We’ve canvassed many equestrian luminaries over the years about their Christmas day traditions. December 25th is one day in the year, it transpires, when the horses are an irritation. They don’t know it’s Christmas; they just know if their breakfast is late.

I am one of the lucky ones who can depend on first rate livery staff to do the feeding and skipping out for me while I watch my children exploring Father Christmas’s delivery. (A word of advice for those of us lucky enough to be able to rely on other people’s help; while all thanks are appreciated, a £20 note slipped in Christmas card is preferable to yet more mince pies.)

Yet it’s lovely to share Christmas with your horse too. I once kept my horse at a yard which closed to visitors on Christmas day and left the horses in, though fed and watered of course. I always rather pitied them, unable to do anything while we humans had so much fun.

Many of us prize our Christmas day ride as a precious opportunity to escape relatives we don’t actually have much in common with, and to try to burn off a few of zillion calories consumed. Others let the horse have the day off, knowing they’ll have a chance to let off steam on Boxing Day.

Whatever you and your horse’s Christmas involves, all of us at Horse & Hound wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Lucy Higginson