(With more than a nod to Horse and Hound, who have done similar things for the 80s and 90s.)
The Jacatex page in PONY Magazine was something you poured over for hours at a time, trying to work out if there was some way you could magic together the enormous amount of shillings necessary to get the ‘Pat’ riding mac. Or the ‘Pat’ hacking jacket. Or the ‘Pat’ jodphurs. Anything, really, that wasn’t the elephant ear jodphurs that were about third-hand when you got them.
Reading PONY Magazine cover-to-cover, even Pat and Pickles, which somehow you never really took to.
Knowing Jill’s Gymkhana off by heart. And Jackie Won a Pony. And I Had Two Ponies. And No Mistaking Corker. And any other pony book you could get your hands on.
Your riding teacher thinking that standing on the pony’s quarters as it was going round the field was a totally acceptable thing to do (after all, he’d done it in the Army).
Seeing said instructor demonstrating full scissors after you’d at last managed to master half-scissors, and knowing that you’d never, ever, get there.
Becoming aware that there was a bit of a disconnect between some riding instructors who were all about collection and dressage, and others who, well, weren’t.
You spent hours and hours trying to come up with a suitably witty slogan to win the tie-breaker on the WH Smith Win-a-Pony competition.
You looked forward to the school holidays when White Horses and Champion the Wonder Horse would suddenly appear on television.
Becoming conveniently deaf when it was suggested by your nearest and dearest that there were other things in life besides horses and ponies. But that’s universal, whenever you grew up.