We all know how important it is to feel comfortable in the saddle, but every so often things don’t quite go according to plan explains Sara Walker…

1. You wear your new leather gloves in the rain for the first time. When you get back and take them off, you’ve got indelibly marked navy blue hands that take three days to return to normal. At work, everyone calls you ‘Papa Smurf’ for a week.

2. You wear your padded riding pants in heavy rain and after half an hour you’re sitting on a sponge. Every time you sit to the trot, a little spurt of water is forced down your legs and into your boots, accompanied by a comedy squelching noise.

3. You arrive at the yard in a hurry and realise you’ve forgotten your chaps. You borrow a pair from a friend, but they’re so loose that they end up wrinkled round your ankles like Nora Batty’s stockings after ten minutes. Alternatively, they’re so tight that it takes two people to zip you in and you struggle to feel your feet. Either way, you give up and take them off halfway through the ride.

4. Your new, very expensive sticky bum breeches are just that little bit too grippy. With every step of rising trot, you have to yank yourself out of the saddle with an ominous farting noise. Passing cyclists look at you sideways. Small children point and laugh.

5. You tried on your oh-so-trendy hipster breeches in the shop, and posed happily in front of the mirror. What you didn’t realise was that as soon as you assumed a riding position, they’d shoot down your bum, leaving a gap with your T-shirt. Yikes!

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6. You realise that your jacket isn’t quite as waterproof as you thought it was, just as you’re at the farthest point from home.

7. You can’t find your riding gloves, and grab a pair of woolly ‘fashion’ gloves from the car thinking they’ll do. They won’t.

8. Your new breeches look great, and the stiff material really holds your stomach in and gives you a flattering outline. Unfortunately, you can’t bend your knees sufficiently to actually get on.

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