Horse & Hound's dressage editor Alice Collins reveals the more comic moments when her non-horsey mother tries to “help” with the horses

Being a London girl, it’s not surprising that my mother isn’t horsey. But she’ll be damned if she’ll admit it. Here are some of the more comic moments when she tries to “help” with my horses.

1. “Oh darling, I’ll video your test at the Area Festival. I know it’s important to you”
Watching the video back, it starts — for quite some time — with the horse in the arena next door. There’s an awkward “err, who is Alice’s mum filming?” in the background before the camera shuffles round (my trainer had gently taken her shoulders and turned her to face the correct arena) and points at me. By this point, my mother is laughing so much that what remains of the test on camera is just a bay blur.

2. “I’ve put her boots on, you’re all ready to go!”
My horse’s over reach boots are on her hind feet. Turns out my mother thinks they are for protecting horse’s tummy from her back feet…

3. “I’ll bring her in from the field”
Horse and mother appear some time later. Muddy mother is clutching my horse’s cheek piece, which is acting more like a browband. The leadrope is sprouting from the top of the horse’s head and hanging limply round her front legs.

4. “She pushed me over!”
We’re in the field with a couple of my young horses. One of them wheels round in the gateway, startling my mother, who steps backwards, her heel perfectly connecting with an immature thorn bush, which doesn’t budge. She lands unceremoniously on her bottom the deep red Devon mud and promptly blames my “dangerous horses”. She has since claimed that she was “side-swiped” by said horse.

5. “I’ve rolled all the bandages for you. I hope you appreciate it.”
What I didn’t appreciate was coming to the end of each soggily-rolled bandage, only to find that all 16 of them had been rolled up inside-out. Ditto tail bandages on numerous occasions — usually when I am late for a show…

*Disclaimer: I am actually very grateful for my mother’s help and she’s not always this useless/amusing