Most of us have to work to support our expensive horsey habit, which means we have to move among normal people like, well, normal people. But, like David Attenborough filming a documentary about rare orangutans, if you know what to look for, you can always spot a rider in the city. Here’s how…
1. They’ve got hat hair. Their hair is unnaturally flat, with seemingly random kinks in it. Forget tongs – as if anyone would actually choose to recreate this look anyway – only a riding helmet can do this.
2. They’re wearing riding boots. No, not this season’s version from Next, as recommended by Mary Portas. Those are actual Ariat Bromonts.
3. They’re driving a Chelsea Tractor. But it has a towbar, and mud on it. And they actually seem to know how to reverse it.
4. There’s hay on their briefcase. And their trousers. And shirt. And hair.
5. They have freakishly well-developed biceps. Could be gym-honed, but you can recognise hay bale-toned arms when you see them.
6. They click their tongue impatiently when there’s a delay on the Underground.
7. They mutter, ‘Come on! Walk on!’ when there’s a queue on the tube escalator.
8. Their ring tone is a horse neighing. It really freaks people out on the night bus.
9. Are those skinny jeans, or denim jods? It’s actually really hard to tell. They look good though!
10. That’s definitely a polo shirt under that jacket, too.
11. You recognise that perfume – and Chanel No. 5 it isn’t. That’s the familiar scent of ‘Eau de Cheval.’
12. They’re disappointed by black cab drivers. “You know, these things were pulled by horses, back in the day,” they say wistfully.
13. Their reading material for the commute is by Dick Francis. Or Jilly Cooper.
14. They’re entering competitions on Equo via their mobile while sitting on the bus. Well, it’s a good a time as any.
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15. There’s a bit poking out of their handbag. True, they could have stopped off at one of the Soho fetish shops, but that really does look like a Kimblewick to you.
16. They’re reading Horse & Hound on the tube. ‘Nuff said.