Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas and New Year, and are all excited for what 2014 will bring.

I had a brilliant time over Christmas, travelling back to Utah, where I grew up, to spend some time with my family and do a bit of teaching. It was great to see my parents and sister Emily (pictured with me, above), and I am very lucky that being in Utah in December meant that I could enjoy some skiing at the same time.

Lauren Shannon skiing in Utah, Christmas 2013I taught at Kimball Ranch in Heber, Utah before I strapped on skis, and it was great to see lots of old and new faces in the eventing world out there. Utah is not really a mecca for eventers, with travel times to events regularly over 10 hours and no real soft ground, but there is a very dedicated and hard working community and it was great to dive back into it.

After returning from the States last weekend, I have picked up with all the event horses where we left off a couple weeks ago. My girls Jess and Bex have each had the whole yard to do on their own over Christmas and New Year, and they have taken care of all the horses very well. It makes my job very easy, coming back and hopping straight back on!

I took Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) to the Readyfield Bloodhounds New Year’s Day meet at Osberton yesterday, which I have to say really surprised me! I was ready to start napping because of the weather, but after getting thoroughly soaked within the first 2 minutes of being on, I realised that you stop noticing the weather.

We had a great run around the Osberton estate, jumping lots of fences and generally having a fabulous day blowing away cobwebs and sore heads! If anyone fancies a day out with lots of jumping, fabulous people and a great atmosphere, they need look no further than the Readyfield.

After the excitement of yesterday, it will be back to dressage boards and planning for the 2014 season, which is fast approaching. Here’s hoping this year is a good one for us all!

Lauren

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