So here we are – locked down and being careful not to add to the NHS burden by adopting safe practices in everything we do.

Simply leading our sensible Irish family pony, the 25 yards from stable to field has been like 'flying a kite' as he is so fresh and well and excited by the frost. I am aware of colleagues with thoroughbreds and warm bloods 'skiing and skating' their way from yard to turnout – and really, turnout alone is good enough, you don’t have to take on the extra risk of riding the wild and free.

In fact, keeping in (while not ideal) is preferable when icy to becoming an accident statistic this January.

So, what must we do and what can we do to counteract the winter blues:

Hydration, hydration, hydration – check water sources twice a day and keep plenty fresh water available. A frozen trough in the morning can mean your pony has been thirsty for a while and lack of water is one of the main contributors to colic. Floating a football in your trough can be enough to stop it freezing.

Forage, forage, forage – you’ve heard it often enough in Scottish Horse! Forage should form the basis of any horse’s diet because they have evolved to chew for up to 18 hours a day.

It is important to provide enough forage to help satisfy their behavioural needs, especially during winter when grass is not growing, or turnout time may be restricted.

Forage also helps to keep the horse warm acting as an in-built heating system by creating heat as it breaks down in the digestive system. Try and make sure it is as dust free as possible and feed it on the ground if you can; as equines are better with their heads down.

However, if feeding a group, make sure there are more piles of forage than there are horses and ponies.

Instead of riding, consider lunging or groundwork – long reining is good as it improves balance and paces, and teaches obedience and bend as well as encouraging your horse to move forward confidently and there are lots of ideas for long reining exercises.

But take care and take advice from your local accredited professional coach, they are always at the end of the phone.

Routine is so important for avoiding stress. If your horses and ponies are used to getting their food at a usual time or always being taken in and out at the same hour, try and stick to that routine, it saves panic and anxiety.

Create a safe surface on your route to turn out by spreading your used bedding on the path – the smelly components melt the ice and the fibre provides grip, you can easily sweep it up after a thaw.

Invest in good thermal underwear and a pair of neoprene boots that keep you warm and dry whether you are mucking out, trailing through frozen mud or lucky enough to ride. There are some excellent warm and functional brands and quite honestly as a horse owner the best investment you can make.

Bask in the beauty of winter, the light behind the trees, the frosty pink sunrises and the murmerations of starlings going to their roosts every evening.

As Yoko Ono once said: “Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance" – but it is so beautiful and owning a winter pony is a privilege. And the snow drops are coming out.