Tag Archive: equestrian humour

  1. When the horses watch Wimbledon….

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    The yard is abuzz. After the shock of the Referendum and the catastrophe of the Euros 2016, they had someone new to cheer on — tennis player Marcus Willis, who stormed through his first Wimbledon match despite being the lowest-ranked competitor in the men’s singles.

    The little television was on a shelf at the end of the barn and was constantly tuned to Wimbledon. “Won’t the batteries run out?” asked the Show Pony. The others rolled their eyes in unison.

    “Lovely to have something to be happy about,” said the Cob, who was a generally cheerful soul anyway. “I even rather like strawberries!”

    “That cream stuff is rank, though,” said the Hack, raising her upper lip in a classic flehmen response.
    “Talking of rank, he plays Federer next, so we should enjoy it while it lasts,” said the Hunter, gloomily.

    “Don’t dismiss him too quickly,” argued the Cob, “no one expected Iceland to win the footie.”

    “That’s because it’s a supermarket,” said the Show Pony, looking puzzled and triggering another collective eye roll.

    “Anyway,” said the Hunter, slyly, “we should show our support for Marcus by taking off a shoe, like they did at Wimbledon yesterday. The farrier’s coming this morning, so we should wait until about 10 minutes after he leaves…”

    The Riding Horse is shocked. “Oh I say!”

  2. 21 signs your horse has taken over your life

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    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….


  3. The joys of spring seen from a pony’s viewpoint

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    Have you ever wondered what horses and ponies make of spring? We have the scoop…

    Gah. Poppy the pony pulls one tiny, perfect hoof out of a puddle of muddy water and shakes it, delicately, like a cat. She’s not cold, exactly — she’s rugged up like a lagged boiler — but this relentless rain and howling wind are getting her down.

    She has loved these weeks of being outside with her friends in the field, galloping and romping about, but the novelty of being up to her neat little ears in muck is beginning to wear off. It may be spring, but the weather gods didn’t get the memo.

    So she’s quite pleased to see her human, Lucinda, walking towards her holding out a handful of pony nuts and cooing enticingly. Shaking her hoof again, Poppy takes a tentative step forward, but out of the corner of her eye she can see Billy glowering.

    She can’t let the side down. When Lucinda is about two paces away from dropping the headcollar over her face, Poppy wheels round and canters away. Honestly! She didn’t realise Lucinda knew that kind of language…

    Acknowledging Billy’s approving glance, Poppy trots in a wide semi-circle around Lucinda, keeping out of reach but with one eye on the pony nuts. There are standards to be upheld, but she likes pony nuts, and she likes the idea of a warm stable even more.

    Having been just difficult enough for form’s sake, she allows herself to be caught and led back on to the yard. There, pointing nose-first at the gate, is the lorry, complete with haynets.

    Lucinda’s full grooming kit is on the ground outside the stable. This can only mean one thing — and Poppy is delighted. She likes feeling pretty, and she loves going showing!

  4. Why horses love the New Year

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    Connor can’t believe his luck. As a well-built Irish cob, he only has to look at a feed bucket to put on weight — his human says he “could get fat on concrete”. Cheek. But he will admit that he does sometimes carry a little bit too much, ahem, condition.

    The saying goes that a cob should have the head of a duchess and the backside of a cook. Connor snorts. A duchess, indeed! He’s all man (well, almost all), and his head is handsome rather than beautiful. But he is rather proud of his rump — his substantial quarters are his engine, powering his gallop when he lowers and stretches out across the arena. The dash of pony blood in his heritage gives him the ability to turn on a sixpence, as sure-footed as a Connemara.

    But the showing season is well and truly over, and Connor has been “on good pasture” — as Oscar the hunter pointed out — since October. If Connor stands next to Petunia, the elegant hack who is also an unmarked bright chestnut, they look like a “before and after” advert for WeightWatchers. Unfortunately for the cob, his human, Thomas, seems to ascribe to the weight-watching ethos — Connor is perennially on a diet.

    But in the last ten days or so, there have been lots and lots of lovely treats. Carrots, Polos and apples have all appeared in his feed (not to mention the two pieces of deliciously sweet fruitcake he managed to purloin at the Boxing Day meet), with not a mention of his expanding waistline.

    It really is a Happy New Year!

    Image: Irish cob by Cottoneye Joe, public domain

  5. New Year resolutions — for horses

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    Of course, horses are far too sensible to make New Year’s resolutions. But if they did, which ones would they make…?

