Monday News & Notes

The third Monday of the year is commonly referred to as ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year. I’ll admit, I’ve always been a little skeptical about this; it’s a concept that was introduced by a travel company with some slightly wishy-washy equation to back it up, and also, I’m not convinced that telling people they’re going to feel rubbish on a particular day is that helpful to anyone.

Having said that, though, January can be a really tough time for a lot of people. Everyone’s broke, the weather’s pretty crap, and, like, we’re in a bloody pandemic, so that’s a bummer. As someone who can struggle with depression and feelings of isolation, I absolutely feel you if you’re having a rough time of it today. Here’s my advice, which you can take, leave, or adapt to suit your own situation:

  • Either go easy on yourself or set yourself an achievable challenge, depending on where you’re at. If you’re feeling low and you’ve got that horrible full-body, full-brain tiredness, know that your horse really won’t mind if you take a day off riding, or just go for a mooch around the farm. On the other hand, if your brain will. Not. Shut. Up. and you’ve got a bad case of Monday anxiety, stick on a YouTube workout class, go for a long run to a noughties pop-punk playlist, or go attempt to ride the 5* dressage test just because you can.
  • Plan a luxury evening in tonight, as opposed to the usual evening in because you can’t legally go anywhere. Pick your boxset or film of choice now so you can get excited about it, daydream about your take-away order, make your bed and lay out the comfiest PJs you own. Go get yourself a bottle of wine that costs more than eight bucks. You’ve got this, baby.
  • Don’t let your brain convince you that you’re fighting any battles alone, or that you’ll inconvenience anyone or embarrass yourself if you reach out for help. There will be days when you think you have no one. That’s just a nasty little trick your insecurities are playing on you. The bravest thing you’ll ever do is send a text asking for a little bit of extra support or just a bit of good banter to fill the void – and I guarantee the person you reach out to will be just as glad to hear from you.
  • If all else fails and you’re just in a slump, sack off your to-do list for now and take a nap if you can. Sometimes a little brain reset is just the ticket.

Ultimately, folks, it’s always worth remembering – if you’re surrounded by horseshit, then there must be a pony.

National Holiday: It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day – here’s some ideas for how you can honour it despite the pandemic.

US Weekend Results:

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks: [Results]

Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test: [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

Give it up for the west coast – they’ve got sun, surf, and now, the 2020 SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year. Rose Sullivan’s M Crème De La Crème, an 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood piloted by Alexis Helffrich, took the honours – click through to find out more about this exciting up-and-comer. [YEH Graduate M Crème De La Crème SE Clinches 2020 SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year]

Actress and keen amateur showjumper Kaley Cuoco has retired her top horse Bionetty, and honestly, I read this article pretty much solely for the barn chandeliers and the golden tendon boots, and I’m not sorry about it. [Kaley Cuoco Retires Her Show Horse Bionetty: ‘There Will Never Be Another Like You’]

You’ve probably heard people waffle on about how Pilates has transformed their riding – but what does it actually do, and how can you tap into those benefits yourself? This comprehensive piece will answer all your questions (and honestly, folks, it really does make you more secure, more balanced, and more effective in the tack – SO annoying that working out does actually seem to be the answer to everything!) [Fit to Ride: Pilates]

Some Mondays you want hard-hitting news, some Mondays you want a zebra foal going REAL FAST. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely feeling the kind of brain-mush vibes that require immediate cavorting videos. It would be rude of me not to share the wealth. [Newborn zebra foal delighting zoo staff with his ‘zoomies’]

Those folks who jump the poles have swept the board in the USEF Equestrian of the Year stakes. Honestly, though, I’ll never forget abusing my press pass at Aachen to photograph Kent’s win in the Grand Prix from inside the ring, so I shan’t begrudge him this at all. [Kent Farrington And Tracy Fenney Named 2020 Equestrians Of The Year]

The Monday Follow:

Mollie Summerland isn’t just one of Britain’s most exciting up-and-coming talents, she’s also an outspoken advocate for mental health and incredibly candid about her own ups and downs on her path to becoming the next big thing. We’re a big fan of her honesty, positivity, and hard work – and obsessed with Charly van ter Heiden, the spicy gelding she’s produced through the ranks to finishing in the top ten at their CCI5* debut.

Morning Viewing:

I’ll admit it – for me, when it comes to men riding horses, ability definitely impacts fanciability. They either have to be really, REALLY good, or totally incapable of identifying a horse in a field of cows. I didn’t think there was any wiggle room there, but now I’ve seen this video of Bridgerton‘s Regé-Jean Page bumbling around with his feet through the stirrups and a hoodie tied around his waist and you know what? I still would. Now, who do I call to volunteer as his coach for season two?