We might be tougher than nails when it comes to battling through the elements to get our horses exercised during winter or when navigating tricky terrain on the hunting field, but words can hurt us horsey folk, too.
Here are seven phrases non-equestrians often bat around but might not realise horse owners can find offensive…
1. “Horse riding isn’t a real sport”
Usually followed by a justification similar to: “but the horse does all the work”.
2. “Your horse is sooo cute”
He’s actually an elite athlete with multiple talents, who is disguised as a cuddly, fluffy teddy bear who likes back scratches and mints.
3. “You must be really rich if you have a horse”
Correction, I could possibly be rich if I didn’t have a horse…
4. “Why does he/she always beat you?”
Usually spoken by a new-to-the-scene significant other who has recently been thrust into the world of equestrian competition and doesn’t know the difference between the professionals and you. Give it time. Those stark contrasts will soon become apparent…
5. “That (pointing to a random, limping donkey across the hillside) looks like your horse!”
Saying that all horses look the same is the equivalent of saying that all children under four years old look the same. It’s not true and it’s pretty damn rude to someone’s carefully selected genetics, equine or human.
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6. “You look like you have a horse”
What does this actually mean? That I somehow resemble a horse in my physique or facial aesthetics? Or do I just have a ‘horsey person’ look about me? Either way, I’m offended by this statement.
7. “Just have a day off from the horses”
Equestrianism is a way of life, not a hobby you can just pick up and put down. 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you want my company you have to book me five or six working weeks ahead so I can arrange suitable care for my beloved. And if I’m away from the yard for too long I get withdrawals, so we better not go away for too long…
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