Things I am not emotionally equipped to deal with in the equestrian world – competition edition

If you know me, you will know that there are certain things my brain just cant process. Its me not you – I know this 😃🤯 This is tongue in cheek and not intended to cause offense but sure it probably will anyway #sorryKaren

🐴White fly veils 🐴

*side note, people who call them bonnets, please stop it hurts me!

This one will be hard to understand if you didn’t grow up as a child in a small village in Ireland. Part of the ritual of growing up and of having any form of a social life was taking Irish dancing classes. It’s a weird style of dance where it’s a party from the waist down and a coma from the waist up. 💃Competitions are called a “feis” and for these the tradition is a mass of curls in your hair. Now the pros wear wigs but the rest of us would have our limp hair tied up in rags, sprayed with hair spray and left in over night. To keep them while you slept in your mam would pop a pair of (clean!) knickers on top. Unfortunately now I can’t see a horse in a white fly veil without thinking of this childhood trauma 👙Oh also, cheap thick knobbly crocheted fly veils worn under expensive ergonomically shaped custom fitted shaped bridles all of the benefits of which are probably derailed by the lumps sticking into the horses poll

🐴An even number of plaits 🐴

It was beaten into me for years under an instructor of traditional values that you must have an uneven number of plaits. So I apologise but if you haven’t followed this rule I’m just itching to take one out!

🐴Pre tied stocks🐴.

One of my limitations in life is my lack of a graceful swan like neck – to be fair it would look rather out of place on my hobbit sized body. Pre tied stocks are perfectly lovely but usually fasten with Velcro. For the short necked among us this Velcro then tangles in the little hairs at the back of your neck which is a sensation that sets my teeth on edge. I wore one once and spent the entire dressage test wanting to remove and burn it

🐴The post Eventing jeep🐴

One of the many things I wasn’t equipped to deal with Eventing (the main one being not falling off on my hole cross country) is the carnage of the post Eventing jeep. I used to travel with a friend and on the way there everything was organised like a little equestrian filing cabinet. That “summer” it rained and it rained. It peaked at one event where I couldn’t get changed as my legs were so wet after removing my sodden clothes that I had to dry myself with a cooler rug and all the hair from the rug stuck to my legs. (I now bring a towel to all shows!). The jeep on the way home was a vehicular Glastonbury – mud, hair, more mud, strands of grass. I’ve since decided that Eventing is a lorry owners sport.

🐴Unplaited forelocks in Dressage🐴

I just can’t. Either plait it or wear a fly veil. The option to just leave it wafting around in the wind in contrast to a perfectly plaited mane just isn’t a thing.

🐴Giant five point breast plates on tiny horses and ponies🐴

These are usually so big that the horse looks stuck in a spider web of leather with giant clumps of sheepskin

🐴Wet Sandy sheepskin 🐴

The thoughts of wet sheepskin with sand and sweat stuck to it makes my skin crawl. It’s a sensory thing I just (literally) cannot handle it. The irony is I actually like sheep skin but restrict it to half pads for the afore mentioned reasons

🐴Show jumping boots with plastic straps and metal stud fasteners. 🐴

It’s always too tight or too loose. It never fastens in the same hole on each strap. It wrecks my head

🐴The wearing of eleven million white boots bandages and over reach boots in the dressage warm up arena.🐴

Note – I totally understand this on something that’s at high level or young or highly strung or likely to kick itself in the face but on a very calm middle aged horse about to do a prelim that wouldn’t over reach if the hounds of hell were chasing it – it just feels a little unnecessary. I say this as the owner of a horse with no breeding that’s so wide that knocking itself would be equestrian pilates

🐴Saddle pads leaning on the withers🐴

Usually this atrocity occurs underneath a vert expensive saddle with plenty of wither clearance – ?!?

🐴velcro saddle pad tabs living their best life🐴

These are the straps designed to go around the girth straps on a non monflap saddle to keep the saddle from slipping back. On a monoflap saddle they are often either wedged underneath the saddle to hide them or just left to their own devices partying away. I am not going to lie – I cut them off. A friends teenager is still in shock after witnessing the sacriledge of me defacing an eskadon pad with a scissors in this manner but i’d argue the world is in a better place after.

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