It’s a tricky one — you meet Mr or Mrs Right but they don’t know one end of a horse from the other (which is arguably sometimes a good thing). Therefore you know in your heart of hearts that you need to share a few home truths up front so that you all know where you stand. Here’s just a few things that you need to run past your non-horsey other half early doors to prevent any upsets.

1. My horse always comes first

And this will never change. Not ever. In fact you probably rank below the dog too, but don’t take it personally; this would still be the case if you were George Clooney or Mila Kunis. Don’t ask us to change our horsey plans in favour of doing something non-horsey — it’s just not going to happen.

2. Please don’t look at my nails

They are permanently disgusting, and no amount of scrubbing will make them perfect.

3. Or my hair for that matter

You know the look; hat hair with a few shavings and bits of hay thrown in for good measure. Don’t judge.

4. Eau de horse is my fragrance

And by proxy it’s a lot more expensive than any perfume you can buy in the shop. We will however endeavour to get rid of said smell when in the presence of you and fellow non-horsey people.

5. Don’t ask what is in the washing machine

Because it will only upset you that after this load of washing consisting of rugs, boots and numnahs, your clothes are next. Apologies for any horse hairs you find on the inside of your collar at work on Monday morning.

6. Don’t expect to see me

We will leave at the crack of dawn to tend to the horses before work and we’ll be back sometime after dark once we’ve tucked the same horses up in bed.

7. I can drive better than you

Fact. Those who ride and who can slip an enormous horsebox down a road you thought was impassable, have fantastic spacial awareness and are generally more switched on when it comes to life on the road, so please don’t beg to differ.

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8. Please don’t judge me when you get in my car

While on the subject of transport, our cars are a complete tip. Our horse’s stable on the other hand is pristine and that’s all that really matters.

9. General rules when it comes to competing

There are many guidelines you need to bear in mind if you are unfortunate enough to be dragged along to a horsey competition (if you have willingly offered to come with us then more fool you — but thank you):

  • Your number one job will be to hold and pass things to us. For example, hold the horse, pass the hoof oil, pass me a gin and tonic
  • Don’t offer to help alter fences in the collecting ring — it’s a physical and emotional war zone in there, and we recommend you keep at a safe distance
  • Don’t ask how many people were in the competition when we say that we did well, because more often than not, when we’ve done well, there was only a maximum of five people in our class
  • If it’s gone badly steer clear and at the right moment pass us a stiff drink