Sunday, 25 August 2013

Top 5: Annoying Things People Do At Dressage Competitions

Happy almost August Bank Holiday.

I haven't written because, to be honest, there hasn't been much to report. My birthday was the 14th August, and that was wonderful and thank you everyone for all my lovely cards and gifts and attention.
Also, on the fitness front, I've fallen off the wagon slightly (by "fallen off" and "slightly" I mean I've thrown myself gaily into a pile of M&S more chocolate than biscuit biscuits. Yum CITY but also fat city D:). Riding, as always, has been consistent; last week we went to another competition at Sparsholt. I love competing there, but this time there were some classic annoyances, which has prompted this post.
Competing in any sport is both stressful, rewarding, and educational. But, here are some of the most annoying things I've seen people do at Dressage competitions, in no particular order because THEY ARE ALL SO ANNOYING.

1. Using a mobile phone in the warm-up arena.
"URM HI CAN I SPEAK TO FLYING-SPARKLES' STABLE MATE PLEASE?" or texty texty text text. You're right, in an arena full of animals ranging from 400 to maybe 750 kilos, it's a good idea to not look where you're going. 1000 points from Gryffindor, stupid.

2. Riding around in pairs.
No, please do completely block my path because you and Emily Snootycow (St. Trinians 1) want to have a chat about whatever mundane activities you've been up to. I forget that the warm-up is also suitable for people wanting to go on a hack but seemed to have ended up in the wrong place.

3. Taking boots etc off in the arena.
Mrs. IboughtanexpensivehorsewhichIcan'tride has warmed up and now ShadowFax 2.0 needs his boots taken off. Instead of going outside of the arena while those excessively lengthy and probably completely unnecessary bandages are removed, she just blocks the exit of the arena by standing horizontally out on to the track, while a long-suffering caddy comes and unwinds them. Exit: blocked. Track: blocked. Unlucky person running around a horse's legs while about 10 others try to navigate around the whole escapade: genuis.
4. Having the trainer inside the arena.
Competing is stressful at all levels, and sometimes nerves do get the better of us, so it's understandable that Mrs. IboughtanexpensivehorsewhichIcan'tride gets her trainer to warm-up before she gets on in the last 15 minutes. However, when she does get on, it's both dangerous and stupid to have the trainer walk alongside you while you ride. You're right, you have a much more expensive horse than I, so you do have the right to expect me to move out of your way while you're trainer tries to encourage you to ride properly and not be scared of that extremely powerful animal you're riding. EURGH.
(I have my own thoughts on getting someone to do the hard work for you then you taking the credit; if a 10-year-old girl can get on her pony at her first competition and tackle her nerves, then dammit a rich 50-year-old with nothing better to do with her time but "do lunch" and ride an expensive horse can bloody well do it too).
5. Riding too close to a horse/pony with a red ribbon.
Oh, the classic. If people get too close in the arena, Ernest doesn't like it. Neither do I, actually, so this really applies to us both. A red ribbon = a kicker, and beyond putting a bright ribbon in the tail, there isn't much more that can be done to state this, warning others off a potential accident should they come too close. But, invariably, they try and squeeze past, occasionally resulting in the back hooves leaving the ground. Now, I was once told to smack Ernest for doing that, which resulted in the stupid woman getting the full extent of my derision for her idiocy. Also, the stick is used AS A LEG AID NOT A PUNISHMENT YOU COMPLETE ARSE.
There are many more irritations which occur at these competitions, but I feel these really do earn the top 5 spots. The moral of the story?
Warm-up arenas are for horses and riders, not peoples. Oh, and if you're STUPID, don't own a horse.


1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post, made me and Kerry giggle. Especially the Gryffindor part! xxx