9 things we didn’t think we’d miss about competitions — but we do

  • There are some mundane parts of show day that we’d rather miss out on. Those annoying tasks, irritating encounters or cringe-worthy moments that we usually find ourselves trying to avoid like the plague.

    While we’re all certainly having competition withdrawals, the absence of any events in the diary for the foreseeable has got us missing things we never thought we would.

    Here are 9 unlikely things equestrians are missing about competitions…

    1. Early starts

    Lie ins just aren’t the same when you can have them every single day of the week. We miss setting off to a show before sunrise and getting home well after the sun has set, running solely on a mix of caffeine and adrenalin.

    2. Burger van lunches

    An overcooked cheese burger with a slither of onion has never sounded so good. You wouldn’t even mind paying some of the extortionate prices.

    3. Rosettes

    Unless they’re red (or maybe blue) rosettes are usually forgotten about soon after they’re won and are either discarded or plonked in a drawer, never to be touched again. However, you promise that whatever colour of rosette you win next will be treasured forever.

    4. Incurring penalties

    Usually the most infuriating part of a day. But now you’d just be happy to be there jumping in company, so the odd pole or stop wouldn’t faze you in the slightest.

    5. Traffic jams

    You’ll be setting off for your next show super-duper early to ensure you couldn’t possibly get stuck in traffic that could prevent you from making your return to competition.

    6. Ring delays

    More time to spectate, shop and perhaps have a cheeky tipple or two before your class.

    7. Your horse not going quite as planned

    If lockdown has shown you anything it’s that we all have our bad days, our good days and our what the hell is going on days, and horses are entitled to them too. Hey, at least he’s having a good time!

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    8. Pre-arena nerves

    That ‘I think I’m going to be sick’ feeling you get in your stomach before you go into the start box, ring or dressage arena? Yep, you’d give anything to have that back! Practicing at home just doesn’t get the nerves going the same.

    9. Arguments

    You even miss the bickering about who didn’t pack the right kit, who ate the last Haribo or who didn’t replace the coat shine spray as the bottle is completely empty.

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