Getting excited about having a lovely relaxing Christmas with a load of horsey gifts under the tree? Hmmm. Hate to burst your bubble but the following scenarios may be more likely...

The dream: You wake up at 8am after a lovely relaxing sleep. Getting dressed and heading to the yard, your horse has already been fed and mucked out, so all you have to do is give him his Christmas present.
The reality: It may be Christmas Day but you’re up at 6am as usual, turning out and mucking out your horse before your Christmas guests are even awake. You’re in a bit of a rush so your horse’s Christmas present this year is a carrot. Happy Christmas, Dobbin!

The dream: You head home to open your stocking, which is full of fab, carefully-chosen horsey gifts — a keyring with a hoof pick on it, that stock pin you had your eye on…
The reality: Judging from your gift selection, Father Christmas appears to have bought everything from the local 24-hour garage. And he was probably drunk while he did it. Oh well, windscreen de-icer is always useful — and at least Santa included a packet of Polos…

The dream: You spend the rest of the day relaxing, eating a huge feast (cooked by someone else, of course) and drinking Prosecco, content in the knowledge that your horse is on full livery and you don’t have to worry about him at all…
The reality: You can’t start drinking until after lunch, because you have to drive back up to the yard to bring your horse back in and settle him for the night. Oh, and you’re cooking the Christmas dinner. For the entire family. How come you’re capable of getting up at the crack of dawn and riding a BE100 without turning a hair, but the fear of giving your 84-year old Nana food poisoning from uncooked turkey makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry?

The dream: Evening has fallen and it’s time to open those presents! All of your relatives have listened to your request for Ariat boots and clubbed together to buy them for you, and your One True Love has forked out for those Pikeur jods, too. Best Christmas ever!
The reality: You said Ariat, your nearest and dearest thought you meant Aldi. The non-horsey never do understand equestrian brands. Never mind, they’ll do for mucking out. After six large glasses of Baileys, you’re feeling pretty happy anyway…

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The dream: You fall asleep, dreaming that it definitely won’t be a White Christmas because you’d really like to ride as soon as you’ve got rid of the rellies on Boxing Day.
The reality: Well, it’s not snowing — just pouring with rain and blowing a gale. You know, the traditional British winter weather. But you’re made of stern stuff — hell, you’re an equestrian! Get out there and enjoy your ride! Oh – and Merry Christmas!