    1. I will never roll in that lovely soft patch at the bottom end of the field again

    Well, not before a show, anyway. So long as it’s important show. Like a Horse of a Year Show qualifier. Or HOYS itself…

    2. I will stop eating my bed

    But the straw is so delightfully crunchy!

    3. I will stand properly at the meet, and not barge to the first fence


    4. I will not wait until the farrier has just left before I throw a shoe

    Although I’ve learned lots of interesting new words.

    5. I will stop pretending that carrier bags in hedgerows are terrifying monsters

    There are fewer of them these days anyway, now they cost 5p.

    6. I will not kick my stable door at feeding time

    So long as I get fed first.

    7. I will be good to catch

    Most of the time. And if she brings enough pony nuts to tempt me.

    8. I will try harder in the working hunter ring

    But it takes two to tango and if she presents me wrong at a fence I will slam on the anchors.

    9. I will not lean on my human when she’s picking out my feet

    Although she’s just the right height and soooo comfy.

    10. I will make a real effort to eat my own body weight in Polos

    The only one any horse is likely to keep.

  6. Ten New Year resolutions for horsey people

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    It’s that time again. We all vow to do better, be better, look better and feel better when the new year dawns, even though, with the best of intentions, most of what we pledge to do is abandoned by mid-January. Here are ten New Year’s resolutions that horsey people should make.

    1. I will spend more time with my family

    There are several of them in the house who look vaguely familiar, and they seem like nice people.

    2. I will socialise with my non-horsey friends

    Though not on the evenings when it’s light enough and dry enough to ride. Or the day before a show. Or before a lesson. Or if I’m too tired after riding, or if I can’t be bothered to get done up…

    3. When I’m at work, I won’t bore my colleagues with talk of bits, the next show, the funny thing that my horse did that morning, or my recent lesson

    It’s not their fault they have the wrong priorities, and I hate it when their eyes glaze over.

    4. I will pretend to be interested when people show me pictures of their children

    Even though everyone knows that children are just horse substitutes.

    5. I will clean my tack every time after I ride

    Or at least every second time. OK, at least once a week. Or before a show.

    6. I will not nip to the store dressed in my horsey gear, with bits of hay in my hair and reeking of “horse”

    I appreciate that not everyone thinks eau de cheval is the best fragrance in the world.

    7. I will always, always, wheel the barrow up the plank to the top of the muckheap, rather than dumping it at the side

    Unless I’m really in a hurry.

    8. I will not allow my horse to get away with tanking, broncing, shying, napping, refusing or putting in a flying change when he feels like it

    Though sometimes it is kind of fun…

    9. I will persuade my other half to try riding lessons again

    And I promise I won’t laugh this time.

    10. I will spend more time with my horse

    This is the only resolution likely to last beyond 16 January 2016.

  7. Christmas songs for horsey people

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    If you’re singing along to festive classics this Christmas, spare a thought for horsey folk, who may have an entirely different take on seasonal songs.

    “I wish it could be Christmas every day…”
    That’s because you don’t have to get up at 5am to do the horses.

    “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”
    The horse owner’s worst nightmare.

    “All I want for Christmas is you…”
    Actually, another horse would be nice.

    “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
    I’ll have to go and break the ice in the water trough.

    “Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me…”
    How impractical. A Musto and a pair of Dubarrys please.

    “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…”
    Because I knocked them out falling off the darned horse.

    Little donkey, little donkey, on a dusty road…”
    Someone call the RSPCA.

    “And I believed in Father Christmas…”
    Until, aged seven, I got a paintbox instead of the pony I’d asked for.

    “It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you…”
    If you think I’m tacking up the horse in this!

    “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away…”
    I gave mine to my horse. And he has it still.

  8. The twelve days of Christmas for the horsey girl

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    Quite what someone would want with milkmaids or drummers is anyone’s guess, but what if The Twelve Days of Christmas were rewritten for a horsey girl?

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    A part-bred who’s over at the knee.

    Oh well, I’ll teach it to jump and sell it on.

    On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    A pair of purple gloves.

    Not the best colour, but they’ll keep my hands warm while I’m mucking out.

    On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Three French links.

    He’s getting the idea, though I’d have preferred a mullen mouth.

    On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Four collecting ring stewards.

    I miss the showing season. But not that much.

    On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Five golden tickets!

    In my dreams.

    On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Six mares a-foaling.

    Waiting for your mare to foal is agony so you certainly don’t want six of them at once…

    On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Seven horses swimming.

