We all make mistakes. But horse people, as a group, aren’t always the best at handling them. So TPH reached out to some top riders to share their own show ring bloopers to prove, once and for all, that mistakes really do happen to the best of us!
“One of my favorite ‘oops’ moments was at my first or second year competing on ponies at Harrisburg Pennsylvania Horse Show. Indoors was always a very big deal and it meant a lot to do well at those shows. I was competing on my medium pony, True Love, and I had just won the first class of the Medium Pony Hunter division and I was first to go in for the handy.
I was on a complete high because I had just won the first class and felt like I could do anything. I cantered in with my nice forward gallop with my head held high and absolutely pop chipped right off my pony. The first jump had been a vertical set right out of the corner into a line and I thought I had it made.
This proved to me that even when you’re feeling confident you always have to remember to focus on the task and not get too big for my breeches. Although I had ruined my chances at another ribbon in that handy, the story and moment has always stayed with me as a fond memory.”
I was showing Small Affair at WIHS, and everything went great. I went back and was looking at pictures—there was this super nice picture of us jumping. But I was flipping off the camera. When does that ever happen? I was only 13 years old at the time, too.”
It was a fine Friday morning at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, and the Junior Hunters were gearing up to start their division. There was a very fancy one that needed to be warmed up and practice a lead change each direction and they asked me to get on. I wasn’t in riding clothes but I thought, sure, no problem, happy to help!
Well, the weather wasn’t the best—it was actually pouring rain like crazy. I wanted to make this warm-up quick! I trotted a lap or two each way, and picked up the canter. Went across the first diagonal to do a lead change, owners and trainers all watching.
I stepped into my outside stirrup to get the lead change, but my foot totally slipped out of the stirrup, and that spooked the horse and the end of the arena approached quicker than I had desired. Just like that, I was on my back looking up at the sky, covered in mud and better suitable for a Slip n Slide.
Even the simplest tasks can lead to accidents, to any level rider. It was pretty funny. Any excuse to go shopping for new clothes!”
*This story was originally published in the October/November 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!