Is it just me, or do the Mondays hit a bit differently right now? Like, okay, the weekend’s over and many of us have to go back to work, and okay, there’s no Happy Hour to propel us through, but a lot of people can also now stay in their pyjamas while they do the 9-5, and that’s an indulgence we can all get behind, right? (Look, if you work with horses, there’s no judgment from me if you want to stay in your pyjamas for that, too. And create your own Happy Hour. You do you, boo.) Also, there’s a lot of banana bread to cure the post-weekend blues – here’s my current favourite recipe. Just swirl some peanut butter on top and sprinkle some smashed up nuts over it for a little bit of Berendt je ne sais quois.
National Holiday: National Student-Athlete Day. Fortunately, tomorrow’s National Beer Day, because these guys probably need one right now.
Your Monday reading list:
Got a pony-mad kiddo bouncing off the walls at home? Send them Pippa Funnell’s way – but, erm, maybe not literally. Inspired by a rather delightful bit of fan mail, the Grand Slam winner is holding a poetry competition for under-10s and 11–16-year-olds. The winner of each section will get the chance to have a lesson at Pippa’s Billy Stud on their own horse or pony, or spend the day with Pippa and her team at an event. My pleas for her to open up another category to include 28-and-a-half-year-olds have gone unanswered thus far, but I remain ever hopeful. [Pippa Funnell runs poetry competition for young writers during coronavirus lockdown]
Horsey folk have kind of already got the social distancing thing nailed, as Horse&Rider posits. Mostly because we smell a little funky, if we’re totally honest. But we’re surprisingly well-adapted for the current circumstances in a few more ways, as it turns out. [Five ways horsey people are already social distancing pros]
A virtual version of the Grand National ran over the weekend, but even the entertainment of an Equestriad 2001 that you could lose money on was no match for the bonkers history of the race. The Chronicle of the Horse has collected some truly weird and wonderful stories from the annals of Aintree, leaving me absolutely desperate to work the sentence “ta-ta old chap, I must now push a trifle faster” into conversation this week. [Broken bones, butter, and bomb threats: an eclectic glimpse into the Grand National]
Equestrian Relief launches today, bringing top riders from across the disciplines together to help raise vital funds. The riders – including eventing stars Ros Canter and Zara Tindall – will take part in a series of increasingly silly challenges, all while working towards raising £100,000 for Britain’s NHS. There’s also an auction of money-(normally)-can’t-buy items and experiences, and apparently, an awful lot of baking. As someone who’s basically become a loaf of banana bread at this point, I am KEEN. [Equestrian Relief fundraising initiative launched to support NHS]
Monday video from Fleeceworks:
With no events on the calendar for now, we’ve got to make our own fun. Increasingly, that fun seems to involve… loo roll. The team at Chinese Olympian Alex Hua Tian‘s Pinfold Stables might have lost the plot, but at least they’re having a lovely time doing so. Just don’t drop it in the muck heap, guys.