The Secret Lives of Eventers in the Off Season

How does your eventer spend the off season? That’s the question we asked readers last week, and the answers we got ranged from napping in the sunshine to moonlighting in extreme equestrian sports that make even eventing seem sane in comparison!

A sampling of responses from around the Eventing Nation world:

Whitni Ciofalo (Gallatin Gateway, MT): “Skijoring! All winter long. (”


EN recommends always wearing a helmet while mounted.

Rosie McAuley (Darlington, County Durham, England): “Sleeping!”


Isabel Kennedy (Poway, California): “Fox hunting.”

Lea Ditte Marsk Lauridsen (Odense, Denmark): “Jump and dressage lessons.”

Jane Papke (Paris, Kentucky): “I work at Scheffelridge Farm, a lesson and training barn in Paris, Kentucky, and we hosted an IHSA show for the Georgetown College Equestrian Team this past weekend. The process of coordinating all those horses in all those classes is painstaking and cumbersome work, not to mention how difficult it can be to round up enough horses to accommodate all those entries (the tally for the weekend was over 400).

“So when one of our trusty school horses came up sore Saturday morning it was quite the hitch in our giddy up. And so I went to the field to get my horse Norman who has been enjoying a trail ride vacation since Hagyard Midsouth CCI*. And where did he fit in those classes, you ask? Why he plugged into the advanced w/t/c, beginner w/t/c, and walk/trot classes of course!! He just tootled around the ring with his ears pricked, happy as could be. I ended up giving riders a crop because people were struggling to keep him trotting.

“Unfortunately I think his willingness to counter canter (oops) may have kept a few people out of top placings, but he was a star because he was safe. So what’s my horse doing in the off season? Being an IHSA beginner rider horse…”

the intermediate at the Otter Creek HT this fall

Norman and Jane in the Intermediate at the Otter Creek HT this fall.

Norman's IHSA debut with a college rider aboard.

Norman’s IHSA debut with a college rider aboard.

Brena Jones (Oxford, North Caroline): “Eating my mortgage.”

Rachel Childers (Lawrence, Kansas): “Last competition is the last weekend in October, gets the next week off, November is equitation month, first 2.5 weeks of December is ‘holy sh*t, I’m going to Ocala, please don’t let us look like fools!’ Christmas break from college is spent in Ocala, culminating with Ocala Winter 1, then the rest of January, February and most of March are more equitation, flatwork and gymnastics. And then I finally get to start worrying about competing again in April, usually first event is Mother’s Day weekend.”

Whatever your winter plans entail, Eventing Nation wishes you the best. Let us know your plans by emailing [email protected]. Go Eventing!