As much as we love our horses, there are moments — especially in the winter — when it all becomes a bit of a chore. The early mornings, the constant dry skin and chapped hands, or the having to ride in poor weather when you don’t really want to, can all be a bit much. That’s why we’ve thought of all our favourite little horse-owning moments — they may only be tiny things, but they’re enough to spark a little pop of joy and remind us why we do it.
1. When you’ve been really struggling to get your horse to strike off on the correct leg in canter and suddenly he just gets it. In fact, this applies to anything you’ve been working at for a while, whether it’s leg yielding, standing still for you to mount or jumping both elements of a double properly.
2. Finding some suitable ground for a sneaky little canter when there’s no-one else around and giggling like you’re 12.
3. When you’ve done all your chores and your horse is all tucked up and happy in his clean bed and puts his head on your shoulder for a cuddle.
4. When you let a less experienced rider on your horse and he behaves like a saint, and you remember what a long way he’s come since you’ve owned him.
5. When you’re out hacking and meet a tractor with a big, rattly trailer, and all the other horses shout ‘eek!’ and scramble up the bank while yours is the king of calm.
6. Your horse seeing you from the other side of the field and coming trotting over, even though it’s not feeding time.
7. Executing a perfect three-point turn with the trailer while there are loads of people watching you.
Good farriers are like gold dust and should be generally prized and looked after. Try not to frighten them off...
We lavish care on our equine charges, making sure they want for nothing. When it comes to ourselves, though, we
8. That moment when you’re asking your horse to something slightly outside his comfort zone, such as walk over a tarpaulin, under a tree or through a spooky gateway, and you know he’s not confident but he does it for you anyway. Alternatively, someone asking you to demonstrate something or give them a lead over a jump, because they know your horse can do it.
9. Someone paying you an unexpected compliment on how well your horse looks or how well behaved he is.
10. Seeing your horse cantering round the field with his tail in the air, just for the sheer joy of it.
11. Finding somewhere new to have a decent gallop, and being able to let him go until your eyes start watering and you’re both out of breath.
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on completely ad-free