If you’re feeling a little down after all of the excitement of Christmas, take a look at H&H’s most popular heart-warming stories of 2014 — they are sure to put a smile on your face…

1. Horse rider races Tour de France peloton [VIDEO]

Tour-de-france-video

An incredible sight captured on television whilst the Tour de France was winding its way through the British countryside, a horse, completely unfazed by the large group of high-speed cyclists zooming alongside him, joins in on one of the stages.

2. British rider scores 100% in dressage test

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In what was the horses’ first competition, this British rider became what is thought to be the only person to have scored 100% in a dressage test. (OK, it’s a young horse class so it’s not quite dressage as we know it, but it’s still pretty darn impressive!)

3. Welsh cob wows judges to win grand prix freestyle [VIDEO]

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A 14.3hh Welsh cob proved you don’t have to be big to be the best when winning a grand prix dressage championship in America. The pair out-performed nine other combinations to claim the class with 71.375% — and his test was ridden in a snaffle bridle and included a piaffe pirouette.

4. Charlotte Dujardin rehomes rescue pony

Charlotte Dujardin rehomes RSPCA pony

The reigning World, Olympic and European dressage gold medallist rehomed an RSPCA rescue pony called Santa earlier this year. “He was so thin and scrawny, and he was wearing a dog rug,” said Charlotte of the yearling when he was recovered from a field in December 2013.

5. ‘Most emaciated horse ever seen’ makes full recovery

Polly following her recovery

The “most emaciated horse ever seen” by the Horse Trust made a full recovery following six-months rehabilitation.

6. Pure white thoroughbred foal born

White filly foal High Chaparral x The Opera House

A rare pure white thoroughbred foal was born in New Zealand at Windsor Park Stud. The filly is by top sire High Chaparral, who during his racing career won the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Irish Derby.

7. Why horses make great wedding guests [PICS]

Kerry Walsh and Zero Flight at Kerry's wedding

When wildly distant cousins that you can hardly recall meeting and Godparents you haven’t heard a squeak from get the nod to your wedding — as well as plus ones of friends that you wouldn’t recognise in the street — it seems mad not extend the invitation to your horse.

8. Is this the cutest foal of all time?

aerodynamic mule

Lincolnshire-based Sarah Stewart became the proud owner of this adorable mule foal. But how Pandora came to be was a total accident.

9. Household Cavalry horses enjoy a trip to the seaside [PICS]

HCMR Army Regimental Training Camp

145 horses from the Knightsbridge-based regiment spent four weeks in Norfolk as part of their annual Regimental Training Camp, and boy, did it make for some good pictures!

10. Tiny tots in the saddle [PICS]

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Pony Club camp, fancy dress competitions and mounted games, these early riding days are where the best memories are formed (and where some of the most ‘ahh factor’ pictures are taken).