Find out whether you qualify as an incurable dressage diva/divo

Don’t miss this week’s dressage special of Horse & Hound magazine (22 March 2018), with our exclusive at home interview with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin

1. Every song you ever hear is immediately evaluated for its suitability for your horse’s paces for freestyle.

2. You look forward to Olympia more than Christmas.

3. When you put your stirrups up two holes, you feel like Frankie Dettori.

4. Your horse’s tail is only too long if it’s touching the ground.

5. You know at least three German words (well, you know how they sound, anyway): rollkur, braaf and good-so.

6. Basic maths is essential; without it, you’d never work out whether you’ve qualified for regionals or not.

7. Beige breeches. Just no.

8. You half-halt with your seat, even when driving the car.

9. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do to look good: you have scars on the backs of your knees from the long, rigid boots to prove it (and if you can sit on the loo in them, they’re too short).

10. All your clothes match and, on a good day, your underwear too. It actually takes effort not to expose yourself to your yard-mates when you are particularly satisfied having achieved the perfect match in every department.

11. Short whips are only for use in the bedroom, not something that should be carried on a horse.

12. Out hacking, your horse has to be on the bit. Non negotiable.

13. You’d never deign to own a saddle-shaped numnah.

14. Patent and sheepskin and bling. On everything.

15. Seeing female competitors without hairnets makes your stomach turn.

16. Grass is for grazing and most certainly not for doing dressage tests on.

17. Any turns — done anywhere in life and in any situation — are referred to as pirouettes.

18. The lumps and bumps on your horse’s legs are far more familiar to you than your own pins.

19. If your new car has a number plate finishing HXF or MXK, you basically think it’s personalised.

20. You’re no longer sure whether a coloured horse would be striking or just plain common.

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21. No mud. Ever.

22. Your family and friends are totally used to seeing you trot round the car park to learn your tests or air-trace them with your finger like a mad person in the supermarket (or anywhere else).

23. You actually understand what your trainer’s going on about when he shouts “More!” at you during a training session.

24. Pulled and plaited tails give you the heeby-jeebies; you prefer to keep them full and weigh down the horse’s back end, thereby lightening the forehand in one (relatively) easy step.

25. Going faster than extended canter is reserved only for skiing and motorways.

Don’t miss this week’s dressage special of Horse & Hound magazine (22 March 2018), with our exclusive at home interview with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin