be something there. In the long term this will also help to train your thinking to look for the good in things.

4. Always remember the rule of 1%. If you can achieve and sustain a 1% improvement every time you get in the saddle you’ll be 100%  better in just 100 rides.

5) What are your plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve with your blog & Nonie?

I have a few goals on my list for Nonie and I in 2019. I  am aiming for an advanced start towards the end of the competition season – dancing down the centreline in tails and a double bridle with Nonie would be an absolute dream come true. In order to be able to do this we need to nail our flying changes and learn to ride the canter pirouettes 😬 Oh and I also need to master the double bridle!

In 2019 I would like to enter some new territory with my blog, namely I want to do interviews with professionals within the equestrian industry – think vets, trainers, riders and judges just to name a few. The thought of approaching these people to be a part of my blog terrifies me, which is exactly why I am making it a goal.

Be sure to check out Andrea’s brilliant blog at www.thesandarenaballerina.com . You can also follow The Sand Arena Ballerina – equestrian blog on Facebook & the_sand_arena_ballerina on instagram.

I hoped you liked the first Inspo Interview & be sure to check out next months interview with Krystal Kelly an Equine Adventuress who travels the world on horseback.

Copyright of http://www.induehorse.com 2019

Equestrian Events, Fun Ideas

All the Queen’s Horses in the New Years Day Parade.

Photo by Getty images

It’s January 2019 – how did that happen?! I don’t know about you but after the festivities of Christmas and the new year are over I find January a bit miserable. However this year I am determined to change my frame of mind about that and how better to do that? By learning about a parade of horses walking through London! I know that would cure my post New Year’s Eve hangover for sure!

The first New Year’s Day parade was in 1987 and it has run every year since. It features marching bands, cheer leaders and street performers. It was intended to bring joy to an otherwise dull day in London as traditionally all the shops and restaurants are shut on New Year’s Day. All the Queen’s horses are a small part of this big parade but obviously they are my favourite bit. The horses have been included in the parade since 2012, when they were first invited to join the parade because of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the olympics that year. The horses proved to be so popular they have been invited back each year since.

Photo by lnydp.com

Each year there is a different theme and on average each rider spends around £1000 on their costume for themselves and their horse!! The theme this year was ‘London welcomes the world’ which was a little ray of light in the time of brexit negotiations (or lack of) bringing the country down. The parade features 60 horses and their 200 handlers and helpers and were lead by a 32″ tall Falabella stallion called Azlan, who is an old pro as this year was his 3rd parade. The parade marches through central London from Piccadilly to Parliament Square with around 500,000 spectators. The parade includes horses and riders from all over the world including the USA, Spain, Norway, Holland and Germany. All different breed of horses are included Clydesdales, shetlands, ex racehorses and Dales to name a few. The youngest rider was 3 years old and the oldest 74 years old.

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So, when it comes to horsey festive fun it seems London is the place to be. Following shortly after Olympia it seems London knows how to throw a horsey party! I have yet to see this for myself but I definitely want to now! You can contact the organisers of ‘All the Queen’s Horses’ part of the parade and ask to take part if you and your horse want to get involved, via http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk and you can spread a little joy yourself. Personally I’m not sure Mya would be too keen though!

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So when you are feeling down this January forget your January blues and just think of horses parading around London dressed up in silly costumes! I know I will. Happy New Year everyone and I hope that 2019 brings you everything you hope for.

Uncategorised

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I am writing this when I really should be cleaning my flat and packing my bags. As I am heading back to Bristol today to spend Christmas with my family.

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that has supported In Due Horse since it started in September. Starting In Due Horse has made me so happy and I am so glad that I have been able to get back to riding again.

I have a few exciting ideas for the blog for next year and just wanted to say thanks again for your continued support.

Now, time for a glass of something fizzy!

Merry Christmas

Love from Louise xx

And the rest of the family James, Mya & Ziggy AKA Team In Due Horse xxxx

Lifestyle

Festive Fun With Our Furry Friends.

