21 signs your horse has taken over your life
1. Your horse looks immaculate. He’s been fed, his box mucked out, and he’s out in the field, contentedly munching. You, however, have been up since 5.30am, your hair is scraped into a Croydon facelift, you’re wearing pyjamas with a fleece and yard boots, and you haven’t even had coffee yet.
2. You haven’t bought yourself a new coat since the Grand Canyon was merely a ditch, but your horse has 33 rugs. And you’ve just seen a lovely new summer sheet on Derby House…
3. You spend more on hoof oil than you do on nail polish.
4. It’s been so long since you’ve had a sun, sea and sand holiday that your passport has expired. And you don’t have time to renew it.
5. Despite the fact that you haven’t had a new coat or a foreign holiday, you are permanently broke. Well, have you seen the price of haylage recently?
6. Your best friend suggests meeting up for a cocktail or two in town. It’s ages, she says, since you’ve been out. You protest that it wasn’t that long ago, but she reminds you that her children have started school since you last met — at their christening.
7. You consider children to be horse substitutes.
8. Although you manage not to spend money on yourself, when it comes to stuff for the horse you have to remember that the figure on your credit card statement is a limit. Not a target.
9. You wander dozily round the supermarket — in your riding gear, obvs — looking for sugar beet, pony nuts and BOGOF deals on bags of carrots. You forget to buy milk, bread and potatoes.
10. Your staple diet is burger-van bacon butties, burgers, chips and copious amounts of Diet Coke.
11. Your horse eats better than you do.
12. Getting up at 6.30am to go to work is a bore, a chore and a bind. Getting up at 4.30am to go to a show is a joy.
13. Your idea of a lie-in is 7am.
14. If your friends suggest a night on the town, you’ll find excuses. If they suggest you go with them to a show, you’ll be there faster than a greased weasel.
15. You’re going to a wedding so you dust off your posh frock, find an old summer hat and figure your three-year-old sandals will do. You’re invited to judge at a show so you buy a new dress with matching jacket, fancy hat, new shoes and white cotton gloves.
16. Your husband reminds you one morning that your wedding anniversary is next week. You’d seen him a couple of times at the house and thought he looked vaguely familiar. Seems like a nice fellow.
17. Your husband bought you expensive perfume for you birthday. It’s nice… but nothing can compete with the scent of eau du cheval.
18. Your car is a wreck, with a back seat full of empty Coke bottles and burger wrappers. Someone has written “I wish my wife was this dirty” on the back window, and it’s held together with rust and gunge. But the horsebox is sparkingly clean.
19. Your daily routine is get up, go to yard, do horse, go home, eat, go to work, go to yard, do horse, go home, eat, go to bed. Repeat. Sometimes you get to eat in the middle, too.
20. The last film you saw at the cinema was Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994.
21. When you read Fifty Shades of Grey, you fantasised about being chained to the bed. And left there….