The big day has arrived – you’re both nervous and excited and cannot wait to get in the ring. However, not everything always go to plan… here are 21 competition day struggles that we can all relate to.

  1. You arrive at the yard to find that your horse has rubbed out all of his plaits. Not like you slaved away at them for hours last night or anything…
  2. Similarly, you can guarantee that he will also have a charming stable stain covering roughly 80% of his body.
  3. Forgetting an important piece of tack, whether it be your bit, girth or even saddle – we’ve all had a memory lapse when it comes to tack.
  4. Leaving your jacket at the yard. We’re not sure why, but for some reason this vital piece of kit just doesn’t always register in our mind at 6.30am as we load up the lorry…
  5. Your horse doesn’t want to play ball. Oh, the hours spent praying that your horse will load.
  6. Getting stuck in traffic. It’s always the way isn’t it? You’re in a rush to make your class and all of a sudden there’s a traffic jam, flood or herd of sheep blocking your way. Bet you wished you’d pre-entered your events on Equo now.
  7. The missing shoe. Of all the days your horse could choose to turn into Cinderella it has to be on a show day… deep breaths guys, deep breaths.
  8. Forgetting your purse. Will they accept payment in the form of gratitude, pony treats and an IOUs? Didn’t think so. Alas, if only you’d entered and payed securely online. 
  9. You have to love them, however when your Dad videos the wrong horse during the championship class it’s just a little bit harder to show that love.
  10. Spending 10 minutes trying to get your prancing, snorting pony past the terrifying, horse-eating-monster, also known as the chip van.
  11. Getting on. Funnily enough it turns out that it’s harder than it looks to get on your horse at a show… thanks to all the strangers over the years that have helped us launch on board while cantering around the lorry park.
  12. Stage fright – this has to be one of the worst struggles to face… all is fine and dandy until your horse feels the pressure. Cue getting eliminated at the first fence.
  13. Trying to explain to your non-horsey Mum how to do your warm up fences can sometimes feel like you’re speaking a different language. Just count to three everybody.
  14. Hearing the words “LOOSE HORSE” shouted and instantly feeling dread in the pit of your stomach. You swear you only turned around for a second…
  15. Lorry troubles. Whether it is a flat battery, flat tyre or running out of diesel, we are all guilty of forgetting to give our box some last minute attention before departure. Oops!
  16. The combination of rain, white breeches and saddle soap is one struggle that can reduce us to tears. Not even Daz will be able to budge that stain.
  17. When your horse falls in love in the warm up. Nothing is quite as embarrassing as your horse getting a crush at a show and proceeding to show off all day in front of their new beau. Honestly, he’s normally so well behaved…
  18. The café being closed. This may be the worst one. Cue checking in to heartbreak hotel. Nothing can ruin your day more than a lack of cheesy chips.
  19. Turning up on the wrong day. You’ve practised for weeks, you know your test off by heart, back to front, inside out and you’re ready to nail this competition! That is until you realise it’s next weekend, of course. Should have logged into your competitor dashboard on Equo, shouldn’t you?
  20. Getting lost. Whatever your chosen discipline, we’ve all had a slip of concentration and gone the wrong way at some point. It’s okay everyone, we know you totally meant to freestyle there.
  21. Last but not least, there is nothing worse than forgetting your most important piece of kit. Your horse! Not only is it embarrassing, you’ll be in the bad books with your horse for weeks, better stock up on carrots on the way home!

Do you feel like you could be more successful on competition day than us? Search events near you now.