As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, more riders across the country are returning to competition. Whatever your discipline and level of sport, you’ve probably experienced one of these situations at your first or second show back out there…
1. You forgot something (important)
You made a list, and then you made a new list as the original list was not extensive enough. However, you still forgot something vital to the order of the day, such as your show bridle, your riding hat or, in keeping with the times, your track and trace/EHV-1 form.
2. You missed a jump/forgot a test/did the wrong show
You expected yourself to be ever so slightly ring rusty, but you didn’t prepare to forget the course at the third fence, go completely blank after you’d trotted up the centre line or need the judge to repeat the set show five times. Doh.
3. You bickered with a family member
You’ve not spent time with them for over a year, but five minutes into your journey to the show and you’re already arguing about which way to get to the venue or whose job it was to make the picnic.
4. You realised you were unfit
Over lockdown, some people got fit, and others, well… After popping the warm-up fence a couple of times and feeling like you may need an oxygen tank, you mentally kick yourself for not joining your friend on the couch to 5k and opting for biscuits in front of the TV instead.
5. You felt nervous
Even if you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t normally suffer from those pre-comp jitters, you might have felt a little more on edge than normal just due to the fact that it was so long ago since you were last out. They do say nerves are positive, so channel that energy into your performance.
6. You did a lot of catching up
You haven’t seen some of your horsey friends in well over a year and in this time a lot has changed; this person has a new horse and that person no longer has a horse. Time has passed, too, and that once gangly youngster you saw in March 2019 is now an impressive competition horse ready to take on the 2021 season. It’s all go!
7. You needed another year off
After plonking yourself down on the sofa after the long day behind you, you do wonder how you ever used to do this every single weekend. You need a big bottle of wine, at least 24 hours of sleep and three days to catch up on the washing. And you think your horse will probably request something similar!
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