6 things riders who come from non-horsey families can relate to


If you’re a first generation rider, were born from non-horsey parents and horses definitely aren’t in your blood, you can probably relate to one of these six situations…

1. You grew up begging for riding lessons

While your parents wished you might take up a cheaper — and more lucrative — sport, you stuck to your guns and continued pestering for a lesson at your local riding school until they gave in. Similarly, you struggled to hide your intense disappointment when there wasn’t a pony-shaped present under the tree at Christmas…

2. Your family still don’t really understand what you do with your horse

Your non-horsey parents still question why you don’t come home with a red rosette and a big pot of prize money every time you’re out competing with your horse, while your grandparents think you’re in the running to compete at the next Olympics. Everyone is baffled that you’d spend your mornings, evenings and weekends at the yard with your horse, and why you fork out all this money for him to live his best life while you scrimp on your own essentials.

3. Your schedule for the festive period looks very different to other family members

Your siblings’ two weeks of annual leave will be starkly different to yours. While they might be able to spend a few relaxing days enjoying the festivities at your family home, you will need to schedule some organised Christmas fun into your daily horse care routine. This will probably involve a few dashes back to the yard and some serious planning with your livery buddies who can help you out while you do the obligatory Christmas day rounds visiting family members. Of course, you’ll need to be back in time to get saddled up for the Boxing Day meet!

4. Any family holiday or celebration has to be planned outside of competition season

When you couldn’t attend your cousin’s wedding as it was championship week, your non-horsey family knew you were serious about your horsey escapades and that plans would need to be checked with you well in advance to ensure your presence. To avoid any inevitable fall out, you now know to send a list in the New Year with key dates to be avoided at all costs. You have your priorities inline and your family has to get on board.

5. You’re never asked to drive or host

Maybe it’s an unfair assumption for some equestrians, but many of us are not ashamed that we use our cars as a mode of transportation for rugs, feed and hay, and our houses handily double up as a tack room. Therefore, you’re not asked to host birthday parties or drive the car on trips. Though, it’s funny how you’re always asked to put the car into a tricky park if needed, thanks to your skills picked up from years of navigating horseboxes into impossibly tight spaces.

6. Your parents finally realise your horse obsession isn’t just a phase

Alas, it was hoped that you might grow out of your love for horses, just as you outgrew your My Little Pony-themed bedroom. However, as you outgrew each set of riding boots and jodhpurs and needed new ones you only became more and more obsessed with the idea of owning your own horse one day. Now, your parents have just about come round to the idea that you’ll forever be an equestrian.

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