As children head back to school this week, horsey parents may be experiencing a cold, sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Here's why....

1. It’s up to you to exercise their pony

You’d got used to dropping your child off at the yard then heading home for a relaxing shower, coffee and a bit of morning TV, hadn’t you? Not any more! You’ll be donning hat and boots and hacking out on Fluffy three times a week now. It’s probably a good idea to invest in some waterproof chaps. You know what the British autumn’s like…

2. And muck it out too

The weather’s turning, the grass is getting poorer, and horses are starting to come in for the night. Which means you’re going to be getting reacquainted with your old friends, fork and wheelbarrow. Say hello to chapped hands and hair that smells of manure all day.

3. There aren’t enough hours in the day

How are you meant to fit all this riding and horse management in and do a job? It’s crazy! Especially if you’ve already got a horse of your own to ride and look after. Someone really needs to invent a time machine, and fast.

4. The school run and the horse run always clash

So you’re trying to prise your offspring out of bed, clothe and feed them and take them to school. Meanwhile, your child’s horse is pacing angrily around its stable wondering when it’s going to get fed and turned out. Which do you do first? No, seriously, which?

5. The lorry just sits there, looking forlorn

It was fun, whizzing around all over the county all summer, taking your child to shows. But now the season’s over, and the lorry won’t get many outings until the next summer. It’ll probably go rusty and refuse to start the next time you want to go somewhere.

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6. You’ve got a bunch of rugs to wash and reproof

The start of the autumn term always heralds a million little jobs that need doing round the yard, like fixing guttering, and washing and reproofing those mud-encrusted turnout rugs. Better get your rubber gloves on.