1. The Sticky Beak
There's always one person, that no matter how much you practise your fake smile will eventually make it crack! They will be forever peering over your shoulder to see if you’re doing something wrong. Nothing will bring them greater pleasure than to lecture you on what you’re doing wrong and how to do it right whilst gleefully revelling in the fact that they know (or think they know) something that you don’t. Perhaps its the way you rug your horse, position your saddle and put on your brushing boots, their way is apparently always the right way. You’re convinced they suffer from a severe case of stupidity and lack of open mindedness. The best thing to do is humour them and once they’ve left just turn around and do it your way anyway.
2. The Philosophical Preacher
They just love to preach about their beliefs on horse welfare and care. But in fact, they spend so much time preaching their beliefs that they hardly do anything about them themselves.They truly believe that their opinion is right and no other opinions matter. Beware - pick and choose your fights with this one!
3. The Proud Neurotic Mother Hen
When they brag about how well their boy did in the school the other day, other non-horsey friends are sure they’re talking about their child. It's only when they move on further in the conversation that the listener realises that they are in fact talking about a horse! This person enjoys nothing more than to act as though their horse is their child, but to be honest they might as well be. The Mother Hen will bore you to death with details about their beloved horse or pony and they usually have a shrine dedicated to their four-legged friend within their home plus a multitude of photos on their i-phone which they will regularly show you (even if you’ve seen them a thousand times before).
Although, I think every horse owner has fell victim to this trait at some point!
4. The Wannabe
They desperately want to be friends with everyone at the yard. This person bounces around the yard asking each and everyone about their horses and always attempts to sympathise with every person (even if this goes completely against their own beliefs). Of course the Sticky Beak loves this persons company as they can endow them with all their knowledge, however this is mostly due to The Wannabe’s ability to hide their dislike for the patronising, know-it-all Sticky Beak.
5. The Hopeless Extra
This person is dragged to the yard by their partner, son or daughter, sibling or friend. Unfortunately they don’t share your love for horses but they’re along for the ride whether they want to be or not! They spend their time trying to figure out why people like horses and attempt to keep up with their wild ambitions. They’re the unpaid groom, designated pole-picker-upper and poo-picker! It’s not the most glamorous job but they can’t be trusted with much else. They’re an integral part of the yard never the less.
6. The Bolshy Bull Dog
Everyone has a Bolshy Bull Dog at the yard, this person can be heard from about five miles away and is always the first to voice their opinion. They take no-nonsense and don’t ever allow their horses to misbehave. This person clashes with most people on the yard, particularly the Philosophical Preacher. This person is a doer and not a thinker. They act on instinct and don’t sit around all day deliberating what to do next.
7. The Scaredy Cat
They often refrain from yard group activities with their horse and instead prefer to do their thing in private. You see more of both their horse and themselves on Instagram and other social media than you do in real life. They're scared of ever being caught doing something wrong and tend to hide from the more vocal people on the yard. This person is often a secret horse whisperer and always knows more than they think they do.
8. The Worry Wart
They will diagnose their horse with about five illnesses and two injuries per week. They're always convinced their is something wrong and will continually google possible symptoms whilst always ruling out the fact that they are just crazy. Their horse gets put on box rest for the most simplest of things, “I swear I saw him sneeze, it’s obviously a contagious disease!", most of the time it’s a lot of fuss-about-nothing.
9. The Hippy Dippy
It’s their craziness that draws you in. They aren’t the conventional horse owner, they have boxes full of natural remedies (which you’re pretty sure just don’t work) and constantly scold you for using off-the-shelf antibacterial gels when her self made concoction clearly works better…You always catch them having conversations with their horses and talking to them as if they might reply. You’re convinced that this person is secretly practising yoga with her horse whilst no one else is at the yard, their horse is always really relaxed, this is probably due to the owners professed ‘zen training’ to reduce stress…the jury is still out on this one.
10. The Yard Bitch
This one loves to gossip and pretends she is everyones best friend but in fact is the first one to stick the muck fork in your back! She likes to organise things and seems like the most sociable person on the yard however she only wants you to be in her gang so she can control you. Whilst smiling at you she makes remarks which subtly undermine you, but as you can never be sure, they cut even deeper. This keeps the yard bitch top of the muck heap!
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Katy's novel, Forever Amber, is available to buy now. It is the true story about her mare, who she's owned for 10 years, who broke her leg followed by several life threatening illnesses. It was a huge journey... Amber is truly inspirational, she never stopped fighting.
An agreed percentage of the proceeds from each sale of both the e-book and printed edition is being donated to the British Horse Society in aid of protecting, expanding and maintaining bridle paths across the UK.