On the days when you fear your face might be about to fall off and going for a ride is just too hard to bear, keep these things in mind and it'll about be fine (we promise).
1. You'll drop your gloves in the mud - lots and lots of times.
2. Sleeping in your riding gear saves time in the morning (a top tip from associate editor Allison Lowther)!
3. It'll take you an hour to get your horse togged up for turnout and he'll want to come back in after half that time. It'll take another hour to de-frock him and wash all the muddy bits, of which they'll be lots of even though there was only a couple of inches of skin showing.
4. Filling haynets in the wind is as hard as capturing fog in a sieve.
5. Your horse will be scared of the 'other horse' in the mirrors of the outdoor school and refuse to go anywhere near them, whinnying throughout your training sessions. This will last all winter.
6. Mud is addictive! Why else would your horse hunt for the boggiest, wettest part of his field for a roll, ignoring the odd grassy patch?
7. Dismounting on a cold day is more painful than having a small car run over your toes.
8. Beware a freshly clipped horse. You may want to lunge first.
9. It's all worth it (Ok, we lied - that's nine things to remember)!