After an extremely long term, I have now had almost two very relaxing weeks at home and, thankfully, have another two left.

The pony side of life has been ticking on quietly, always with an eye on next season. Gladiator (pictured with me top) is coming along more and more every time he is ridden, and we are so pleased with him. He’s not only going really well, but he has the sweetest character, and only wants to please. He is generally just a complete joy to have on the yard.

Being on a relatively green horse, however, makes me appreciate Cash more and more every day. I have to keep reminding myself that he was an unbalanced baby once too, and that I’ve just been extremely lucky to have him at a stage where he’s a complete dream to ride. By the way Glad is going though, I have no doubt that he too will be at the same stage one day.

Christmas has also been very exciting in terms of our pony related presents. Mummy was thrilled with Christmas cards from the Sharmans, William and Florence, for whom she found ponies Huggie and Annie last year. They sent her the most beautiful handmade cards, which she really was touched by.

Muffin loving her jumping again with Susie

Susie, meanwhile, got an incredible picture of Boss from the de Wesselows, which had been drawn by working hunter pony rider Georgia Love who caught his character brilliantly. She also had an amazing cutout of her and Percy in the championship at HOYS from her godmother, Alexia Robinson.

Finally, Susie and I got our beautiful saddles from Devoucoux, who are supporting us, and to his happy surprise, Gladiator got a full Snuggy Hoods outfit which is very much appreciated.

Lettice, our extremely confident and adorable Sealyham Terrier puppy in Mycroft’s palace

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned her in this blog before, but a few months ago, as part of Valentine Hazel’s new arrangement with Dorothy, we got a new puppy, Lettice, from Tiggy Mallinson. She is a Sealyham Terrier which are a very rare breed and is completely adorable but so unbelievably confident that she lives by her own house rules with no regard for anyone else’s. Our very beautiful and modest working cocker, Mycroft, knows his place and carefully wedges into her tiny basket each night with one leg hanging out, while Lettice gets up into his enormous throne and stretches out like royalty. She is perfectly house trained, but while she is happy to dig in the sodden muck heap all day, she seems to prefer our house to the wet outside for matters of the loo. My brother is always on the lookout for evidence, and Mummy seems to be constantly looking perplexed and muttering: “I don’t understand it”. The last straw must have come at some point over Christmas as we all arrived at our friends’ house on Boxing Day, and Lettice jumped out of the car with a Pampers nappy strapped firmly on, and Mummy looking very smug.

Mycroft with one leg out in Lettice’s bed

On the 30th, the Essex and Suffolk Hunt met at home. Britt took Muffin out who is back to her usual lovely self and was absolutely amazing. We are now very sadly getting ready to find another little child for her again to Pony Club and hunt, although we’ll be making our choice far more carefully this time. Hopefully we can find someone she really deserves. It is such a relief to us though that she is cheerful again and going so well back in her snaffle. Susie jumped her this morning and we were again reminded why we love her so much.

Britt at the meet at our house on Muffin with the Essex & Suffolk Hunt

Finally, my grandparents and Aunt Emma have been having a pantomime with their homebred racehorse, Sea Story, although I’m not sure they’ve seen the funny side as much as the rest of the family.

Continued below…

Trained by Kim Bailey, a few weeks ago she was set for her first race. There was generally a great deal of excitement. To my aunt’s great joy, she was favourite and even won best turned out, so it couldn’t really have been going much better. She was then also leading, until, just as she came level with the proud trio of breeders who were spectating, she jinxed very badly and the jockey came off. I can’t really explain why, but this caused a lot of hilarity. On a happier note, today she ran again and, with David Bass who gave her the most beautiful ride, she won. Mummy thinks Emma may well now be in coronary care but we are all very excited.

Wishing a very Happy New Year to everyone and best wishes for 2018! We have had such an incredible year and are going for just as happy a time in 2018.
Susie

Lucy