The happiest surprise of the week was: Polly the Cob learned to jump.

Regular readers will know that Polly had a painful and traumatic start to life. She still bears the scars. She was rescued by World Horse Welfare, taken to Belwade Farm just up the valley, and then sent to HorseBack. She turned out to be a star, one of the stalwarts of the courses, and beloved by everyone.

To keep the horses bright and happy, we like to mix things up with their schooling. The last thing we want is shut-down horses, dulled by a boring routine. This week, our trainer, Jackie Taig, decided it was high time Polly had a bit of fun. Polly, if we can say so without sounding rude, does not exactly have aerodynamic lines. When you look at her, you do not necessarily expect to see her airborne. And yet, once she was given the chance, she flew.

It felt rather emblematic of the HorseBack ethos. We love the unexpected here. We focus always on what people can do, rather than what we can’t. We like to think that anyone, horse or human, can slip the surly bonds of earth and fly like a bird. They just need someone to believe that they can.