Christmas shopping was definitely made easier with a trip to New York — highly recommended — and I think all the presents went down well too. I was not very well over Christmas and have only just started to feel better in time to go back to some serious work.
Hunting dominated the holidays, although I have to admit calling a few days off due to the weather. We all had a lot of fun, though, and the children jumped some very big fences. Luckily, I am well mounted to keep up!
We were very lucky with our meet, as we had a sunny day with no wind, so lots of people attended. I had plenty of food and drink and not a sausage was left! We had a fun day and hacked home with hounds to tea in the kitchen after washing off the horses.
The usual trip to Olympia was great fun and always starts the festivities. The highlight for us was seeing Flipping Heck — we love that name! — win a dog agility class. That dog is unbelievable. I also enjoyed the new World Cup driving.
There is a different emphasis on the yard now since the children have gone back to school. Ponies are being measured and clipped. I have sold several hunting horses and still have more nice ones to sell.
It has not been an easy year for sales. I am not sure if the digital photo has helped sales or hindered. I find myself asking for photos, so I do understand, but I feel it is stopping people getting in the car to look.
You can have a great photo of a bad horse, and find it near impossible to get a good one of some of them, especially if it is a baby.
The other thing is how far to go to look. My best pony came from Pembroke and so many people said to me, “Oh yes, we saw him advertised, but didn’t want to go that far to see him!”
I know fuel is expensive, but really, come on, what did you all do before the camera and computer?
We need to make room now for the show horses to come in and get back into work — the early shows will whizz round. I find there are never enough hours in the day, especially in January when hunting crosses over with showing.
My wonderful sponsor Aloeride has renewed for 2014, so I look forward to another season with its support. I hope Alice will continue her partnership with Spillers in 2014 as well.
We now plan for some of the early BSPS shows and I look forward to getting Alice’s baby ponies in the ring for the first time. It will give her a bit of a shock to find they don’t go round the ring just like Gingerboy…