It's that time of year...

It’s nearing the end of the year, the Christmas shopping is done (if not – what the hell are you thinking? A shopping mall on Christmas Eve is not the place for a galloping housewife!), the house is cleaner than it has been since last Christmas, you’ve managed to arrange it so that your in-laws are within nagging distance for the minimum time possible, and your alarm is set so that you can get to the yard, give Noddy his carrot and the new rug set you purchased in preference to the fishing trip that your other half was angling for (pun intended), mucked out, fed, hand walked and put away with enough time to supervise the roast going in the oven. And when we say supervise, we mean stand around with a glass of champers in your hand telling your other half all the things they’re doing wrong.

What now? Well, my dear galloping housewife, this is what is known as the danger zone. We look back on the previous year and see all the things we haven’t achieved. We’ve not ridden the perfect half pass and gone to the Area Festival, we’ve not even darkened the arena at BE90, much less qualified for grassroots, and that double clear at any height in BS has completely eluded us. We’ve still not found our perfect hunting companion, we’re stuck in a cold, draughty DIY yard because we’re mates with the yard owner and we can’t break it to her that it’s not fulfilling our needs any more, we’ve not met up with our mates for a Sunday hack and we’ve certainly not taken that trekking holiday in Dartmoor we promised ourselves last New Years.  

It’s the danger zone because we look back on the stuff we haven’t done with negativity and the risk is that we will set ourselves up for failure. We will not only put all of those items back on our goals list but add a bunch more, thinking that if we just work harder, train harder, put more effort in, we can live out our dreams. While this galloping housewife is a firm believer in not putting limits on ourselves and indeed has her own personal goal of one day riding at an Olympics or World Games, the fact that she doesn’t currently own a horse, means that putting Tokyo 2020 on the New Years resolution list would be silly.

This year the galloping housewife wants to get back to being a horse owner. She wants to reconnect with the joy of simply being around horses, of training for the satisfaction of improvement, of competing for the camaraderie and the challenge of stepping (slightly) outside of one’s comfort zone and living to tell the tale. This month she was talking with some friends about this, and mentioned the fact that her dream stable would include one ordinary little crossbred eventer. Something that she could have some fun on. Something that she knew would always be safe to take out hacking or for a gallop across the countryside. Something that would babysit her around a BE90, that she could take to the odd BS show and overcome her fear of coloured poles. Something that there would be no pressure on, and no expectations of either of them. And while she most definitely has not given up her international aspirations and will in short order be looking for something that moves like a spider on acid, is sharp as a tack and probably only freshly backed and therefore green as grass because that’s all her budget will allow, the first pony she will be shopping for will be a plaything.

This is where the galloping housewife leaves you this holiday period. Have a think while you’re recovering from your over indulgences on Boxing Day and making the most of a few days where most of the world is on holiday. For sure, set yourself some outrageous goals and dream big. But don’t forget the number one aim, the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning, trudging to work and giving up our social lives – to enjoy our horses. Make that your New Years resolution.

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