So you’re dating an equestrian. Here’s how to get into his or her good books...

1. You’ve probably already realised that you’re always going to be number two in your beloved’s life. (Maybe even number five or six, depending on how many horses they own.) Don’t get jealous. Get over it.

2. Try not to look scared of the horse. It’s annoying. He may be big, but he’s a softie – just don’t touch his ears. And stay away from his back legs.

3. Remember the horse’s name. Whatever you do, never refer to him or her as ‘it.’ You’ll be dumped quicker than you can say: ‘It’s only a horse, for god’s sake!’

4. Similarly, when you say, ‘Where shall we go on Friday night, bar or cinema?’ and your partner replies, ‘I can’t, I have to be up at 5.30 tomorrow morning to compete/for the farrier/because I love nothing more than dawn rides,’ don’t get annoyed. There’s no point. This will happen most weekends. Be glad you get the bed all to yourself for a few relaxing hours…

5. …Although nothing says ‘true love’ to a rider more than a civilian who forgoes those weekend lie-ins in order to watch them compete. Just try to smile and don’t look as if you’re holding your breath in terror once your partner sets off across-country.

6. Forget flowers, we like horsey gifts. We can never have enough pairs of breeches, boots, riding socks, gloves, stocks or stock-pins. Failing that, a box of chocs for us and a packet of Polos for the pony always goes down well.

7. Breakfast in bed is a lovely treat — but so is mucking and turning out for us. Doing both is better still.

8. Know your showing from your showjumping, your cross-country from your polocrosse. Whatever your other half’s chosen discipline, it’ll really help to know something about it. Especially as it’ll come up quite a lot as a topic of conversation. Trust us on that.

9. Don’t, on other hand, start giving your partner advice on how best to ride the cross-country, or telling them where they went wrong in that dressage test. If you’ve never so much as sat on a horse, you’re in no position to tell anyone else how to do it. No good can come of it. Stay silent.

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10. Don’t complain about how much the horse costs, or in any way imply that owning one is a waste of money. Well, unless you actually want to get dumped. If you’re married and have joint finances, think of it as a small price to pay for a happy partner. (OK, quite a large price, but focus on the happy part. Happy, happy!)