Solo and all the other babies are on a break over Christmas and New Year. Solo who is now FOUR, Hector, the ‘rogue from the track’, who is also four, plus Waldo who is a big grown up five year old now…..time to start teaching everybody how to jump……yippee. They have all had their grain cut and their hay increased, they are also spending longer outside to compensate for not being worked. Over the holiday season we try to take a bit of a break, we can’t cut back on the stable chores, but we do cut back on the riding. Those horses that are here for training, or are leaving shortly for Florida, get preference, and our other horses get time off.

Solo is mellow and seems to be enjoying himself immensely. He is not showing any signs of being fresh or cheeky, quite the opposite. He seems relaxed and ‘on holiday’. His owners came to visit him on Boxing Day and brought him his “Ribbon from the Royal”……LOL

Although the babies are on holiday, the barn has been busy with lots of Christmas cheer and all of us enjoying the mild temperatures. Some of the paths are too icy to use but we are still able to get out hacking. The snow is crunchy on top, and the horses are struggling at times…..struggling is ok in small doses. It was so much fun while the snow was soft and fluffy, I worry about losing shoes or over reaching when the snow is heavy or crusty. We have to keep the hacks short, particularly with the babies, so that the horses don’t over exert themselves working through the snow with tired muscles. Just walking around the circuit we use, makes everyone puff and blow.

A young mare called Ruby that Solo grew up with, came in for training just before Christmas. At first there didn’t seem to be any recognition, until, a couple of days after her arrival, one of them whinnied for some reason. As soon as one heard the voice of the other, there was bedlam, and they called back and forth with huge enthusiasm. They can see each other across the aisle, and after the initial yelling, they have turned the volume down to a mere ‘hello’ now and then. Things like that, always make me think Black Beauty. I sometimes wonder if multiple readings of that book at an impressionable age, is the reason I ended up training horses.

I would like to wish a Happy New Year to everyone from Solo and the Hawkridge Farm team.