I love this time of year, the towns and villages light up at night and the countdown is on to the big day. The Christmas anticipation has already reached fever pitch in our house, with the boy asking me “how many sleeps until Santa?” (what feels like) several hundred times a day. The horses are enjoying the crisp winter air, being rugged up doesn’t hinder their bucks and gallops around the all-weather turn out I put in last year – a wise investment on the farm indeed.

Hive mind

I have been accidentally quite organised for Christmas this year, all my partridges are in a row, although I must admit I do struggle with buying gifts for my husband. The farming social media groups are full of questions from ladies asking what to buy for their partners, but inspiration is rarely forthcoming.

A calving alarm is one of the more common suggestions, but since I myself am the calving alarm, that one is redundant.

Romance is not quite dead in our house, but the husband has long since had me choosing, buying and wrapping my own presents for him to give to me.

What it lacks in surprise effect, it more than makes up for in contented parties on both sides of the gift exchange. This year I am getting fancy wellies just in time for the start of the spring calving season and I couldn’t be happier.


The hunters may be in their element at the moment, soaring over the walls and ditches throughout the country, full gallop across the winterscape, but there is a definite “end of term” feel in the air for many of us as the last few equestrian shows of 2023 approach.

The show jumpers head to Cavan for one last hurrah and the dressage folk finish up on Sunday with competitions in Kildare and Galway. The eventers are usually all off sky diving and bungee jumping to fill up their missing adrenaline fixes, although backing breakers in cold weather amounts to much the same thing for the ones that stay home.

I am contesting my first Christmas themed dressage to music class at the weekend. I have had no opportunity to practice the floor plan, so I will be winging it, along with accompanying jingle bells acoustics.

The “powers that be” have even permitted the wearing of Christmas jumpers for this musical festive frolicking, and it promises to be a great end to a fantastic year.