The rain, the rain, the mud, the mud, the dirty tails and poached feed areas – the urge for a canter but knowing it would be irresponsible.

Yet the going at the racing on the telly looks surprisingly good and we are told we are about to experience the hottest Easter ever. March having strode in like a lion, had simply better leave like a lamb.

Meanwhile, in the horse world, our thoughts turn to image because we need to be as ‘woke’ and socially aware as the next thing, for we find ourselves as an industry wondering what both horsey and non-horsey people think of us.

It was a hot topic for the 2020 National Equine Forum (NEF) 'The horse world in a changing world', where Roly Owers, CEO of World Horse Welfare, gave a great overview of the challenge we face.

A 'Social licence' to own, keep and ride horses covers lots of angles, including the suggestion that the whole industry is homogenous, so all issues reflect on us all.

Therefore, if you consider the record of the racing industry as seen through the eyes of the uninformed public, while we may see improvements to race horses lives both on and after the track, improve year by year, the public hear the race deaths and see the bad stories of thin cast off thoroughbreds on social media.

Or fatness in the showing world, where fat equine champions are compared to overweight Crufts' champions. To shoe or not to shoe, when the barefoot lobby suggests that shoeing is cruel, or when it is suggested that saddles must be treeless, or we should ride bareback ... or maybe we shouldn’t ride at all.

For me, in Scotland, where road safety is one of our biggest challenges, the perfect example being (and this was discussed at NEF) if you ride on the road without high visibility gear and the correct equipment and don’t acknowledge the cars that slow down for you – then you do the entire industry a huge disservice.

We all know how we feel with groups of cyclists taking up three-quarters the road, yet not pulling in to let cars pass, and how cross you can get when they seem oblivious to anything but themselves – that is part of cyclists social licence, to be respectable and good citizens. It’s part of their tacit permission to be cyclists.

It is often said (especially by BHS Scotland) that with rights come responsibilities which simply means – as a horse rider and owner, doing the right thing.

In our pestilence-ridden world, traceability has never been more important. And keeping our equine database up to date is a priority, so by March 28, 2021, all Scottish equines need to be microchipped and we need to update our equines details on their passports, and by default on the central equine database.

From an equine welfare point of view, reference was made at the National Equine Forum to changing from a negative approach to how animals are kept (freedom from) to a positive approach where the Five Domains of Health, (four physical) the environment, nutrition and behavior along with healthcare all nurture a good mental state (the fifth domain) in each species.

For the modern equine this might mean living with companions and a field shelter and getting fed a correct diet for their weight and suitable exercise and being in a positive health plan, where routine protections like worm counts and vaccinations are all ensured, thus equalling a happy horse.

All alongside us telling the world loudly about the positive partnership we have with our well rounded (as in well-rounded lives not tummies) horses and ponies.