Working with horses can be wonderful, but while we can’t imagine a better way to spend our days, certain jobs in the equestrian industry can definitely mystify our non-horsey friends. We’ve rounded up some of the best reactions received on hearing the answer to the innocent question, “and what do you do?”
The Horse & Hound journalist
The reactions to hearing that you work for H&H can range widely, from, “So have you met Hugh Grant”, to “I never realised that was a real magazine!” Occasionally there’s the odd person who takes Horse & Hound to be a pub, but nearly all responses feature some sort of reference to Notting Hill.
On mentioning you’re teaching one of your longest standing regular clients comes the innocent enquiry: “But you’ve been teaching Mrs So-and-So for years – surely she has learnt how to ride by now?”
The equine photographer
If there’s one question that will make every horsey photographer put their head in their hands, it’s this: “So, do the horses smile for the photographs then?”
This list is endless:
“You’re working the weekend again? Can’t the horses look after themselves this once so we can go out?”
“You’re not one of those cruel people who shaves their horses in winter are you?”
“Surely you’re not expected to actually deal with *lowers voice in horror* horse poo”?
The horse transporter
“Do you make the horses wear seatbelts in the lorry?”
Cue eye roll.
The saddle fitter
Even if a non-horsey person does have a grasp of what a saddle is, it’s likely they’ll be completely unaware of the complexities of the role…
“You mean, they don’t just come in small, medium and large?”
There are many things about buying and selling horses that seem to be lost on non-horsey people, especially if you buy and sell from abroad.
“So, if you’re selling him to the Netherlands, will his new owners have to teach him Dutch?”
The equine dental technician
Non-horsey people really do have a very warped idea of how big a horse’s mouth is, judging by this comment: “Do you ever worry that a horse might bite your head?”
Every farrier out there has had it — that look of aghast when you tell a non-horsey person what exactly it is that you do.
“I can’t believe you’d be so cruel – how would you like it if I hammered nails into the bottom of your foot?”
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The professional rider
When they ask you how you got on at the weekend’s competition, and you tell them you were second:
“Oh sorry about that. Better luck next time.”
And then there’s the inevitable: “Wow, your life must be just like a Jilly Cooper novel – do you really have whips and spurs?”
The semen trader/collector
Quite possibly the best of the lot. Most mentions of this job will be met simply by horrified, confused stares, especially from men, but there’s always the odd: “Is that even legal?” uttered in an shocked undertone.
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