9 signs you might not be cut out for showjumping

  • Some of us thrive on the adrenalin rush of showjumping, while others prefer to stay closer to the ground. Find out which camp you fall into as explained by Sara Walker…

    1. While you’re happy in principle about the idea of flying through the air, you really prefer to have a reclining seat, a choice of films and the drinks menu.

    2. You constantly struggle to remember the difference between a cavaletti and Cornetto, although you’re pretty sure there is one.

    3. When you see a round of jumps in the ring, your first reaction is, “What lovely flower arrangements!”

    4. You refer to oxers as ‘those sort of square ones’, while the fact that some jumps are called ‘uprights’ really confuses you. Aren’t they all upright until you knock them down?

    5. You love all the sparkly showjumping equestrian kit so much that your horse looks like a Christmas tree and jangles gently when he moves, while the sun glitters on your helmet and buttons with every step you take. The actual jumping bit of showjumping is less appealing.

    6. When you count your stride into a jump, it’s less ‘One-two-three…JUMP!’ more ‘One-two…ARGH! HELP! NO! STOP!’

    7. You’re convinced that fence you just jumped was enormous, at least a metre. Even when your friend gets out the tape measure and proves it was only 33cm, you still maintain the measure was faulty and she needs glasses.

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    8. You finally gather your courage, point your horse at the fence, put your leg on and close your eyes, muttering silent prayers under your breath. When you open your eyes again, you’re safely on the other side of the jump. The whoosh of relief almost overwhelms you until you realise you’ve got another eight fences to go. Just as you’re telling yourself how difficult the course was, the next competitor, a nine-year-old girl, does a faultless round.

    9. You decide to take up dressage, or possibly just stick with some gentle grooming.

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