This week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (11 January 2018) is dedicated to nostalgia — celebrating those stars of yesteryear. So what better reason to remember being a pony-mad child in the 80s...
1. You avidly followed the exploits of Fred, the Horse & Pony pony. You may even have owned a share in him.
2. You had posters of iconic grey racehorse Desert Orchid all over your bedroom.
3. Your heroes were Virginia Elliot, pictured above, and Harvey Smith.
4. You sneakily got hold of your mum’s copy of Jilly Cooper’s Riders and fell madly in love with Rupert Campbell-Black, even though you were a bit embarrassed by all the sex stuff.
5. You had a jute rug for the stable, which you’d thatch (pack) with straw to keep your pony warm on cold, wet days, and a New Zealand rug to keep him dry in the field.
6. Your favourite books (that you were actually allowed to read, unlike Jilly Cooper) were by Josephine Pullein-Thompson, or the Ruby Ferguson ‘Jill’ series. You wished you owned Black Boy and Rapide.
If you spent more time playing Mary King's Riding Star computer game than riding your real-life pony — it's likely…
7. You had the original My Little Ponies that actually look like horses (albeit multi-coloured ones), but went off them when they got wings and fish tails and silly stuff like that.
8. Your mum answered your plea for a pony by buying you a Sindy pony. Sadly, you couldn’t quite hide your disappointment.
9. Your riding instructor spent some time each lesson teaching you how to do round-the-worlds and scissors.
10. Your riding hat was basically a cardboard and velvet shell with a chinstrap.
11. You used to hack out for hours with your mate and her pony and a saddlebag full of Disco crisps and Wagon Wheels.
12. Hardly anyone had trailers, so you used to hack to local gymkhanas (some of us still do that, mind you!)
13. You got a copy of the Pony Club annual in your Christmas stocking every year.
Don’t miss this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (11 January 2018) for our nostalgia special, where we celebrate the stars of yesteryear