While I haven’t been idle in the nine years since my last recognized event, there’s a world of difference between a schooling show or foxhunt and a USEA sanctioned horse trial. Here are some stray observations that occurred to me at this weekend’s show:
- Pulling on breeches when you’re coated in a thin layer of sweat is nearly impossible. New plan: put on breeches before getting to show, wear same breeches for all phases that day. Alternate plan: only show in the winter.
- The horse is less worried about cross country than you are; for the love of god, leave the big spurs in the truck after dressage. You do not need the horse to do his best impersonation of the Lone Ranger’s Silver after a jump.
- GO. TO. THE. GYM. MORE. OFTEN. Three times a week is not cutting it if you’re feeling close to death after show jumping.
- Have cross country courses always included things like bending lines? I can’t remember, but this course had several, which seemed weird.
- Scout out a quiet place to warm up for dressage the day before you ride!
- A real bed, a hot shower, and good meals go a long way toward quelling nerves and combating fatigue. Will only consider shows where I can stay at home or with my in-laws.
- Do not murder the child who sets up a hammock and blocks your path to the water spigot. Children are the future of the sport.
- Bring more water for humans because the hose water tastes terrible.
- Get the jacket tailored, because sitting on it while you canter is not a good look.
Dressage schooling shows and hunting might be less stressful, but I’m glad to have returned to eventing!