It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go (and a white Christmas at that). Now we all know how excited humans get about this wonderful time of the year, but what about our equine friends? Do they know it’s Christmas time and how do they get in the festive spirit? To find out how a horse would celebrate Christmas, we’ve been talking to Galway Frostbite (Frosty to his friends) the Connemara and his friends at Yuletide Stables, here’s what he had to say…
When it’s getting close to the festive season, it’s really important we book ahead with the farrier as I want my best sparkly Louboutin shoes on for all the parties we’re going to go to. I’ve booked another session at the horse Barber’s to get rid of this fluff before the rest of my family moan on Christmas Day – “You should’ve had a haircut”!
Christmas shopping is in full flow, I’ve got Spartacus the Shetland an iPad so he can facetime his friends as he doesn’t get to leave the yard that often. Butterkiss Bandpipe the Welsh Section B has a treadmill as in the summer months he needs help keeping trim (but don’t tell him I said that!). For Dave the Cob I’ve got him a signed numnah from Sarah Bullimore’s Lilly Corrine (he really fancies her!). I’vegotwings, the point to pointer, has a new pair of trainers in his stocking for all of the tough mudders he’s got planned. Jemima Puddleduck the eventer has got some armbands as she found the water jumps a tiny bit scary this season.
Anyway they’re all wrapped and under the Christmas tree in the yard. We’ve left a mince pie and a carrot out for Father Christmas and Rudolph and I’ve told everyone they are NOT allowed the carrot as Rudolph definitely didn’t get it last year!
Christmas day is all about taking it easy. Inevitably the foals; Sparkles, Cupcake and George all wake up first and get VERY excited to see what Father Christmas has brought them. Breakfast in bed is usually followed by watching a bit of International Velvet in the morning whilst opening presents. We all need a stroll in the afternoon to work off some of the mince pies and figgy pudding (some indulge more than others but we shan’t name names…..Butterkiss Bandpipe! When we get back we usually have to endure a bit of dressing up in any new gear that Father Christmas has brought our owners. It was a touch annoying that Tallulah got the Pelham she asked for last year as I’d had such fun tearing round every grass field we went in that year, it’s so dull now she can stop me!
At 3pm sharp, we gather around in the barn to watch the Queen (with her highland ponies and corgis!) make her annual Christmas Day speech followed by the Strictly Come Prancing Christmas special. We couldn’t let Christmas pass without a classic game of charades, my favourite is Spartacus and Dave re-enacting Dirty Dancing’s famous lift!
Now if we’ve got any room/energy left, it’s time for the day of leftovers to commence – Jemima makes a mean Speedy-Mash curry with a bit of fenugreek! The extended family usually arrive at lunch time armed with buckets of treats (SPILLERS are my fave). We huddle around the manger to watch Black Beauty whilst snacking on carrot sticks and hoofmous. When night falls and we’ve had our third round of left overs it’s time to fall into bed dreaming of the party we’re going to have at New Year - let’s hope I’vegotwings has the stamina to make it to midnight this year!
So off the back of our chat with Frosty, it’s clear that if a horse did celebrate Christmas, there would be ample feasting each day, lots of money spent on new equestrian gear and plenty of fun and games to be enjoyed….which pretty much sounds like a regularly day at the yard!