    Hydrotherapy is brilliant for horses, but very expensive.

    On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Eight rugs for cleaning.


    On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Nine ladies side-saddle.

    And very elegant they look, too.

    On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Ten hunters leaping.

    That’s more like it!

    On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Eleven Royal Windsor pipers.

    May seems a long way off.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
    Twelve drums of calmers.

    I need these more than the darned horse!

    I’ll keep the part-bred, the golden tickets and the hunters, but please send a van to collect the rest. And by the way, you’re dumped. Merry Christmas!

  9. Olympia’s M&M Championship — from a pony’s viewpoint

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    If you’ve ever judged a supreme championship, you will know how hard it is to choose between a hack and a hunter, or a riding horse and a cob. Pity, then, the poor mountain and moorland judge at Olympia, who has to pick a champion from nine breeds — from Shetlands to Welsh section Ds. It’s a tough decision… but what do the breeds themselves think?

    As one of the UK’s oldest native breeds, the Shetland was very proud of his heritage. “One of the earliest laws on Shetland said that if a man cut the tail of another man’s horse, he’d be fined £10,” he boasted.
    “A tenner, LOL,” laughed the New Forest. “My human spends about that a week on Polos for me.”
    “I don’t what you’re boasting about,” said the Dartmoor to the New Forest. “People buy your type for that much, if you get my Drift.”

    The New Forest looked downhearted. “Not the really good ones, like those that qualify for Olympia. Anyway,” he cheered up, “at least we’ve won Olympia!”

    “You,” said the Dartmoor to the Shetland, “have no hope. No Shetland has ever won the Olympia title, and never will.”

    “Don’t be so sure,” snorted the Shetland. “I may only be little but I am super-cute and so is my rider. I plan to do a storming gallop. The crowd will love us.”

    “YOU might think you’re galloping, but your little legs just twinkle faster,” smirked the Exmoor, joining in. “If you want to see a real gallop, watch me!”

    “You guys are amateurs,” butted in the Welsh Section D. “Everyone wants to watch the Welsh Cobs — we’re famous for our movement.”

    “You’re all torque and knee action,” giggled the Welsh Section A.

    “You think you’re funny, but a Welsh A has never won Olympia and we’ve won it twice,” pointed out the Cob, causing the little grey to sulk.

    “We’ve been reserve three times and second reserve twice,” she pouted.

    “Oh, who cares about reserve?” scoffed the Welsh Section C. “Welsh Cs won it two years running — that hasn’t happened often.”

    “Well, actually,” said the Highland, “we won two years running as well, then we gave someone else a chance because it seemed only fair. But we won it again the year after.”

    The Welsh Section B preened a little, as well he might. “I am the reigning Olympia champion,” he pointed out. “And Welsh Bs have won it six times.”

    “It isn’t about the quantity, it’s about the quality,” chorused the Dales and the Fell. “We may have only won one each, but they were vintage years.”

    “Ahem.” All the other ponies fell silent as the Connemara pushed her way through. “Connies have won Olympia more times than any other breed, with two ponies winning the overall title twice, one two years running. Beat that!”

    With five Connemaras qualified for this year, they have a good chance of increasing their haul but, as always, the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship will be hotly contested (Monday, December 21).

  10. Angus goes to Olympia

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    Angus is fed up. All the other horses and ponies on the yard have either been to the Horse of the Year Show, or hunting, or are going to Olympia. But him? Stuck in his stable or in the field. To make matters worse, when he told his mate Benji that he was “feeling a bit low”, Benji fell about laughing, and told all the others. It’s not Angus’s fault that he only stands 38 inches at the shoulder…

    Depression, that’s what he’s suffering from. He should said he was feeling “a bit depressed”, rather than “a bit low”. Angus snorts in disgust, and kicks his stable door in protest.

    “Angus!” This is Daisy, his human. Angus cringes, thinking he’s going to get told off for kicking; he knows he can be a bit bad-tempered — though he prefers “depressed” — but he doesn’t want to upset Daisy. However, when she appears at his door, she’s smiling from ear to ear and her eyes are sparkling with excitement.

    “We’re going to Olympia!” she tells him. “Someone’s dropped out so we’re going to be racing in the Shetland Pony Grand National final at the London International Horse Show, just before Christmas. What do you think of that!”

    Angus thinks it’s the best thing he’s ever heard. He dimly remembers a race back in the summer when they came a very narrow third, but he’d forgotten all about it. Now he gets to go to one of the biggest, most exciting horse shows in the country, at the most wonderful time of the year.

