9 things you’re likely to hear a mother say to her son/daughter while competing

  • We would be lost without them but there are two types of horsey mothers in this world — those who are relaxed and those who are most definitely not. Here’s a round-up of commonly overheard phrases between mother and daughter/son (no matter how old they are) while out competing.

    1. ‘I can’t hitch the trailer/I’m not driving the lorry any more’

    This does not apply to all mothers, but it does apply to some. Seeing mum back in the car while attempting to hitch up the trailer was a highly stressful environment to be in, even for the calmest of personalities. The words ‘left a bit’ and ‘right a bit’ might as well have been gobbledegook and when you finally said “woah” upon the tow bar matching up with the trailer you quite frankly felt like staying at home instead of embarking on a trip with a now very wound up mother. Same goes for the lorry and the sooner you’re old enough to get a licence to drive yourself the better.

    2. ‘You forgot this’

    Mothers have an outstanding sixth sense when it comes to finding things you are certain have fallen into the abyss of your bedroom for eternity. So when she turns up to a competition with that stock and pin you spent ages looking for yesterday you wonder how on earth she’s done it.

    3. ‘I need coffee/a stiff drink’

    First port of call for mothers upon arriving at a show? The coffee shop (unfortunately it’s only 8am and even by your mother’s standards it’s a tad too early for anything stronger than a double espresso).

    4. ‘Please may I apply the hoof oil?’

    Because when you get to a certain age you get quite obsessive about preparing your horse entirely your way (this applies mostly to daughters as opposed to sons), and are reluctant to let anyone else (even your own mother) near a piece of tack. Therefore the only job you can just about bear to let go of is applying hoof oil.

    5. ‘I don’t want to walk the course’

    Again, there are two types of coursewalking mothers — those that are uber-horsey and want to give their advice and are totally unfazed by any sort of fence (usually they have an extensive competitive history themselves), and those that would rather sit in the lorry in the foetal position, clutching a glass of something until the whole ordeal is over.

    6. ‘Fence one is enormous’

    If for some very odd reason your nervous mother does decide to walk the course with you, you will need to block out any comments coming from her direction, as when you approach fence one she will declare that it is virtually unjumpable.

    7. ‘Do I really have to video record this?’

    Many competitors will insist that their mother absolutely must video record their test or round. This is often met with a slightly grumpy response as the mother will say that she can’t watch properly if she is videoing you. However, because your mother is a total star and you would be lost without her (which of course you tell her), her next question will be a begrudging “where is the best place to stand and film?”

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    8. ‘I can’t hear you’

    The collecting ring is a time as stressful as hitching the trailer. You watch as your mother makes a dash for the middle of the showjumping collecting ring across the equine equivalent of the M25 at rush hour and you ask her to put the upright up a couple of holes or make the oxer a bit wider. This is met with that well-known phrase: “I can’t hear you”. You try sign language, you shout as loud as you dare without feeling embarrassed but it is still met with your mother cupping her hand to her ear. You can’t get cross because she is only trying to help.

    9. ‘Are you pleased?’

    These are the words of a wise mother. The seasoned pros of the horsey mother world know never to share their opinion on your performance before you have passed your own judgement. This is because if they say “that looked good” or “wow, you c*cked that up” as soon as you come out of the ring, they are leaving themselves exposed to a potential rant from son/daughter about how wrong they are.

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