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The ‘non-horsey other half’ survival guide

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Nose Kisses

However outdoorsy your non-horsey partner might be, there are some undoubtable struggles when it comes to living with a horse enthusiast. More a lifestyle choice than a hobby, many are impressively adaptable, fitting smoothly into a regimented way of life that revolves around a very expensive pet, but others don’t find the transition quite so easy.

Whichever side of the coin your NHOH is on – be they an overnight expert of all things equine, or they’re still putting rugs on backwards – there are plenty of easy tricks that’ll help your partner settle into their new lifestyle…

  1. Budgeting You may well find your NHOH brandishing a budgeting spreadsheet, or at least a length note on their phone, desperate to keep track of your equine spending. Training this particular habit out of them can be tricky, but you need to help them understand that nobody wants to be reminded of how much they spend on their horse’s shoes. A quick reminder of the grand they dropped on a Tottenham season ticket often puts them in their place. Alternatively, you could go all out and break down how many rugs you could have bought for the cost of that two week dream holiday when you’d rather have been riding.
  2. Feel the fear Extreme sports might not be your cup of tea, but you get your adrenaline rush from galloping across fields with your equine best friend. However, horse-related injuries do add up, so it’s only natural for your NHOH to worry. To squash their concerns, why not remind them of the grim reality that everyday life is dangerous? Driving to work, hitting the tarmac on your bike and even crossing the road isn’t exactly risk-free. In no time at all they’ll realise that there are risks everywhere, so you’re best off doing what you love regardless.
  3. Chores galore If your NHOH’s interest in horses dwindled the second you stuck your list of equine chores to the fridge, never fear. Chores are rubbish, sure, no one likes washing up or taking the bins out, but at least horsey chores are somewhat more satisfying. Your partner’s sure to enjoy fresh sheets or a sparkly clean kitchen, and your horse is no different – maybe a look at your horse’s immaculate straw bed or the beautifully swept yard will be enough to change their mind. On the other hand, there’s always the promise that if they pull their weight at the yard you’d happily do the chores for them – they’re sure to be hooked and popping down the yard to poo pick and give your horse cuddles in no time.
  4. Love is in the air Your NHOH could easily be forgiven for thinking they’re top dog in your hierarchy of lovin’. But you’re sure to set them straight ­– no love for a human could possibly outweigh the love you have for your horse. Take care to remind your partner that you have more than enough love in you for both them and your equine pal, and that jealousy is a bad look. If they’re feeling hard done by because your horse still gets a carrot even when he’s dropped you on the floor by spooking at a pheasant, just remind them that you were totally easy-going when they forgot to take the bins out last week and they’re sure to realise that this isn’t a hill worth dying on.
  5. Well, hay there Allergies? Forget about it. If your NHOH doesn’t relish the prospect of every item of clothing they own being constantly covered in a mix of hay and horse hair, then they’re in for a rough ride. Remind them you generously wash their rancid gymwear – after it’s festered in their sports bag for four days before they remember to get it out – so a little hair is neither here nor there. Compromises have to be made in a relationship, and sporting a slightly hairy shirt to work is hardly a big one when they get to spend their life with someone as perfect as you.

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