    Isn’t life just absolutely grand!

    Image: Shetland pony by Andrew Gustar via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

  11. The top 10 gifts you should never buy a horsey girl

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    Santa may be making his list and checking it twice, but naughty or nice Christmas presents just won’t cut it for a horsey girl. Don’t fall into the festive trap and buy her one of these…

    1. Perfume. She spends her days up to her knees in muck and covered in sweat — both her own and her horse’s. Do you honestly think she fancies some Chanel? She’ll be the first to tell you that her favourite scent is Eau de Cheval.

    2. Earrings. They’re not allowed in the show ring, so there’s really no point, is there? In fact, veto all jewellery as impractical, unless it’s something woven out of her horse’s tail hair. Good luck with that one…

    3. Chocolates. She has to keep her weight down because she doesn’t want to overload the horse. Besides, you can’t eat chocolates on horseback.

    4. Lingerie. Chances are that what you think is sexy she’ll think is tacky, tacky, tacky. And seriously uncomfortable. Have you ever tried galloping a horse while wearing a cheese-cutter nylon thong? Actually, best not to answer that… (A word to the wise, chaps: NEVER buy a girl “sexy” lingerie, whether she’s horsey or not.)

    5. A onesie. Ridiculous garment. You can’t get jods or breeches over it.

    6. Shoes. Your average girl might be thrilled with a pair of Jimmy Choos, but for the horsey girl you’d be better off buying something from Dubarry.

    7. An M&S voucher. They don’t sell riding gear, silly.

    8. A handbag. Some women, granted, love their arm candy, but horsey girls aren’t usually among them. However, if you want to buy her something leather, a new saddle wouldn’t go amiss. Though it might cost you twice as much as a Mulberry.

    9. Gloves. They might seem like a good idea, but not elegant ladies’ leather ones — the reins will slip through them like a greased weasel.

    10. Any horsey book by one Nicola Jane Swinney. Your girl already knows all this stuff.

    Desperate for inspiration? Here’s what you should buy your horsey girl instead!

  12. Flirting in the stables: when the thoroughbred met the hunter

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    Petunia is just outraged. There she was, all comfortable in her nice warm stable, when she’s yanked out, a blanket — a blanket! — is thrown over her and a nasty nylon rug slapped on top, then flung out in the field with the rest of them. Honestly.

    She’s got nothing against Oscar, the hunter; he has very nice manners, but he is just the teeniest bit common. Benji the pony is all right, if rather excitable — he never stops bouncing — but Angus the Shetland is just so beneath her (almost literally — he’s very small).

    At least, Billy has stopped wittering on about Horse of the Year Show. Petunia herself was at HOYS this year and won her hack class, though unlike Billy she didn’t go champion. There’s no accounting for judges’ tastes these days…

    Now she’s in the field, rugged up, and it’s chilly and overcast and she wants to be back in her cosy stable. She thinks of her lovely deep straw bed, with its banked sides, and her full haynet with longing…

    “Come on, Petunia,” shouts Billy, cantering away from the gate. “This will warm you up!”
    Well, honestly. As if Petunia needs warming up; she’s a hotblooded Thoroughbred.

    “Come on, Pet,” Oscar’s deep rumble beside her ear makes her jump slightly. Pet? “If you have a little canter you’ll soon be warm and it’s fun. Stretch those long, beautiful legs of yours.”

    Ah. Petunia peeks at Oscar through her extravagant eyelashes. He really is rather handsome. With a last (but slightly less longing) look in the direction of her stable, she wheels around and sets off across the field, humping her back and letting off a volley of huge bucks, with Oscar hot on her heels. He’s right. This is fun.

    Image by Kate via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

  13. The top 10 presents for a horsey girl

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    Christmas looms large on the horizon and you don’t know what to buy for your horsey girl? Don’t worry, we have it covered! You know you will always come second-best to the four-legged love of her life, but if you present her with one (or all) of the following, she’ll be yours forever. Well, until the New Year anyway…

    1. Another horse

    2. Another horse

    3. Another horse

    4. Another horse

    5. Another horse

    6. A luxury six-horse lorry with first-class living accommodation and all mod cons

    7. A luxury pop-out horse shower for the lorry

    8. A six-berth horse-walker

    9. A brand new yard, with stables, floodlit arena, indoor school, feed room, tack room, wash-down area, paddocks and off-road hacking. Oh, and a sweet little cottage (perfect for one person)

