In the Saddle with Anita Marsh: A birthday ride to freedom

Anita Marsh gets ready for an equine Christmas.
Anita Marsh gets ready for an equine Christmas.

Well, as you read this today no doubt you are all preparing for the big day tomorrow but today I'm not giving Christmas a second thought.

Why? Today is my birthday and I wait all year for this and I'm not wishing it away, despite everyone else doing so around me.

I have a set little routine on my birthday and that always includes a lovely ride out on my horse, April. This is the best treat ever...time on my own where I'm not a mother or a wife...but just me. Freedom on four legs; I love it.

If I’m really lucky I'll be wearing something new too bought from an equestrian store. This year I've got a gorgeous new riding fleece and body warmer from my family by Pikeur (thanks everyone). I hung my nose over it for ages as a hint.

I’ve always found it strange with horses’ birthdays in that most of them are set on the same date of January the first-even if the exact date is known and recorded on their passport.

This date is based on the breeding season of horses, so horses born in the northern hemisphere celebrate their birthday then and horses born in the southern hemisphere celebrate their birthday on August the first.

This means that technically a horse born on Christmas Day celebrates its first birthday a week later on New Years day. It’s bizarre.

It’s set like this in most sporting events as there are age classes in some competitions. They have showing classes for example for youngsters age three or four and also for veteran horses where the horse passports needs to be produced.

All I can say is that I’m glad it's not set like this for us humans. This would make me even older!

If you see me out riding today wish me a happy birthday, you’ll make me smile. Oh, and the tinsel around April is because despite me grumbling on...I do actually love Christmas.