As children head back to school after the summer, horsey parents may be experiencing a cold, sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Here’s why....

1. It’s up to you to exercise their pony

You’d got used to dropping your child off at the yard then heading home for a relaxing shower, coffee and a bit of morning TV, hadn’t you? Not any more! You’ll be donning hat and boots and hacking out on Fluffy three times a week now. It’s probably a good idea to invest in some waterproof chaps. You know what the fast-approaching British winter’s like…

2. And muck it out too

You might have had a breather for a few weeks over the holidays from the endless mucking out, but the start of a new term means you’re going to be getting reacquainted with your old friends, fork and wheelbarrow. Say hello to chapped hands and hair that smells of manure all day.

3. There aren’t enough hours in the day

How are you meant to fit all this riding and horse management in and do a job? It’s crazy! Especially if you’ve already got a horse of your own to ride and look after. Someone really needs to invent a time machine, and fast.

4. The school run and the horse run always clash

So you’re trying to prise your offspring out of bed, clothe and feed them and take them to school. Meanwhile, your child’s horse is pacing angrily around its stable wondering when it’s going to get fed and turned out. Which do you do first? No, seriously, which?

5. The lorry just sits there, looking forlorn

It was fun, whizzing around going to clinics and shows over the holidays. But now it’s unlikely the lorry will get an outing before the Christmas holidays. It’ll probably go rusty and refuse to start the next time you want to go somewhere.

Continued below…

6. You’ve got a whole lot of tack to clean…

There was nothing better than watching your child fly around Pony Club camp with a grin across their face — and then trying to fit in as many outings as possible before school beckoned. Less fun is the pile of filthy kit you’ve been left to clean. Better roll up those sleeves…

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