It’s amazing what you forget when you take a break from something. H&H eventing editor Pippa Roome had not competed at a horse trials for a decade — until last weekend. Read on to find out what she’d forgotten about eventing…

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1. Finding out your start times. This has moved on since my day — I remember ringing up for them and the drama if you forgot to ring in the allocated window and had to get in touch after it and grovel to the secretary. They were online by the time I finished eventing, but now you get a text message too. And then all the working out. Can we walk the cross-country course between phases? No. Ok, we need to arrive early then. So we need to leave at this time. So we need to get up at what time? Aargh…

2. The start fee. You need to take cash to pay it. Totally forgot that — good job I took my Dad with me…

3. Studs. They are the absolute bane of any event rider/groom’s life. Even if you tap the holes the day before it’s still painful putting the little sods in on the day, and then you have the whole, “Can I put him back in the trailer with studs in?” dilemma and end up worrying about walking on hard tracks and roads.

4. The many different ways to run a showjumping collecting ring. Taking numbers on a board, trying to make people stick to times, taking numbers on a clipboard. I really don’t envy that volunteer.

5. Remembering courses. I thought I had this one licked, never had too many problems before. I think my brain has melted in the 10 years since I last evented, as I absolutely could not remember quite a few fences when I was waiting to go across country.

6. Sweets in the secretary’s office. It’s nice that they often have them. Who doesn’t want a jelly bean while you’re picking up your number?

7. Finding out your dressage score. Do you try to look for it before showjumping? Or wait to see if it’s read out on the commentary? Or try to ignore it so it doesn’t distract you?

8. Cleaning tack. Yes, I know it sounds lazy. But you clean it all before the event and then it rains and you have to clean it all again afterwards. But when it goes well, it’s all worth it for that thrilling six minutes going cross-country…

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