Perhaps this is your first date. Perhaps you’re a few dates in but your new significant other is still being slightly coy about their hobbies and interests. Here are some subtle yet key signs that you are in fact going out with a horse owner.

1. At the bar, you notice they keep their fingernails hidden in their hands/sleeves.

2. They don’t give the crowd-control police horses outside the stadium the space you feel would be prudent.

3. They’re yawning by 10:30pm.

4. When there’s a risk you’ll miss your train they glance at their watch and say: “Oo, walk on”, with heightened pitch on the “wa”.

5. They lifted that elderly gentleman’s incredibly heavy suitcase down the station steps with ludicrous ease.

6. Their car has a miasma you can’t quite place. It’s not entirely unpleasant — sort of sweet yet rotting — but pungent none-the-less.

7. The Wellington boots by the front door look like they’ve only just escaped Glastonbury, but you’ve already established their owner has never been to a music festival.

8. They have not one but two large wardrobes. The second seems to be made up almost entirely of items that used to be in the first but now have holes in them — plus some two-tone leggings with leather seats.

9. They’re awake seriously early, even on a Sunday.

10. They go out and come back in before you’ve even got out of bed. As you open your eyes, you catch a glimpse of them flying into the bathroom wearing some of those two-tone leggings. You could have sworn the non-leather area was checked and there were diamantes on the pockets. You ponder this is not normal attire, but don’t like to mention it.

11. Sitting watching TV, they twitch on hearing hooves clip clopping past outside and mutter: “loose shoe”.

12. They check the weather report approximately 32 times a day.

13. In the kitchen, when they need to get to the cutlery drawer you’re standing by, they put one hand on your hip and make a clicking sound.

14. They triple-check that the burgers you bought in the supermarket are 100% beef.

15. Despite having a job, they don’t appear to have much in the way of money.

16. When you read a story out loud from the newspaper about royal showjumper Zara Phillips, they say: “She’s an eventer”.

17. There’s a mug in their cupboard that says: “Eventers do it three ways”. You still don’t know what eventing is but this sounds intriguing.

And now you’re wondering about that Zara Phillips.

Take a look at these 9 types of people you’ll find on a livery yard

Enjoyed reading this? Try other highlights from Horse & Hound