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.