A horsey mum or dad can be the greatest attribute in a top rider’s career. And even if you don’t aspire to ride at grand prix, storm round Badminton or jump on a Nations Cup team, it’s pretty likely your mum or dad is a vital part of your equestrian support team. Read on for 13 things that all the best horsey parents do…
1. Get up at 6am to help you look after ponies every day before school for 15 years.
2. Drive hundreds of miles to take you to competitions, lessons, Pony Club rallies and out hunting.
3. Spend hours creating scary things you can jump when you have a spooky pony. Newly painted fillers each week, bathmats hung over poles and tarpaulins underneath jumps are all features of Mum’s/Dad’s Spooky Jump Workshop.
4. Video you and your pony every time you move for later review.
5. Remember all the things the instructor told you in that really useful lesson and remind you of them at the vital moment during a training session, just before a competition, or before you move off from the meet.
6. Risk life and limb putting showjumps up in busy collecting rings.
7. Choose a horse for her/himself which “can do a bit of eventing/dressage/jumping/showing/hunting with you too”.
8. Stand in windy, freezing sand schools for hours at a time watching you traipse in endless circles while telling you that you really are making progress.
9. Keep telling you that you really are making progress, even when all evidence is to the contrary.
10. Pour every spare (and not so spare) penny into your equestrian endeavours.
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11. Cut out useful articles from Horse & Hound to help with your training.
12. Spend a lot of time bathing and plaiting ponies so you can be the best turned out rider at every outing.
13. Continue to do all this even once you are long past your Pony Club days and are supposedly an independent grown-up.
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