‘The horse does all the work’ — and other things not to say to an equestrian

  • There are some things we riders and horse owners just don’t want to hear. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people saying them to us….

    1. ‘So, does all that riding give you a bigger bum, then?’

    No, it flippin’ well doesn’t. The Beyonce-like posterior you are currently, ahem, admiring, is actually the product of a lot of cake and crisps.

    2. ‘Why do you need to buy him another rug? What does this one do that his other 53 rugs don’t?’

    We don’t go on about your insane collection of high-heeled shoes and/or ridiculous man gadgets, so leave our rug fetish alone!

    3. ‘Riding is easy, isn’t it? The horse does all the work!’

    OK then, you get on and show me how it’s done! Come on – I’m waiting!

    4. See also: ‘Riding isn’t a real sport.’ Grrr!

    5. ‘Horses are really expensive, aren’t they? Have you ever thought that if you got rid of him, you could afford fancy holidays and a nice car?’

    Yeah, you’ve thought about it, right after that dirty stop he put in at your recent showjumping competition, or the time he stood on your foot and broke your toe. But you’d be uncomfortable in a car that didn’t smell of horse and have a couple of headcollars and a bridle rattling about in the boot, and you miss your boy if you go away for so much as a weekend’s camping. So on balance, nah, you’re alright, thanks!

    6. ‘Seriously, you get his feet done every six weeks, but your nails look like that?’

    Proper hoof management is essential for horses. It’s not a frivolous beauty treatment… Although maybe you should suggest to your farrier that he or she should start offering manicures, too. That would go down well…

    7. ‘God, why are you making such a fuss? It’s just a horse!’

    It’s a little-known fact, but it was actually someone uttering this phase, and not the invasion of Poland, that kicked off World War Two. Honest.

    8. ‘This horse business is just a phase. You’ll grow out of it.’

    Um. I’m 41-years old now. I won’t.

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    9. ‘Can I have a go on your horse?’

    You want ‘a go’ on my most treasured possession, into which I’ve poured my love, sweat, blood, tears  — and money?

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