Everyone thinks of horse owners as healthy sorts who bounce out of bed at 5.30am every morning so they can hack their horse through the morning dew before work, apart from at weekends when they bounce out of bed at 5.30am to take their horse competing. But even the most enthusiastic of horse owners are guilty of taking the odd short cut from time to time…

1. Ah, summer. The lazy horse owner’s favourite season. We can enjoy long lie-ins at weekends, secure in the knowledge that we don’t have to rush down to the yard to turn out or muck out or any of that tedious winter malarkey. If only it was summer forever.

2. You know at Pony Club, when you’re taught how to groom properly? Well, sometimes it’s tempting to pretend you’ve forgotten all that (and hastily just groom where the tack goes).

3. Rugs are also very useful for keeping horses clean. Not when it’s too hot or they’re going to be uncomfortable, of course. But, well, pretty much any other time.

4. Tack wipes are the best invention. Ever.

5. Washing your horse removes the natural oils from their coat, and therefore is to be avoided unless really, strictly necessary. For example, if they’ve rolled in poo just as you’re about to box up for a dressage competition…

6. It’s vitally important to have one friend who’s really good at plaiting up. Nurture this friendship with bottles of wine and cups of tea and endless compliments and all that good stuff. She (or maybe he) will save you from sore fingers, hideously early mornings on show days, and frustrated screams as you jab yourself in the finger for the 19th time trying to sew those plaits in.

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7. Sometimes you ask your trainer to ride your horse for you, not because you actually really need to, but because it’s satisfying watching someone else do the work for a change…