14 things that will make you feel old

Things have changed a lot in the horse world in the past 30 years or so. Technical rugs, complete feeds and internet shopping were among the things that didn’t exist back then — hard to imagine now, isn’t it? Want to feel really old?

Do you remember when…

1. Lucinda Green (pictured above) became the pin-up of the eventing world after winning Badminton for the sixth time in 1984 on SR Direct Mail Ltd’s Beagle Bay.

2. Virginia Leng (now Ginny Elliot) took over as every pony-mad teenage girl’s heroine after becoming the first woman to win Burghley five times in 1989 on Master Craftsman, when she was also crowned European champion.

3. All turnout rugs were made of heavy green canvas. No exceptions. And it felt like a lifetime waiting for them to dry.

4. Jute rugs had a place in your tackroom — itchy-looking things made in sack-like fabric, held on by surcingles.

5. The only 4x4s you ever saw were Land Rovers, driven by actual farmers.

6. Only top professional riders owned (or had access to) a lorry.

7. You could ride down country lanes without ever seeing a car.

8. There was no such thing as air jackets. Or body protectors. Or safety standards…

9. The only colour you could buy jodhpurs in was beige. Black was viewed as dangerously exotic.

10. You bought your riding gear by sending off a form cut out of the back of a horse magazine/catalogue, with a postal order.

11. String girths were the norm. (People actually wore string vests too, although not to ride in. What was with the 80s string obsession?)

12. Farriers were always called blacksmiths.

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13. Showjumping seemed as big as football or rugby, regularly shown on TV (back when it only had three channels) and drew huge crowds – David Broome and Harvey Smith were national heroes.

14. Puffa jackets were the height of equestrian fashion. Teamed with a velvet hairband.

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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