Being surprised by photographers on course, the disappointment of cancellations, not fitting into your breeches post-burger van... There are a few things that we'd forgotten about the eventing season — until now
1. You barely sleep at night because you keep having a recurrent nightmare about falling off in the water — and a video of you falling off in the water jump ending up on YouTube and getting five million hits in the first day.
2. You spend all week geeing yourself up, mainlining Rescue Remedy and obsessively checking over your gear, only to find out the night before that the event has been cancelled due to the wet weather.
3. “I must not forget my dressage bit, I must not forget my dressage bit,” becomes your mantra. Naturally, you arrive at your first event of the season to discover you’ve forgotten your dressage bit.
4. Talking of which, mobile tack shops are a life-saver for the more forgetful eventer. And yes, you do now own two dressage bits, two stocks, two martingales and two sets of reins, but you never can have enough spares, right?
5. Hang on, though, didn’t you make a laminated checklist of everything you need to pack in the lorry/trailer? Erm – anyone seen a laminated checklist anywhere?
6. After just two weekends spent hanging round a damp cross-country course, trying to film you on your iPhone so you can post it on your Facebook page later, your partner rebels, threatens to chuck the iPhone into the water jump, and goes to the pub.
7. You’re galloping across the course, the wind in your hair, congratulating yourself for not falling in the water jump, when the official photographer pops out from behind a brush fence, causing your horse to spook more dramatically than that time on EastEnders when Ronnie stole Roxy’s fella or something.
8. This may be why you’re pulling that weird face in every single one of the official photographs – or is that just your ‘eventing face?’ You hope not!
9. You don’t have time to try on your new breeches beforehand, so it’s only after the event that you realise your Minnie Mouse pants are clearly visible through them.
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10. You can’t understand why your breeches seem to get tighter each time you compete – until it dawns on you that you’d have to be exercising harder than Mo Farrah to burn off all the chips, hotdogs and icecreams you scoff from the burger van every weekend.
11. It’s all totally worth it just to be able to call yourself an eventer – and if you pick up some BE points (OK, BE foundation points), you’ll walking on air for weeks!