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!
At WEF we had a mare who had hit herself with a stud while we were jumping on the grass. We never use bell boots for jumping, but we were at the ring and Laura [Kraut] suggested to put bell boots on her so she didn’t hit herself again.
I took off running back to the barn, and I always make sure I am as nice to everyone around me as possible, because you never know when you’re going to need to ask a favor. I had no bell boots in FEI, so I had to find someone who had a set sitting out and ask to borrow them.
The ‘It Happens’ moments do happen, so I try to keep extra things that I might need on hand, so when emergencies happen, you have those things. Also making sure you’re making friends wherever you go, in whatever country you’re in, and to always have a smile on your face so when you have those moments you can ask for favors.”
Horse showing is such a mental game. If you’re not mentally prepared to go and do it, then you’re already behind the eight ball.
Two years ago, we were in Kentucky and it had been a really long two weeks. The National Derby was on the last Sunday morning, I think. I was tired, and I had three horses in it.
The first round went fine, but not how I really wanted it to go, and then I was the first one to go back in the handy. They took 20 back instead of just 12, which was almost the whole class. I missed five lead changes and I went off course after looking at the course right before I went in. I guess I just decided I wanted to make up my own!
When they called me off course I was like, ‘Seriously? I just looked at the course!’ And that totally happened just because mentally I was not really in the game that day.”
At the old arena in Washington, they gave numerical scores in the stake class at night. Protocol really did not like the ramp down into the arena. When there were just five horses left, I led him down the ramp. Somebody had crashed when we were down there, so it was taking much longer for them to get the ring back up. It was a waiting game of nerves.
I sent everybody that was there to help me to the stands. I finally decided to jog this tiny X just to remind him that we’re here to jump. He stops and I slide right over the braids and over his ears. Nobody’s there but one jump crew guy and he said, ‘Buddy, what do you want me to do?’ I said, ‘Can you brush me off and then help me get on again?’ He did his best to try to brush all the dirt off of me. Then he said, ‘You want me to fix that jump for you?’ And I said, ‘No way. I’m not about to attempt that again.’
I went in the ring and Protocol picked up a gallop and did what he did best, and got the high score of the evening, won the class, and was champion. It was kind of an exciting last 10 minutes.”
Hear more It Happens moments on the #Plaidcast at theplaidhorse.com/listen