In the midst of winter when you were unsure if you would ever feel your right big toe again, you were longing for the summer to arrive. But now it's here, you're wondering if it might not be all it's cracked up to be...
1. All those irritating flies
Although our horses are wearing things more commonly seen on a beekeeper, they are still irritated and bitten. Despite copious amounts of fly spray, dressage tests are ruined by headshaking and lashing out.
2. The dreaded farmer’s tan
Inevitable, unavoidable and particularly obvious in a pretty summer dress.
3. Sweltering in jods
Wearing tight jodhpurs in the heat while everyone else is skipping around in short skirts and shorts is almost cruel.
4. Humiliating hat hair
During the winter we forget just how bad hair can get under a hat in the summer heat. Best not to take it off. Ever.
5. The absence of satisfying clipping
Although an arduous task there is something quite satisfying about seeing a freshly clipped horse all wrapped up in thick rugs.
6. Navigating the hard ground
While people are suffering from hosepipe bans, one of our main concerns is our horse getting jarred on the concrete-like footing. That awful question keeps coming up at the mid-summer events: “Shall I or shall I not run?”
Now we’re in the thick of the puppy…
7. Longer days have their downsides…
Sunrise at 4.45am in mid-June provides a good opportunity to get up and ride before the heat — but it’s not a good feeling when the alarm goes off. And the increased daylight in the evening means that outside competitions can run on nearly past your bedtime and eliminate your social plans…
8. Missing the thrill of National Hunt racing
It’s a long time until the excitement of the King George at Kempton and an even longer time until the Cheltenham Festival or Grand National.
9. And finally… no hunting
Hunt horses are looking very fat and have gone feral on their summer holidays. We can only reminisce about the adrenaline filled days, flying over hedges…