    10. Another horse

  14. The perfect cocktail for every rider

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    The party season fast approaches and it’s time to raise a glass or two. But supposing horsey folk had their own cocktail mixologist — what would he recommend…? Here’s the perfect cocktail for every rider:

    Anyone who has ever decided that “jumping for fun” is a good idea will undoubtedly have found that, at some point, the horse doesn’t agree and slams on the anchors at the approach, so that you — flying without wings — clear the obstacle on your own.
    Cocktail: Diving Header

    Horses are delightful creatures, but they can be stubborn, particularly when you’re trying to get some new movement into their thick skulls.
    Cocktail: Moscow Mule

    Bling is all the rage now, but you like the traditional way of things. So your hunter is immaculately turned-out, plaited, tail just above the hocks and plain tack. You are smart in a dark coat, light breeches, tall boots polished to a mirror shine, hair tucked into a hairnet, and smart beagler.
    Cocktail: Old-Fashioned

    There is nothing quite so exhilarating as a good gallop — whether it’s across fields or a pipe-opener after a schooling session.
    Cocktail: Woo Woo

    He is having one of his “moments”. The darned horse has forgotten everything he’s been taught, he can’t even canter, and every hedge holds a terrifying monster (or carrier bag, to you and me).
    Cocktail: Diablo

    You are absolutely knackered. You’ve schooled the darned horse, skipped out his stable, taken the wheelbarrow to the very top of the muckheap, groomed him to within an inch of yourlife, cleaned all the tack and swept the yard.
    Cocktail: Zombie

    That awful feeling when you’re just about to head out with the horse — to a show, to a meet, to a hack — and he throws a shoe. Every time…
    Cocktail: Rusty Nail

    You’re going hunting for the first time ever. For both you and your horse, who has never seen hounds. And whose brakes can be somewhat unreliable.
    Cocktail: Kamikaze

    You did not enjoy this morning’s schooling session. Howling gale, lashing rain and a jumpy horse who saw monsters everywhere. Oh, for an indoor school!
    Cocktail: Hurricane

    Against your better judgment, you’ve looked at your credit card statement. The darned horse is costing you a fortune! Rugs, tack, shoes, vet fees, insurance, training, feed, straw… It’s highway robbery.
    Cocktail: Rob Roy

    At last! After months and months — possibly even years and years — your horse has perfected the flying change. When you want it, not when he just feels like it.
    Cocktail: Perfect Ten

  15. Revealed! The real purpose of tack and tools

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    Ever wondered about the real function of horse tack and yard tools? Here’s the equestrian glossary that tells it like it really is….

    Bit: the piece of metal your pony likes to put his tongue over before he tanks off with you round the school.

    Bridle: complicated leather straps that, once you taken them apart for cleaning, you will never get back together.

    Girth: excellent for breaking fingernails. Particularly ones that are newly painted.

    Saddle: comfortable leather seat that you try to stay on while your horse tries to buck you off.

    Horseshoe: a metal object your horse will rip off just before your class is called.

    Hoofpick: there are hundreds around the yard but you will never, ever, find one when you need it.

    Curry comb: grooming implement used to transfer hair from your horse on to your clothes.

    Plaits: a process by which you stick a needle in your finger countless times. The amount of blood varies in direct proportion to the colour of your pony’s mane — the lighter the colour, the more gore.

    Pitchfork: an object designed to test how tough the soles of your shoes are.

    Wheelbarrow: an object designed to find your kneecaps in the dark.

    Muckheap: a pile of poo and straw that inches ever farther across the yard because no one can be bothered to use the plank to empty the wheelbarrow at the top!

    Yard boots: perfect for tracking pony poo across the tack room floor.

    Haynet: a fiddly net thing that you fill with extremely expensive hay that your horse will pull out and drop all over the floor before going to back to eating his extremely expensive straw bed.

    Feed bucket: an object that you will trip over just after you’ve swept the yard.

    Water bucket: an object that you will trip over just after you’ve swept the yard for the second time.

    Yard broom: see above.

    Hay soaker: designed to keep the hay dry and to get you soaking wet. Hence the name.

    Mounting block: unwieldy yard essential that your pony will decide is an evil monster and back away from. When you have one foot in the stirrup…

    Carrier bag: another evil monster, which lives in hedges and will leap out to do dastardly deeds to your horse if he tries to pass it.

    Rug: your horse has 43. But you’ve just seen a lovely new one, at a very reasonable price.

    Twitch: the involuntary nervous movement you make when your credit card statement arrives.