Eventing Shorts: Insanity in the Middle

Photo courtesy of Amy Nelson.

They say that is eventing is the horse sport for the criminally insane. While it is true that we gallop a 1,200 pound animal, with poor depth-perception, at solid objects in hopes that they jump them, oddly enough this is not our only affliction as eventers. Many of us suffer from a whole host of crazy, outlined below. If you have any of these ailments, sadly, there is no cure.

Equus Selectus OCD – Every one of my 27 bridles are all in order, neatly wrapped, cleaned daily, and hung in order of color and which horse they belong to. In the house, I live out of a laundry basket, that has been sitting on my floor for three months. Sometimes I go to the hamper and grab an outfit, after the “smell check,” because honestly it’s just going to get filthy anyway. You cannot switch halters. My horse has a halter. It is his. Do not use it on another horse. It’s my horse’s halter. But can I borrow your deodorant and hairbrush? I forgot mine.

Equus Selectus Germaphobia – Similar to the OCD but more related to germs. I just cleaned 15 stalls and picked my horse’s feet. I’ll eat this sandwich and not wash my hands. But I’ll hide my hand in my sleeve to open the door of a public restroom. Why? People are gross.

Fanatic Foodie – My horse will get a mix of high-fat, high-protein feed, beet pulp, supplements, and salt. I will eat a peanut butter and pickle sandwich in half of a bun that I just dropped on the ground at a horse show.

Animal Amnesia – So many times people say hi to me at an event. I respond with, “Hey YOU!” Because I have no idea what that person’s name is. I can tell you she rides the 6 year old grey named Sensible Spartacus Kitten Fluff but is her name Sally or Jennifer? I have no clue.

Anti-Social Socialite – Eventers are totally inept in social settings. My entire social media is littered with horses, pictures of horses, videos of horses, talks about horses, horse tack, and horse trailers. Speaking with one of my students about this topic (which involved horses), she admitted to actually practicing for social settings by writing down topics that normal people discuss throughout the week. Things that she sees in the news, current events, etc. She puts these on flash cards and studies them so that when she has a social setting for her job, she does not seem like a total equine-weirdo-outcast.

This seems like a lot of work, but worth it in certain situations. But to be honest I would rather just put my sweatpants on at 7 p.m., and relax while looking at pictures of horses, horse tack, horse videos, maybe watching a horse movie or looking at the virtual course walk of my next event. Horse, horse, horse.

Conversationally Challenged – I had whole conversation last week with a client’s horse. My client walked up. “Oh I thought you were on the phone!”
“Ha ha. No,” I said. “I don’t use my phone for calls. I’d have to talk to people that way. I only text. I was talking to him (points at horse).”

If you suffer from any of these afflictions, don’t bother calling a doctor. There is no cure. But eventing really is the best medicine.