Until that Lottery dream comes true, chances are you’re financing your horse habit with a job. Which means you struggle to find time to eat in between riding and commuting, and you have to pick hay out of your hair on the way to work. Yeah, we know the drill — the following will be familiar to you too…

1. Horses think they’re Gok Wan

It’s always a gamble wearing work clothes to the yard, but we’ve all done it — thought “I’ll quickly turn him out, it’ll take five minutes, then I’ll go straight to work and muck out later. That way I definitely won’t be late for that ‘Very Important Meeting'”. Of course, it’s not until after the ‘Very Important Meeting’ that you notice the smear of green horse slobber all down the back of your white shirt. Not an easy thing to style out. Good luck with that.

2. Forget wearing white. Ever

Which brings us to point two: if you have to juggle work and horses, never even think about wearing white. Just don’t. Trust us.

3. Smart shoes and horses don’t mix

On a similar note, if on a sunny, dry day, you think you’ll save time by schlepping out to the field in your smart work shoes, think again. It’s really hard to drive once half a ton of horse-flesh has stood on your inadequately-protected foot. Also, you just can’t get field mud out of suede.

4. Your car is a mobile tackroom

You basically live out of your car — your tack, jods, paddock boots, mucking out boots, court shoes and work suit are all arranged neatly in the back. OK, lobbed in the boot. Your flat really is just somewhere to sleep. In fact, you’ve considered bedding down in your trailer before…

5. You’re the stinker on the bus

Standing on public transport on your way to work, wedged into someone’s polyester-clad armpit, you’re suddenly aware of people wrinkling their noses and/or covering their mouths in disgust. You glance suspiciously around, until you realise Mr Polyester’s glaring at you. And that’s when it hits you: you’re the culprit. Yup, you hum of horse. To you it’s an evocative fragrance that reminds you of your beloved Spotty, but to everyone else, you just smell. Never mind, ‘Stinky’. Buy a beanie hat and some overalls for mucking out — or liberally Febreeze yourself before getting on the bus. Your choice.

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6. Your colleagues think you’re weird

You’re rushed off your feet, you’ve no mobile phone reception in your office, but you really do have to talk to your farrier about getting your horse sorted for this weekend’s event. A quick call on your work phone solves that problem, until you realise the whole office has suddenly gone silent and is listening to your ‘conference call.’ Good luck explaining to them why Kevin from the Birmingham office needs road studs.

7. You go to a lot of funerals

Unless you have a very understanding boss, chances are they’ll take a dim view of you calling to explain that you’re not coming into work because your horse is lame/has cast a shoe/has broken into a neighbour’s garden, eaten all their cider apples and is now drunkenly refusing to be caught. Basically, anything other than your horse actually being at death’s door won’t cut it. Which means you may have to get creative with your excuses. An emergency trip to the dentist perhaps, or the sad passing of some obscure, long-lost relative. Obviously, H&H takes no responsibility for such immoral behaviour. Tsk. Shame on you. Now sorry, we’ve got to run — wisdom tooth trouble, you know…