You’re heading to the first jump on course. What could go wrong? ONLY EVERYTHING.

1. Your horse spooks

A golf-cart backfires, the speakers pop, Jumbotron blows a bulb, the mere existence of the Jumbotron. There are just so many things that could startle your horse. It’s really terrifying when you think about it.

Red Panda_scared-1


2. You forget everything your trainer has told you. Ever.

Was turning always this difficult?

Drax_I wasn't listening


3. You don’t do anything.

There might be a distance, who knows. You’re too busy taking an apparent leisurely romp in the ring and not actually doing anything to get to the first jump

April_Don't want to do things


4. You do too much.

You see a long spot. You add leg. OK, too much leg. Needs more hand. Ok, maybe not so much hand next time…



5. You find a “distance.”

I mean not a good one, but it’s something right?? Except it’s a flyer into a quiet five stride…balls.

Incredibles_Is different OK?


6. You forget how to count.

1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 7…double balls.

Tom HIddleston_counting


7. You don’t have enough bridle.

You’re waterskiing to the first jump. This isn’t what you practiced at home at all! You’re wishing pretty hard you had been more serious about the gym this winter.

Liz Lemon_why are my arms so weak


8. Your breeches rip.

You think this is funny, but I have talked to enough riders to know that there is a distinct possibility that this will happen to you. And you will be all shades of mortified. And it will be distracting. For everyone.

Ariel_embarassed (1)


9. You have the show jumping equivalent of ‘Nam flashbacks.

Remember that time you fell off and shattered your wrist? That one you repressed through years of therapy? You do now!

Vin Diesel_ride or die


10. You don’t see a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.

Your worst fear has come to fruition and let’s be honest, no amount of practice is going to help you at this point. There really is only one solution.

Kevin Hart_Jesus take the wheel


Phew. Now that the first one is out of the way, you can start all over at fence two…

Heather About the Author

Heather Struthers owns and operates Ottawa’s hippest tack shop, Performance Horse & Rider. She’s an expert in color coordinating with your horsepretend boyfriends and Scott Brash.