Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Truthful Tuesday

While I was away this past weekend my most embarrassing/terrifying horse show anecdote came up a few times. Seriously. A FEW TIMES. These things really don't live themselves down do they? And I was thinking about sharing it on the blog this week. When I read a few posts about horse bonnets earlier today, one from The 900 Facebook Pony and the other from Equestrian at Hart, I knew I had to share my story. So without further ado, I shall tell you my tale of humiliation.
 Also note, I have no media from this story, but I do have photos from the same show, so those will have to suffice.
 Scene: It was 2011, my first year showing Jampy. We were riding with Terrapin Hill and the well known Bobby Braswell for the first time. Jamp was a stallion. And we had just arrived at the Vermont Summer Festival.
Once my stalls were set up and the horses tucked in (I had brought Jamp and Rio with me) our barn manager suggested I get Jampy out and flat him. Seems innocent enough, yes? If only.

I tacked up and got on. He was up, but seemed reasonable. We walked across the bridge to the horse show side and found a schooling ring that wasn't too busy to start working in. Just as I was getting him into the trot and trying to get his attention, they asked us to leave so they could water and drag. Booo. I looked around at the other schooling rings, but they all seemed to be in pretty spooky locations with a lot of traffic. I decided to play it smart and bring him back to the barn. I figured the show was nearly done for the day, so I would take him back up to lunge once classes were done and things were quieter. I hopped off because he was being rather childish. I had a running martingale on the reins, so after dismounting, I took the reins apart to remove the martingale. I wanted to make sure I had full control of the Jamposaur that was starting to breathe fire. While I was doing this, there was a fly bugging him (lol... pun intended). He finally got so annoyed with the fly he shook his head REALLY hard. And this is where the bonnet talk from earlier becomes relevant.
I'm too sexy for this bonnet.
Important side note: Jamp has tiny ears, and small cheekbones.
When Jamp shook his head at the fly, the bonnet slid forward on his ears, and with the second shake it went flying off his head along with the bridle. (Due in part to his tiny facial features, yet enormous head) There I was, standing with the reins in my hand attached to nothing. And a 16.3 hand stallion standing next to me. Before I could do anything about it, he started turning away from me. I tried to hold on to the martingale strap, but that little bitty strap was not enough to stop him. Off he went.
He trotted up toward the jumper ring, where thankfully there were just two horses competing in the young jumper division. Not so thankfully, they were both mares. One rider smartly removed herself and her horse from the situation, but the other kind of stood like a deer in headlights. Jamp sauntered toward that one and then the rider realized he was a stallion... Her next decision was to flee the scene. She kicked the mare into a canter, proceeded to jump into AND out of the jumper ring, and gallop madly back to the stable area. All the while yelling, "Somebody stop him!!! He's a stallion!" Jampy was following along behind them as horses do... He was a few strides back quietly enjoying his jaunt through the show grounds. No stallion-like behavior, he just thought he was playing with another horse.
I was trying my best to chase after them, but this was before I took up running... also I was wearing half chaps and paddock boots. Not exactly running friendly attire. At some point a nice person from the horse show picked me up with their golf cart, and we followed the two-horse stampede back to the stable area. After two laps around the tents, a groom came out shaking a bucket of grain and Jampy was very easily distracted by that. I collected him shakily and threw him in his stall to calm down and think about what he'd done. And then I may or may not have cried a few tears of mortification.
Once everyone had a chance to recover from all the action, I went in search of the poor, terrified professional rider that had lead my horse on this high speed chase around the show grounds. I apologized for my horse getting loose, but in turn she attempted to report me to the steward. Thankfully the steward told her I had done nothing wrong and sometimes accidents happen. Thank you steward for not getting me suspended from horse showing eternally! (Not that I had done anything wrong, but I've never been protested before or since!)

And that my friends is the story of how my fear of bonnets was born... It's also the story of why Jamp is now a gelding.


  1. DYING!!!! Poor old Jamp just thought he was having a romp with a new friend!

  2. Replies
    1. Now that it's in the past, it's a great story. At the time... Oy.

  3. Eeek! I probably would have been running. Now I'm more familiar with stallions and our resident stud at the farm I board at would have casually taken a jaunt too haha not being a stud just being a horse

    1. Exactly! I had a few people come up to me and say he wasn't being bad. She just should have stopped running!
      I imagine my gelding would have reacted the same way.

  4. OMG both mortifying and completely hysterical!!

    1. Now that it's several years removed, I can see the humor ;)