Horses By Proxy is characterised by the tendency to believe that a friend, colleague or close family member has a horse that they are not letting you see. Recent clinical tests and observations have allowed us to finally determine the following key symptoms:
The sufferer always seems to be looking just over the shoulder of their friends and then saying, “Have you got a horse back there?”
Tendency to open all the doors, drawers and pull-down cabinets in a room to look for hoofprints.
Sending e-mails to other friends and relatives to ask if they know why they haven't been invited to the stables for a ride.
Confusion over leather goods – insistence that they are all obscure items of saddlery. Confrontation usually along the lines of “Come on then, if you've not got a horse then what's this all about?” whilst brandishing a belt or gloves.
Treatment, in most cases, is limited to one main option. The friend/colleague/relative has to buy a horse and keep it with them at all times. Under no circumstances should the situation be eased by attempting to introduce a pony, donkey or zebra as a proxy to the horse as this inevitably leads to a worsening of the condition and, ultimately, a severe case of Horse Proxy By Proxy. Possibly fatal.