By Helene Mauchlen

From midnight mass to posting a letter up the chimney to Santa, Christmas is very much about tradition and in each of our lives the influence of family life is so important.

As it is in the horse world family; that is why we get so mad if we pass a riders on the road that do not acknowledge our passing wide or slow.

Or riders who don’t wear hi visibility gear on the public highway or worst of all adult riders who insist on hacking out without the correct head gear or no hat at all.

There is such a thing as corporate responsibility in any organisation or family and when the non-hat wearers brazenly flaunt their imagined freedoms they really let the side down.

First of all we get phone calls, other highway users get alarmed when they see bare headed riders and fearing for their vulnerability they ring the BHS and the local police – that is bad for all horse riders it indicts us all.

Secondly local children who also ride, subconsciously or consciously get the idea that non hat-wearing is OK, pester power is awful and parents get anxious and bothered too, then they call the BHS.

Thirdly landowners get anxious as they fear riding without a hat on their land is a liability issue, if you fall off you are more likely to get injured and that unsettles them and they question all riders on their land and yes – ring the BHS.

All three of those scenarios are real, BHS Scotland encounters them several time a year. So our Christmas wish is that all riders in Scotland will be responsible for all of us and as a way of ‘paying it forward’ and creating goodwill will wear a correct stand hard hat and high vis when out on the road or on other people’s land or where you can be seen.

We all have some good times with our horses in the festive season – please simply make hat wearing your New Year Resolution – you know who you are.

The BHS has been so busy in Scotland this year, it is possible to capture some of our work in the twelve days of Christmas – sing it – I hope it does scan and may I wish a Happy and Peaceful festive season to everyone.

On the first day of Christmas the BHS gave me a passport for my pony

On the second day of Christmas the BHS arranged two colic clinics (from REACT)

On the third day of Christmas BHS installed three stile replacements

On the fourth day of Christmas the BHS set me four steps to fitness (Challenge Awards)

On the fifth day of Christmas the BHS did fix five self-closing gates

On the sixth day of Christmas BRC introduced six monthly flu jags

On the seventh day of Christmas all drivers learning Dead Slow

On the eight day of Christmas the our access groups did map eight miles of core path

On the Ninth day of Christmas the new BHS dental pack was sent

On the tenth day of Christmas all yards did embrace STEPS (The Strategy to Eradicate and Prevent Strangles)

On the eleventh day of Christmas eleven bright high vis shone like stars

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a gold membership and cup of BHS tea? (or sherry)