The 7 deadly sins of eventing: how many do you recognise?

  • Repent! Repent! Change your ways now, oh eventing sinners, before it’s too late…

    1. Gluttony

    When you’re absolutely starving before the cross-country so stuff down a burger, a portion of chips and a can of Coke from the burger van. Then you walk the course, realise that the jumps look absolutely massive, and wonder if anyone will notice if you do a discreet little nervous sick behind a brush fence.

    2. Envy

    When a friend from your yard is jumping everything absolutely beautifully on her horse, and you’ve  had two refusals at the ditch and a huge display of random pratting about by the bank, and secretly hope she falls off in the water.

    3. Pride

    When you’re so delighted with how well you jumped a double in the showjumping  — all your recent lessons and hard work have paid off! — that your attention wanders, you don’t set your horse up right for the next jump, and end up eating dirt. Well, they say pride comes before a fall!

    4. Sloth

    When you over-slept — aaargh! Now you’re meant to be walking the course but you’re still at the yard, and your horse is picking up on your panic and won’t load. Maybe those couple of glasses of wine last night ‘to calm your nerves’ weren’t such a good idea.

    5. Vanity

    When you’ve spent a week’s wages on a pair of super-expensive white dressage breeches, designed to hold everything in and give you a bum like Beyonce’s (and crucially, not go see-through when wet), then realise as you ride into the ring that you’ve inexplicably got a huge green (or worse, brown) smear all down your leg. Even though you were wearing tracky bottoms over the top until just 10 minutes ago. Your horse, if you could but see, has a smug smile on his face. Maybe he’s not a fan of Beyonce…

    6. Lust

    When you’re so distracted by that super-hot new eventer on the circuit strolling past while you’re in the dressage arena that you double-take and forget to ride the transition to canter… Chance would be a fine thing, wouldn’t it, ladies? Let’s be honest, the only thing eventers really lust after are other eventers’ horses!

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    7. Greed

    When you’re so excited about competing/desperate to be in the ribbons that you go a bit mad and enter your horses into several different showjumping classes in a bid to up your eventing performance. You then spend the entire day running round like a headless chicken, trying to remember which class you’ve entered which horse into, and which horse should be wearing which saddle and bridle at any given moment in time. Does he need a martingale or doesn’t he? Somebody pass the schedule, quick… Oh well, at least you’ll sleep well tonight!

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