It might be wet, but on the plus side the school isn’t frozen, making these the ideal weeks to consolidate training.

If it does snow, at least the horses will go into a quieter time with enough to think about. Here’s hoping they come out the other side having mastered whatever it was you were working on.

I once heard a rumour that certain showjumpers wouldn’t stay in the Olympic village because they couldn’t smoke in there. Gone now are the days when elite riders didn’t consider themselves athletes and approach their own training — both physical and psychological — with that in mind.

It’s no longer enough to train your horse; you need to train yourself, too.

Spending two days with Carl Hester and a panel of elite experts in this week’s magazine (27 November), reminded me just how much our top riders put into their performance — from diet to fitness — that sets them apart from the rest. For the best, analysis never stops, nor does complacency set in.

Speaking of complacency, I’m feeling particularly smug, having done all my Christmas shopping. It’s prudent to do this in November if you work on a weekly magazine — particularly this weekly magazine, which covers one of the biggest events of the year the week before Christmas as well as going to press on two issues.

Presents purchased included two magazine subscriptions and — yes, I would say this — they really are the gift that keeps on giving.

If you’re considering likewise for an equestrian enthusiast, obviously you need look no further than Horse & Hound — and our sister title Eventing, should this be your leaning.

To get the best deal, visit www.magazinesdirect.com/bug4 or phone 0844 848 0848 and quote the codes BUG4 (H&H) or BTX4 (Eventing).

Ref: Horse & Hound 27 November 2014