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Why I Regret Giving my Eventer a Holiday (The incredible true story)
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   19th Sep 2013   •   5,914 views   •   6 comments
Why I Regret Giving my Eventer a Holiday

Anybody who has owned or ridden one will know that eventers are machines. Some are scooters, trundling mildly around until they bump into the frist cross country jump and the engine cuts out. Others are monster trucks, ploughing boldly around and demolishing anything in their track. The best ones zoom and leap like dirt bikes. As for me? I’ve got myself a freakin’ barge.

If you’ve ever wondered how it’s possible to stop a barge with a flimsy piece of metal attached to two long leather things, the short answer is, it isn’t. You can scream, tug and pray all you like, but unless you’ve got an anchor the size of Mount Everest stuffed down your bra, you’re pretty much done for.

This brings me to my story: “Why I regret giving my event horse a holiday,”
Bronze (AKA Barge, AKA ‘The Tank’) has been working very hard lately, so I decided to give him a week off to get him feeling one hundred and ten per cent for his eventing championships. A week of vegetating in his paddock or frolicking around out on the grass may not exactly be a luxury spa session, but it certainly left Bronze feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and pumped up on a week’s worth of racehorse food (which would prove to be my first mistake).
The next mistake was deciding to ride him in his dressage tack, rather than his jumping tack. That is, a hanging cheek snaffle rather than a rubber Pelham. This was when I asked myself the one question that everyone (yes, even us crazy eventing folk) always regrets:

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

As it turns out, ‘the worst’ was soon to become apparent, which brings me to my third mistake: Getting onto that lunatic’s back in the first place. Any normal, sound-minded person would have hired some other crazy rider with a death wish to do it for them. Like, well, me.

Related Article: Against All Odds - The Story of Bronze - Part 1
Related Article: April 20th 2013 Showjumping Competition With Bronze

Why I Regret Giving my Eventer a Holiday

Sound mind or not, I at least had the common sense to take Bronze for a little light trot down the road rather than trying to tame the beast in a dressage ring, or tow my anchor at full speed all the way down the track. Unfortunately for me, common sense is of little use to a fresh dynamite stick of a horse that has just seen a miniature pony, or rather, a miniature Trojan horse housing a multitude of miniature horse-eating monsters (In Bronze’s eyes). Several minutes of wide-eyed snorting, shaking and sweating later, along with a considerable amount of less-than-polite encouragement shouting and leg flapping from me, we managed to move past the minis, only to be faced by something immeasurably more deadly:

A fat lady with a blanket around her shoulders.

The minute that blanket flapped, old Bronze saw the Grim Reaper’s fat aunt come to take him away, and he was off down that road like a bullet. (This would be the moment where I figured out exactly how impossible it is to stop a barge with a snaffle) I’m not sure exactly how long it took to stop him in minutes and seconds, but in layman’s terms I would have to say it took roughly half the distance between the Grim Reaper and the safety of his paddock at a flat out gallop down a gravel road before I finally managed to pull him up, with a number of shouts and swerves from one side of the road to the other. Being the stubborn rider I am, I turned him around and demanded that he face his fears. And face them he did, from his spot in the middle of the road, where he insisted on staying, completely petrified, until three cars had piled up in front of us and shut off their engines, waiting for the stone statue of a horse and the ridiculously animated rider with the flapping legs to get out of the road.

The moral of the story? Never leave your eventer off work for a week. And if you do... Hang on tight.

Why I Regret Giving my Eventer a Holiday

Why I Regret Giving my Eventer a Holiday
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
Dark Star  
He's still a gorgeous horse. lol. Every good horse has to have an attitude.
  Sep 19, 2013  •  6,846 views
 
GoodMorning  
Ha, NEVER say "What's the worst that can happen?" around horses, that's my rule! 2 weeks ago, we were at Broddi's second jumper show. Mom and I were walking the course, and were comtemplating wheather we should take the shorter route over the liverpool or not. We had just started working on liverpools, and he hadn't batted an eye, so Mom was just like "What the worst that can happen?". And I just said, very seriously "I could fall off, get a concussion, and die. Never say that around horses." Then we both burst into laughter.
That was long. :)
  Sep 19, 2013  •  6,543 views
 
Kaori  
"A fat lady with a blanket around her shoulders."
That quote will stay with me forever xD

I've never allowed myself to say "what's the worst that can happen", because I tend to find out rather quickly....although a few weeks ago I took Paddy to a cross country schooling session, but realised I forgot my back protector when we arrived. That was when I said those deadly words "I'll just cling on".
In case you haven't guessed, my "clinging" failed. Several times.
  Sep 20, 2013  •  6,635 views
 
Winniefield Park  
Well--it wasn't the worst, but one of those moments that you really only share with your good friends because at least they'll understand and already know that you ARE indeed crazy. He'd probably make a great endurance horse--or start to learn to conserve his energy. lol
  Oct 3, 2013  •  6,491 views
 
Sunny Daze  
we managed to move past the minis, only to be faced by something immeasurably more deadly:

A fat lady with a blanket around her shoulders.

XD Had me laughing for a flat out five minutes!!!! Great article though :)
  Oct 17, 2013  •  5,135 views
 
Melrose  
I am so happy someone has written this and I am not alone! Although mine was more of a whole year off with a hard winter where he was hard fed, figured I'd bring him back into work and I did not realise how many things were going to eat him.
He is gorgeous though!
  Oct 11, 2014  •  2,849 views
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