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15 September 2014

Christmas Fun Day on 28th December

Our thanks to Tony and Karen Comerford who ran this enjoyable day.  A number of riders expressed regret at not being able to attend as it was a very icy morning.   Tony and Karen wrote the following report.


Several enthusiastic and intrepid people braved the frosty conditions to come and take part in the Christmas Fun Day at Aboyne.  Although fine, the hard frost created some hazardous driving conditions and some entrants decided that discretion was the better part of valour and decided not to come.  One of those who did come must have wished that she'd stayed at home after suffering a too-close encounter with a ditch.   We hope that both horse and rider are fully recovered.
The venue proved to be ideal with excellent facilities and good parking.  The obstacle course comprised elements designed to replicate obstacles that you are likely to find any time you ride in open country - although we hope you wouldn't find all these things placed consecutively a mere few metres apart!

The theme of the exercise was to collect and post a letter (i.e. a token or even a Christmas card) and to negotiate the hazards en route to the letter box.  The hazards included trotting poles, a bridge, a rein back between parallel planks on the ground, a turn on the forehand inside a box, walking under a washing line and standing still on a plastic sheet for 10 seconds.
I was really impressed by how well everybody's horses coped with this.  You would think some of them did it everyday!  Following this we set up a series of games. A walking race, a relay race and lastly a sack race when the long-suffering horses had to cope with riders behaving even more strangely than usual and often falling over in a heap at their feet!
Leon and Mary very kindly provided some tasty refreshments in the form of soup, mince pies and hot drinks.  Many thanks to them for their help too.
Thanks are also due to those who managed to help, advise and borrow a horse to ride all the obstacles and games - well done!
The brave participants were - Donna Hemmings, Rosemary Ashton, Pat Dorward, Arlene Parvin, Emma Parvin, Jane Hollstein and Lorna Hogg.