The weekend is fast approaching and you’re keen to join in with your friends’ plans. However, as your horse comes first, you find yourself facing the many struggles of attempting to balance horses with a social life…

1. Your bank balance

Once again there is too much month left at the end of your money. You find yourself in an all too familiar situation – choosing between going out, or replacing your horse’s ripped turnout for the second time this month. To your fun-loving friends the answer is obvious, yet you find yourself staying in with a cup of tea watching bake-off, whilst your beloved horse happily prances around a muddy field in his new rug.

2. Pamper days

Your friends suggest finishing a long week by indulging in a pamper day. To anyone else this would be the perfect, get together, however you can’t help but cringe with embarrassment at the thought of a beautician attempting to manicure your horsey fingernails and pedicure your well-trodden-on feet. Even getting your hair done seems pointless as you know that you’ll immediately ruin it with a riding hat.

3. Appearing normal on social media

As social media has become such a big part of day-to-day life you can’t help but come across as a bit ‘horse mad’. Snapchat offers the perfect platform to send your friends numerous horse selfies, the group whatsapp allows you to keep your friends up to date with the yard gossip (whether they know those involved or not), you’re adamant that your instagram followers appreciate a daily upload of your horse and you know that your Facebook friends need to see the video of you clearing the water tray. Besides, you were known as the ‘horsey’ one at school, so you wouldn’t want to disappoint your fans.

Continued below…

4. Getting ready

Your friend has phoned to arrange plans and subsequently finds herself on loudspeaker whilst you finish mucking out. You agree to meet, however you’re already running late. As a result you find yourself sneakily getting changed in the tack room and doing your makeup in your car’s wing mirror before heading off. If you’re lucky enough to be getting picked up, you may even crack open that bottle of wine while cleaning your tack…

5. Your car

You have offered to pick your friend up, but have forgotten to tidy your car first. As a result your friend finds that they have to clamber over numerous miscellaneous objects before squeezing in the back between a bag of feed and a bale of shavings, buried under what resembles a full tack shop. When they emerge they are covered in horsehair and have suffered a minor allergic reaction. They don’t ask for a lift again.

6. Your time keeping skills

You don’t know how it happens, but you are just always late. Your horse perfectly coincides losing a shoe with ruining your plans, or of course refuses to come in from the field when you have somewhere to be. You’re sure that they do it on purpose.

7. Eau de equestrian

You find yourself immune to your horsey aroma, yet have found yourself the subject of ‘ew what is that smell!?’ more than once. It’s not your fault that you came straight from the yard and didn’t have time to wash your hair. If this wasn’t bad enough, you’ve somewhat forgotten what acceptable going out clothes are… perhaps a green smear up the sleeve will come into fashion one day.

8. Clicking at your friends

For once you’re on time, however you’re anxious that your slow friend is going to make you miss the start of the film. Without even thinking you find yourself clicking your tongue at them in an encouraging manner. You receive a slightly funny look, however they appear to have taken the hint.

9. Saying inappropriate things

It happens to the best of us — on occasion our equestrian lingo is taken wildly out of context. You believe that you are saying something perfectly normal when you catch the table next to you exchanging glances with amusement.

10. Pocket dialling your farrier

Despite having your farrier on speed dial, you’re mortified to find that you have unintentionally pocket dialled them. However, your friends aren’t convinced that it was an accident…

11. Staying over

You’re always the friend that can’t stay over because you have the horses to do at the crack of dawn. In addition to this, your friends have grown wise to staying at yours in fear of being dragged to the yard with you.

12. The morning after

On the rare occasion that you actually do go out, you’re feeling a little worse-for-wear the next morning. All you want to do is stay in bed and leave only in search of food… if only. Instead you find yourself crawling to the yard to turn the horses out. If you got in particularly late you merely swap your heels for your muck boots, pull a Barbour on over what you’re wearing and off you go. But fresh air can be a great hangover cure, so it’s not all bad.

13. The girls (or lads) holiday

As summer starts to come to an end, your friends suggest one last get away. There is a buzz of excitement within the group, but your first thought is who’s going to look after the horses? Even if you did manage to convince someone to look after your little terror, you know that you would spend the whole time worrying, despite leaving a detailed instruction manual and phoning them twice a day for a check up.

14. What social life?