Published by Eventing Connect
In recent times,eventing super-coupledom has taken the sport by storm. There is no doubt that to succeed at any level in the ridiculous world of horse trials requires a strong support team-Tim and Jonelle Price,William Fox-Pitt and Alice Plunkett,Sam and Sparkles Watson,Kyle and Jen Carter are sterling examples of how successful you can be with the right partner. But what if your passion is the equestrian Rubix cube of eventing,and your partner isn’t horsey? How do you juggle your priorities? Of course,my inner bitch thinks ‘screw your priorities,I’m going horsing’ but we all know that that leads to a sad and lonely life featuring A LOT of cats and mismatched clothing.
I have managed to stay married for six years now. It hasn’t been a challenge (for me-I’m sure it’s been the life Krypton factor for him) because my husband is the most tolerant human being on earth-in direct contrast to his wife-and he also isn’t horsey. At all. He’s a farmer. He HATES horses. I mean,so do I but I hate them DIFFERENTLY. He went to maybe three events with me. I was racked with guilt about him losing his weekend to something he neither likes or understands so I started leaving him at home. I can’t force him to like what I like. I could make him pretend he likes it,but that’s a whole other bartering system not appropriate for a family page…..his observations were hilarious. ‘Your horse is a dickhead’ (heard that a lot,couldn’t disagree) ‘how much money does it take to do this (stupid) sport well? It’s INSANE’ (again,unarguable) ‘is it time to go home yet?’ (Oh god if only) and ‘will there be chips?’ Here’s hoping…..
The biggest disadvantages to solo flying are the smallest things-having someone to do a fence in the warm up,for example. I try to get in with someone else who has help if I can,otherwise it’s begging pleasant looking passers by to put a fence down or up for you. Not having your rounds videoed is another. Overall,I’m so used to it now though and for me,the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I am the mother of a berserk toddler. Days away with horses alone are a day away from everything at home,indulging my filthy little habit in peace and quiet. For me,it works and it’s achievable.
Pre husband,I did date a show jumper so I have seen the flip side of non-horsey partners. It was kinda cool heading off together in the lorry but it’s not always easy working with someone who has different ideas than you do. If you have two totally separate operations out of the same base and neither interferes with the other unless required then it probably works,but otherwise I think It’d be carnage….the sand arena would be like some sort of Beiruit,lobbing jump cups at each other from behind fillers whilst swearing at each other and threatening to hide each other’s bridles….no thankyou……anyway,turns out the show jumper boyfriend was a psycho and I just about escaped before the cement lorry arrived……phew!! Just as well it all worked out since I obviously wasn’t destined to make it big in eventing anyway and the husband is much happier watching rugby on the sofa than he would be being dragged around Burghley. Each to their own!
Published by Eventing Connect
I have been MIA recently,for which I do apologise. The whole summer was chucked upside down by the stock theft and then a series of unfortunate and expensive events followed on from that. I won’t bore you with it,but the brief summary goes like this-first up,the big lorry cattle trailer needs replacing. Terrifying expense ahoy. Then the four year old (horse,just to be clear….) I had just advertised for sale to raise some dollars decided that it never wants to leave,that it loves me and the only solution to the situation was to attempt to saw her hind leg off. It was deliberate. No doubt. All of you ‘horses are not capable of rational thought’ people,YOURE WRONG…… Anyway,she opened an artery and she had a go at bleeding to death. She was stapled up and bandaged three days in a row but kept on bleeding in what became a very scary situation. She colicked from the sedation and couldn’t do much more than lie down looking defeated. ‘Let the crows have me’……she said. Then as an afterthought,she developed cellulitis AND a weird abscess just below her hock. Laughing in the face of antibiotics. Of course,she’s the only horse in twenty years that I can’t manage to inject or syringe (because she is some sort of Ted Bundy in matters of medicine administration) so she then ran up a MAHOOSIVE vets bill with daily call outs (because the vet is about eleven feet tall and a crack shot with an iv even if the horse is doing the fandango). All I can say is, horse-you BETTER fucking jump next season……
In the middle of this abortion,weird things were happening. Items kept flying off the shelves in my tack room. Things would go missing,only to turn up days later in improbable places. Machinery would randomly break down at vital moments.And then there was the squirrel. We don’t have squirrels on the farm,they haven’t been seen here in forty years (apparently). I went out to work a horse,came back to the tack room afterwards and there was a dead red squirrel on the floor of the tack room. The room is sealed,there was no way in.Red squirrels are super-rare. Again,We don’t have any squirrels…… You are now entering the twilight zone. When I had finished freaking out and wondering if some sort of cult religion might be a good idea after all,I decided that there was only one thing to do. I took my beautiful squirrel to the taxidermist. ‘When life gives you lemons,drink tequila’ right? Except in my case,it’s ‘when life gives you (dead) squirrels…..’ Colour me completely freaked out…..
To add to the poxy horse and it’s stupid poxy infected limb,my little boy got a terrible chest infection. He is recovering after a boatload of antibiotics. Life throws up an all-new perspective once you have children. Although this year has been a real ‘Annus Horribles’ for us, Charlie fixes EVERYTHING. Once he is ok,the rest of it is just white noise. He has recently taken a keen interest in mucking out (hurrah!!!) so he now has his very own wheelbarrow. Start as you mean to go on…..
My farrier was here yesterday,and in the course of conversation he said ‘wouldn’t you wonder what goes through horses’ heads?’ I have the answer! Jibberish,mostly. Plain and simple. They have no idea what they are doing. They are large,hopeless and badly designed expensive downhill toboggans,with minds like a labyrinth and no decorum. To be fair,they are just as varied and diverse as humans in my experience-some are supremely intelligent and some are stupid. Some are incredible talents and some are hopeless cases. Some are genuine,willing partners and some don’t care actually,what it is you want. Some are tough and durable,others are great big nancies made of glass and polystyrene. Some are programmed in Taiwanese,and some in your native language. Some come with a manual,some without. So why is it,then, that I always seem to end up with vastly intelligent and talented types that don’t care what I want,are made of glass and programmed in Taiwanese but with no manual????? Sigh.