For years, he’s been an 'only horse'. Then, for whatever reason, one becomes two, and suddenly everything changes, for him as well as you. Here’s how…
1. One horse: Nothing is too good — or too pricey — for your precious darling. The latest limited edition rugs? Of course, he’s special and you want everyone to know it. Personalised headcollars? Your tackroom is dripping with them. Saddles for every discipline and another for hacking out? It’s money well spent as far as you’re concerned.
Two or more horses: Your idea of a spending binge is buying two well used but servicable second-hand rugs off Preloved that you’re pretty sure you can fix up with some duct tape. And you wonder if you can wedge the smaller one of your horses into that old pony rug you found in the back of your garage. If not then you’ll have to grab a duvet off the spare bed.
2. One horse: Your weekends consist of a leisurely hack with friends and perhaps a lesson with your favourite instructor.
Two or more horses: Your hack becomes a lot less leisurely when you’re towing along (or being towed by) horse #2 because he needs exercise and you’ve got limited daylight hours in which to do so.
3. One horse: You have that morning turning-and-mucking-out-before-work routine down to a fine art. You can hit the yard, do all your chores in half an hour, and be sitting demurely at your desk at 9am without breaking a sweat.
Two or more horses: It shouldn’t take twice as long, should it? You feed them together and turn them out together. Theoretically, it should only take a few extra minutes to muck out an extra stable and do an extra hay net and water bucket. So why oh why does it seem to take three times as long? Yet now you arrive late for work every day, red faced, panting with exertion and still picking hay out of your hair.
4. One horse: All your horse’s stable gear is colour coded — his buckets, rugs, headcollar, saddlecloth and bandages are all green. Or red. Or blue.
Two or more horses: Everything is brown. It’s winter, mud has coated everything. So long as you manage to find buckets, boots, rugs and saddlecloths that are in a condition that’s fit to use, you’re happy — whether they match is the last thing on your mind!
5. One horse: You spend hours grooming, trimming his feathers and giving him a glossy mane and tail that would make Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen jealous.
Two or more horses: You’ve picked out their feet and brushed them both as much as you need to (where the tack goes), to save precious time for getting them both exercised.
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6. One horse: Sure, horses are expensive, but you can still afford a night out with friends once in a while and that handbag you’ve got your eye on.
Two or more horses: You’re so skint, you have to root around in your purse for enough coins to put petrol into your car to get to the yard. Your idea of an exciting night (in) is a bottle of Lambrini for two, and forget expensive handbags when you can get a ‘bag For life’ for 20p!
But who needs expensive handbags when you have two or more fabulous horses in your life? We know you wouldn’t have it any other way.