Well it seems ages since I have been out to a show, so Mum and I decided to venture out of hibernation last weekend to try to get Sandy’s last winter qualifications.

Due to it being pitch black when I go to work and get back, I have only been able to work Sandy at the weekends out hacking, as I don’t have a school. So when I hired a school to ride him in on Saturday before the show, I wasn’t sure who needed the practice more — or who was more unfit — him or me! Thankfully he seemed to have remembered how to canter and change the rein, so things were looking up for the next day.

As he is still living out, he is pretty hairy and late on Saturday afternoon, I thought I should perhaps clip his front out to make him look a little more presentable. Cue a hurried attempt to borrow some clippers, which wasn’t resolved until the morning of the show.

So after cleaning him up the best I could, I set about clipping his front and under his head. Do bear in mind that I haven’t clipped anything for about five years and I couldn’t tie him up anywhere near the power socket, so I had no choice but to trust he would stand still loose! Thankfully he was a total angel!

I can’t say it was the neatest of clips I have ever seen, but it seemed to do the trick and my little Welsh B went from hairy thick-headed pony to elegant and attractive looking show animal in a manner of minutes — well 40 to be exact.

We headed off to the show hoping Sandy would cope with being out again and doing three classes after his break from competition. After 10min working in, we were ready to go. We got off to a good start with Sandy going well and winning the first class. It was a good omen as he got better and better as the day went on, winning his open PUK class and the amateur rider one as well, before topping off the day with a reserve champion.

He really must be one of the most amicable and sweet ponies I have ever had &mdash he never argues and always gives his best. He has even won my non-horsey dad over!.

So Sandy is all set for the PUK Winter champs and now it is time to concentrate on Francis, who is equally as hairy and even more unfit — wish me luck, I really need some more daylight hours at the moment!

I am going to sit on my new section C, Pop, for the first time this weekend. He has very recently been backed and I can’t wait. There is nothing like the excitement of when you get to sit on something for the first time — I hope he likes me!

Will let you know how it goes next time.

Til then

Chloe