* The gospel was ‘Horse and Pony’ magazine and Freddie the chestnut pony was god. The posters covered every inch of your wall, the free stickers ended up on every school book and some of you might even remember the day the magazine went from black and white to colour!
* You wanted to ride and own Downlands Cancara the black stallion who was the Lloyd’s Bank mascot and Milton the ultimate show jumping gelding
* You owned a long Puffa coat, it had stud fasteners, made you look twice the width you were and bunched up when you sat in the saddle!
* You had a back protector which consisted of several chunks of foam attached by material with two dubious ‘nappy’ straps which fastened between the legs. Every riding school had one weird kid who left these on even when not on a horse.
* You tried and failed to make a wisp in the style of those in the old pony club manual.
* You read the saddle club, Jill and Ginny books cover to cover
* You dreamed, thanks to these books, of riding in a gymkhana
* You remember getting a free ‘Winergy’ treat bar for horses at the ‘Kerrygold Dublin Horse Show’.
* The three ring / Dutch gag made an appearance and you wondered what the heck it was
* Horse equipment and accessories came in basic colours – black, white, navy, red, green, brown. Purple, Pink, Baby Blue and Bling had yet to be invented.
* Besides you would be killed by the old skool instructors for even thinking of using something in anything except those colours (you know who you are!)
* It was perfectly acceptable to ride bareback or without reins (or both).
* You adopted the ‘5 second rule’ when dropping food on the tack room floor.
* You watched the cartoon ‘Wildfire’ and ‘Follyfoot’ on tv
* You owned a sweatshirt with a picture of a horse on front
* You were told by at least one adult to bring some baler twine, a hoof pick and coins for a pay phone out hacking with you.
* Outdoor rugs were New Zealand Rugs and a grackle was the old style under the cheekbones type
* You really really wanted one of those matching sets of a hat silk, XC sweatshirt and a pony rug like the girls in the magazines and catalogues
* You owned a body brush with a rainbow patterned strap
* Nigel Coupe and Karen Dixon rocked!
* you still now how to apply perfect exercise bandages because when growing up fancy affordable tendon boots didnt exist!
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