When a horse show weekend SUCKS: Catch riding horror story

Rebecca Walker & Ren

Eastern Hay 770x170-March


When a horse show weekend SUCKS: Catch riding horror story

On Mondays, your social media is often filled with cute statuses about how your fellow equestrians’ weekends went and of course, ribbon photos. Yes, the classic ribbon on a horse’s bridle photos with someone holding it smiling like a Cheshire cat. One quick scroll down any social media platform and you will see way too many of these victorious little photos with joyous captions. But sometimes your weekend will SUCK. To keep things real, Sable Giesler shared her sucky weekend tale and asked Eventing Connect readers to share their horrendous weekend stories. Our readers did not disappoint… Continuing the series is Rebecca Walker with her catch ride nightmare.

So my super sucky weekend started when my 6-year-old mare sliced open her left hind leg in a trailering mishap only two days before a local event in Ottawa, ON. We were supposed to go Entry there before making our upgrade so I was really just looking for a confidence boost but that plan fell apart pretty quick.

Anyway, I was freaking out, wondering if I could get my money back or if I could find another horse to catch ride for the weekend so I started making phone calls to literally everyone I know and a friend of mine came through and said I could take her green OTTB mare that had never been to an event and desperate me was like, “Hey why not right? What’s the worst that could happen?” Haha well… first of all, it was a four-hour round trip just go pick of the horse from my friends place in Quebec and while she told me how brave it was while jumping she failed to mention that it was a total demon to handle on the ground. I swear I have never been knocked, bumped or headbutted so many times in my life! She was wild and getting on her was a challenge in itself but hey at least it’s something to ride!

So I take this mare, her name was Ren, off property to stadium school the day before the show just to get a feel for her and she’s amazing, I mean like a champion of the ring feel like we’d win the Olympics kind of amazing so I’m thinking, “Hey! Tomorrow might not be so bad!” I show up for the show the next day and begin as usual, trying not to get run over by this horse with no manners. Dressage comes around and she’s ok. Not the best and very green but we survived.

This is where it gets sucky. Stadium warmup is perfect. She’s listening to me, we’re in perfect sync, we’re ready to go. It’s a simple enough course, long swooping turns and forgiving lines – should go well. Starts off great, jumping perfectly, all is right in the world… until jump eight. Three strides away we have the perfect distance, she feels confident so I send her forward and then bam! All of a sudden she’s making a hard left turn and I’m headed towards the ground. No warning at all, she just said nope! Poor horse, I tried so desperately to hang on I was clinging to her upper neck and head and finally, I just said enough and dropped to the ground.

Such a promising day despite the sudden horse change and this mare decides to stop at a jump for the first time in her jumping career at my show… I held my head up and smiled at the judge and waved to the spectators that I was alright and that was that! No cross-country and then I had to ship this horse back to its owner with nothing to show for it.

It was definitely an interesting experience I would say! Anyway, new horses always teach you something and this on just reminded me that no horse is a set way. Things happen! Mistakes are made and we learn from them and move on and we’re better riders for it.

Weekends that suck need to be heard about too. Share yours!!
So in honour of the riders who had weekends they want to forget, we are starting a new series.

Email me your story about your disappointing weekend along with a photo or several that you have the rights to publish (anything of you and your horse, it doesn’t have to be from that event), tell us how you dealt with it and we will publish it because misery loves company and you will be entered in a draw for a Shop ATTITUDE T-Shirt of your choice pictured below.
Email: sable@eventingconnect.today

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