What happened to sunny days of competing, picnic et al? Everyone has been suffering with the miserable weather recently and none more so than those trying to compete their beloved horses in less than favourable conditions. Here’s just a few problems we face while battling the elements on the competition circuit…

1. Brown mud + white breeches = disaster zone. You have considered taking out shares in Vanish.

2. It’s all fine if you have a lorry with a decent living, but a car and trailer combination is a great deal more labour-intensive. Trying to get changed in the trailer and make your horse look as beautiful as possible while it is tied to the outside standing in a quagmire is a fine art. And when you return to the trailer laden with wet tack and clothes there’s the million dollar question: where on earth do you put everything?

3. Spending the duration of Saturday washing, drying, re-washing and re-drying your horse, sawdusting white feathers, rugging and then re-rugging, getting up at 4am to get to the show on Sunday only to be completely immersed in mud as soon as you step off the lorry needs the stiffest of upper lips to survive.

4. The thought of a grass warm-up arena gives you clammy hands. To quote International Velvet, it’s like trying to perform Swan Lake in clogs.

5. You’re desperate to show off your horse’s wow-factor movement to the judges — but those bog-like conditions are something of a hindrance…

6. Plastic covers for your car seat are a waste of space — don’t kid yourself. Now is not the time to be a clean car person.

7. Quickly ‘nipping’ anywhere is a no-no. Spontaneous plans to go to a show? That will be an hour of bathing first. Dashing back to the tackroom across a flooded yard to pick up the girth you forgot? Welcome to mud-splashed brown-spotted breeches. Running to the secretary’s office to make a last-minute entry for the next class? Not unless you want to end up face-first in a puddle. Everything. Takes. So. Long

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8. Rain has an uncanny ability to make your perfectly-groomed horse’s coat go dull and flat, and for your horse to instantly tuck its belly up, flatten its ears and clamp its tail within minutes. Not the best picture…

9. The tack cleaning situation post-show looks as though you’ve had a full day of January hunting, only without the port…

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