20 More Eventing Rules to Live By

Even more port-o-potty pro tips, coming right up! Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Earlier this week I listed out some unwritten, unspoken lessons I’ve learned while participating in this magnificent sport (see “Never Look Down in the Port-a-Potty and Other Eventing Rules to Live By“). I invited our readers, a veritable wellspring of wisdom and truth, to chime in.

My #1 rule, regarding port-a-potties, was immediately debunked by reader Danielle E., who commented, “But if you don’t look into the port-a-potty, how can you be sure no one’s there??” She then linked to this traumatizing story about a Colorado peeper who was sentenced to prison after hiding in the tank of a port-a-potty to spy on women at a yoga festival.

No more talking from you, Danielle E.!

But the sage port-o-potty advice didn’t stop there. At last three readers shared first-hand experiences of dropping personal items in the port-o-potty.

  • Take your keys out of your pants pocket before squatting (good Lord — never actually SIT) on the PP. Especially when you are in charge of your friend’s truck keys… — Amy L. 
  • Never drop your phone in the potty. #truestory –Sarah D.
  • Always take your phone out of your back pocket before you drop trow in the porta-pot. –Polly M. 

And there was was this bright-side observation:

  • Feel proud that you can put on white breeches and a white shirt in a porta-potty. –Briana T.

We are a talented bunch, indeed. And wise. Here are a few more reader-submitted eventing rules to live by:

  • Modesty is an overrated quality when it comes to quick clothing changes between phases (even more so when riding multiple horses). –Elizabeth P. 
  • The all else fails rules:
    1) leave with your horse and come back with your horse
    2) there is no crying in eventing
    3) don’t scare the spectators
    4) on Monday morning, nobody cares –Susan B.
  • Have everything broken down and packed into the trailer. When you are done with your last ride take your horse back to the stall (where you left shipping boots, one bucket of water, one brush). While your horse chills in the stall for a bit go throw your tack into the trailer and pull your trailer out of the lot … go get your horse and leave! We used to get stuck for hours at the Kentucky Horse Park while everyone was packing up … total gridlock! –Brenda J. 
  • Always go left shoulder to left shoulder in warm up. Do not park in front of a warm up fence to chat with your trainer. Don’t take things personally. –Christy P.
  • Some of the nicest people I ever met wore on trail rides. –Terry R. 
  • Share! Tack, blankets, hay, dodgy bits on cross country, locations of the best bars. –Elizabeth P. 
  • Never thank a volunteer as you are approaching an Intermediate doghouse hanging diagonally over a ditch with running water in it. Chances are you won’t get over that jump. –Polly M.
  • Always pack an extra of everything, including all four shoes with studs in them. Pack the rain gear in spite of the weather report, and extra batteries for your cross country watch. –Polly M.
  • As I learned this weekend: If your horse comes off the trailer with three shoes, and you’re CERTAIN that in your not-enough-coffee morning daze you did check, look through the poop piles in the trailer. It might be in there! #myhorseistalented –Helen K.
  • Always tell your rival “have a good ride.” Because eventing is hard enough. Don’t make it catty. And if on a fluke they get hurt … you will NEVER forgive yourself for not being kind. –Amy N.
  • Bring dogs/kids/non-horsey people we love them, keep dogs/kids/non-horsey people on leash (figuratively as it is frowned upon to tether clueless non-horsey S.O. to one’s self). –Elizabeth P. 
  • If you have two of something small but important, bring both. Related, if the nice person stabled next to you forgot their stock pin/cross country watch/pinny holder and you are done using yours for the day (or have an extra), consider loaning yours out temporarily. It takes a village! Besides, you never know when you might be the person who needs a stock pin at 4:30 on Friday after all the upper level riders are done. –Alex N.
  • If the field where the trailers are parked is very muddy and you think you might get stuck … you probably will. So don’t even try and park somewhere safer even if it means a lot more walking! –Christine G.
  • Be a good citizen in the warm up area. –Laury P.
  • Definitely wine. –Jennifer K.

Go Eventing.