Traditionally, showing used to stop in the winter, usually around the time of the Horse of the Year Show in October, and would recommence in the spring around Easter time. Nowadays, showing goes on all year round with classes mostly taking place in indoor arenas.

I must be getting old, as although I am happy to get up before dawn and keep going until dark in the summer months, I lean towards hibernation in the winter!

My sister, Michelle, who competes with Melland Jackson Jive when I take Diva (Melland Queen of Scots) out and about, must be made of sterner stuff. She is currently in full swing training her point-to-pointers and is out riding them with her partner, Paul, on the gallops in all weathers. Whilst I will enjoy cheering them on when they run in the new year, I am happy to sit on my sofa with Flora the dog in the bad weather.

Dog on sofa

If only one horse needs to go to the gallops on any day, Jackson is called into service as a travelling companion and really does earn his keep. People can’t resist sneaking a peek at him when they realise a Shetland is in the horsebox, so he is getting quite well known in racing circles in addition to the showing world.

He will also enjoy a few days of racing when the time comes for the point-to-pointers to go to the track. He is so funny when he accompanies the racehorses as he is always brought off the lorry to have a leg stretch and a pick of grass and without fail, he has a roll as soon as he gets on the grass. Luckily, he never tries to do this when we take him to shows.

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