What’s the most annoying things your non-horsey friends say to you? We think we’ve got some of the most common ones right here…

MJ04CX Portrait of a horse with a funny, restless and anxious expression behind a wooden barn gate

1. Dancing horses

Who is responsible for planting the seed of the dancing horses? Will we ever be able to utter the words dressage, Charlotte or Dujardin without prompting the response: “Ah, I know. The dancing horses.”

2. Lesson confusion

“Why do you need lessons? Don’t you know how to ride by now?”

3. It’s a small world. But not that small…

“I have a friend who’s really into horses — perhaps you know her…”

4. Just “riding” will do

The prefix “horseback” should be banned, and horse riding isn’t necessary either.

5. The question of fitness

“Riding as fitness? Really? Doesn’t the horse just do all the work?” It’s a wonder how there are three equestrian Olympic sports…

6. Every equestrian sport is not a race

“Who do you think is going to win this race?” — as you set off for Badminton.

7. Similarly, not all riders are jockeys

Charlotte Dujardin doesn’t have her heart set on riding in the Grand National.

8. A pony is not a baby horse

“What a sweet pony. How big will it be when it’s a horse?” It will never be a horse.

9. Telepathic schooling

“Can’t your horse learn how to do that by just watching another horse do it?”

10. For the record, clipping isn’t cruel

Clipping isn’t called shaving — and it’s not cruel to do it in the winter.

11. Zara Tindall is not a showjumper

If an Olympic medal doesn’t do it, we’re not sure that people will ever get their heads around Zara being an eventer — not a showjumper, dressage rider, jockey (delete as appropriate).

12. It’s unlikely we’ll be competing at Burghley anytime soon

“So you’re off to Burghley this weekend? Are you competing?” Sadly not.

13. And finally: if we hear about Notting Hill one more time…

Stranger: “So you work for Horse & Hound?”

Us: “Yes, that’s right.”

Stranger: “Oh, like Horse & Hound in Notting Hill? I’ll never forget that bit where Hugh Grant…”

Us: *polite laugh*

Stranger: “Do people always say that to you?”

Us: “Yes. Yes they do.”

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