While life in general is full of ‘ooops!’ moments, equestrian’s lives seem to be fuller than most. Here are a few you may recognise…
1. That moment when your horse gives a jolly little buck or does a particularly lively transition and your phone falls out of your pocket. Extra points for this one if a) it’s very muddy on the ground, or b) you’re on your own and riding a 17.2hh.
2. That moment when you’re feeding round very early in the morning, half asleep, and you realise you’ve accidentally given your very fizzy thoroughbred his neighbour’s breakfast of energy mix. Extra points for this one if you don’t realise in time to do anything about it.
3. That moment when you’re just approaching the first jump of a round and you realise you forgot to check your girth. Extra points if you later realise it wasn’t done up properly.
4. That moment when you’re mucking out and turn round to speak to someone, then realise that you’ve accidentally driven the shavings fork through the toe of your wellies, reducing them to the waterproof efficacy of a colander. Extra points if the boots were less than a month old.
5. That moment when you sit bolt upright in bed at midnight, unable to remember if you’ve properly shut your horse’s door or not. Of course you always have, but you daren’t risk not going down to check. Extra points if you set off all the security lights in the yard and start the dogs barking.
6. That moment when you’re about an hour into your ride and you suddenly realise that something isn’t quite right – hat strap swinging gaily loose, throatlash flapping, your horse only has one knee boot on or you’re inexplicably riding in wellies. Bonus points if you’re with a couple of friends and they hadn’t noticed either.
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7. That moment when – despite it being on the calendar in large letters – you realise you’ve forgotten the farrier was coming today and you have no milk, sugar, tea bags or cheque book and your horse is at the other end of the field, covered in mud. Bonus points if you can’t catch your horse.
8. That moment when you realise that while emptying the wheelbarrow in the dark you’ve dropped something — gloves, hat, scarf — into the muck heap. Extra points if a) it’s something vital, like your car keys, or b) it’s pitch dark and the batteries have expired in your only torch.
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