Monday News & Notes from SmartPak

And so we once again find ourselves in that funny little period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, a period that feels achingly familiar this year because it’s kind of been the general vibe throughout lockdown. I won’t lie, though – as someone who lives alone in tier four of (kind of) south London, and has had to spend the last week or so totally solo, I’ve been looking forward to this in-between week. To me, it feels like an indulgent time to batten down the hatches and start new projects, wrap up old ones, deep-dive into the things that inspire you and let yourself dream a little bit about everything that could be on the horizon. Just pray for me, guys, because it’s been so long since I last had a significant conversation with a human being in real life that I might go off the rails and shave my head before 2021 swoops in to save us all.

National Holiday: It’s National Chocolate Candy Day today. I’m honestly not sure I can stomach anymore at this point.

Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaway of Stride Control, by Jan Marsden Hamilton – a Fab Freebie brought to you by Horse & Rider Books. Click here to enter – this is the final day to try your chances!

Your Monday Reading List:

Think a pandemic is bad? Top British riders have been reflecting on the ghosts of Christmasses past – and it turns out, there’s fairly significant room for a comedy of errors even in normal years. [‘I was locked in the tack room’ — and 7 other top riders’ Christmas day bloopers]

Canadian equestrian leaders are calling for a restructuring of the industry in the wake of COVID-19. This comes after a recent virtual symposium held by the University of Guelph, which revealed that the number of equines in the country is basically unknown. HorseTalk has covered the basic tenets of the symposium, and you can rewatch each talk here, too. [Horse industry leaders converge for post-Covid-19 ‘rethink’]

Honestly, I never need any encouragement when it comes to online shopping. I’m the queen of putting things in my basket just to see how nice they look there, and then letting my finger slip while my poor, haemorrhaging bank account cries out for mercy. So I didn’t really need to click on this Heels Down round-up of the best things to nab from the SmartPak website right now. I didn’t, but I did, and now you can, too. [The Top 5 Gifts Sitting in my SmartPak Shopping Cart]

I love cheesy films. The cornier and more groan-inducing, the better. If you popped around to my cottage the week before Christmas, you’d have found me on the sofa, wrapped in a cozy blanket, clutching a mulled wine and sobbing – no, wailing – over Last Christmas, a film with possibly the WORST plot-twist ever. So I thoroughly enjoyed this take on a horsey version of a Hallmark film, penned with a little snark and a surprising amount of sincerity by Lauren Mauldin. [If Hallmark Made a Holiday Horse Movie]

Morning Viewing:

I’m going back in time today. Join me.