You suspect your tweenage daughter is trying to tell you something. But what on earth could it be....? Let's examine the clues
1. You can no longer see the once-pink walls of her bedroom for all the posters of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.
2. The Frozen DVD that she once watched on continual loop has been replaced by Black Beauty. (It’s probably a good thing she didn’t realise that you’d have given in to any blackmail demands if she’d only promised never to play ‘Let It Go’ again.)
3. Instead of answering your questions normally, she’s taken to whinnying for yes and saying ‘neeeigh’ for no.
4. She’s set up a cross-country course in your living room using chairs, brooms and the sofa as a drop, and is teaching the dog to jump it.
5. She practises doing flying changes on her old rocking horse.
6. She’s suddenly offering to do loads of extra chores, and is super-affectionate, even though just last week she told all her school friends that you were actually an evil kidnapper who’d snatched her as a baby to make her do housework.
7. Every item of clothing she possesses has a horse motif on it somewhere.
8. She wears jodhpurs and a ‘Sleep-Eat-Ride-Repeat’ hoody to her school mufti day.
9. She tells her school careers officer that she wants to be a four-star eventer. You receive a phone call from the headmistress asking you to clarify exactly what this is.
10. The new set of hairbrushes she ordered online using your Paypal account look suspiciously like a grooming kit.
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11. She’s done a running plait in her clip-on hair extensions.
12. She’s renamed the family cat Avebury.
13. If you hear, ‘If you get me a pony, I’ll look after it really, really well and I’ll never ask for any pocket money or anything else for as long as I live please please please’ one more time, you’re going to scream! (You’re thinking about it though. A pony! How exciting for her. It’ll teach her responsibility and keep her away from boys for a few more years. What could possibly go wrong…?)