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love Christmas! I just love everything about it, the Christmas trees, caroles, presents, family time and of course all of the food and drink! But do you ever have amazing ideas that don’t turn out the way you imagined? Here is my comical guide to Christmas with our furry friends.

The Christmas ride. Now I attempted this once with my horse Stanley. I decorated his bridle & I had my Christmas jumper on. We went for a hack & I thought it would be all fun & festive. How wrong was I ?! Firstly Stanley found the tinsel so scary that he didn’t want to move when it was touching him. I did finally drag him out of his stable to go for a lovely ride but of course I was wrong again. Stanley was already very tense because of the scary tinsel but now everyone we passed in cars & on foot stopped to admire us & every time I waved or said something to anyone Stanley took as a que to try and run home. It was also very cold and my Xmas jumper was really itchy.

One Christmas I lovingly prepared a stocking for my horse Cassie. I got my mum to drill through a swede so we could hang it in her stable so Cassie could spend hours playing with it. I bought Cassie a salt lick to put in her new stable too. Both of which she did not get at all. Like no clue. She sniffed them both then ignored them for the remaining weeks I left them in the stable for her. I bought her some treats as well but she only wanted the mint flavoured ones and wouldn’t eat her dinner if I put other flavours of treat in her bucket.

Olympia. When I lived in the UK I loved going to Olympia before Christmas. It was lovely and festive. But my mum & I used to go and spend all of our Christmas money before we got it & then didn’t tell my dad how much we spent.

Donating to a horse charity. Lots of people I know donate to charity during the festive period instead of sending Christmas cards. So why not donate to a horse charity? Well I have sponsored a horse before and was basically taken hostage by the horse I adopted. Because I am far too soft! I would get newsletters and photos of the horse and hear all about how badly he was treated before he was rescued. Then, every time I tried to stop donating as I needed money for my own food, I ended up renewing my adoption but paying more than I originally had done before. I think at one point I ended up sponsoring 2 ponies, bought dog toys for the local dogs home as well as giving £2 a month to cancer research and running a half marathon for water aid! But in all seriousness donating to charity is a good thing if you can afford to do so.

Go to your local boxing day hunt meet. Its nice to see all the horses and riders dressed up ready for the hunt on boxing day. Its particularly nice to go watch them but then go back home and curl up in the warm when they head off! As when I went once it was basically a lot of very posh drunk people on horseback. I honestly don’t know how a lot of them managed to not die that day. Either by falling off their horses or drunkenly driving their lorries home! I’m really hoping that many of them had someone else driving them home.

The Yard Christmas Party. A very important social event as it maybe the only time of year you see the other owners at your yard dressed like normal people. You might not recognise them without straw in their hair or when they are not wearing jodhpurs. Someone you least expect will probably get blind drunk and cause a scene. But at least you can spend one evening looking and smelling nice and have a few glasses of fizz together. Then the next day you resume to being covered in horse poo and ignoring each other whilst mucking out as you are terribly hung over.

And finally going to the stables with your family, Christmas day is a weird day that everyone has more time (unless you are making christmas dinner for everyone) so I like to go to stables with someone that I don’t usually. So that basically meant that I’d go with my dad or my husband and freeze my socks off mucking out alone, while they sat in the warm car telling me to hurry up every time they saw me struggling to carry something heavy past their warm clean car. After mucking out as I was already dirty, I was always nominated to walk the dog too, and without a doubt he would either run off and be lost temporarily while I stood in the field alone in the rain or rolled in something that smells disgusting. It was never exactly what I had in mind!

So there you have it. Do you have any funny festive stories about your horse? Any festive plans with your horse that were more successful than mine?

Remember to join in our #induehorseparty and send me your Xmas pics to post on my Facebook & instagram story, so we can spread some festive spirit. Just tag me using @induehorse.

Have a very merry Christmas everyone and I hope that your festive plans do go to plan with your horses!