I was made to go and watch some eventing this weekend. As in horse eventing, which apparently is another horse sport, though I imagine you already knew that. Is a round of eventing an eventing event then? Hmm…. If it’s good, is it an eventful eventing event? And if you hope to see a good one at some point in the future, do you aspire to see an eventful eventing event eventually? I’m not sure, but I feel these are important questions.
But anyway, as you know, I’ve become quite the expert in dressage recently. I know, for example, that there are two different horse pitch sizes, that the letters round the outside aren’t random after all, and, not only do I know all about matchy matchy, but I’ve learnt from the various comments left on my posts that matchy matchy is disallowed in formal prancing events and is only for expensive fun. See? That’s actual facts, right there. I’m basically a qualified judge now. If you have any questions, just inbox me.
However, the point is that this weekend I was graciously allowed to leave the warmth and comfort of my house, with its wine, snacks, PlayStation and sofa, and generously given the opportunity, as per fucking usual, of accompanying CCs One and Two to a freezing muddy field instead. But, instead of standing in freezing mud watching prancing, I stood in some freezing mud to watch an eventing event. My life is one joy after another, and now with added variety too.
I imagine you’re champing at the bit (again, horse knowledge) to know what I think about eventing as an event. How does it compare with prancing to the ignorant bystander?
Well, firstly, it’s clearly practised by the mentally ill. I mean, seriously. Why would you want to strap yourself to a horse and then make it run as fast as possible round and round and over solid objects? I have no intention of sitting on a horse stationary, let alone at 40mph towards a pile of railway sleepers. They’re not even things that fall over when hit.. you hit them and *you* fall over. Though I liked the fact that some of the fences were modelled like little houses and stuff. It was like a cross between crazy golf and an opening scene from Casualty. On a horse.
It basically looked to me like really angry dressage, but on fast forward. Like when you’re sat on the TV remote by mistake. Much of it is essentially the same… people sit on their favourite sportscow and make it do stuff. But I’ve got used to people making their nags walk slowly forward and yet a bit diagonally at the same time, like watching drunks leave a pub. This is my normal now. But with this, you hear a bell go *ding ding*, get your phone out to check how long till dinner, and then look up just in time to hear the *ding ding* for the next one. Definitely an improvement there.
I’ve had to watch CC2 at prancing competitions before and it goes on forever. I once realised I’d forgotten to decant some wine while she was competing, so had to drive home for 25 miles, open the wine and then drive back, and she was still going! In retrospect I suppose it could’ve been somebody else’s daughter out there by then, but once they’re wearing similar clothes, sat on a horse and under a hat they’re quite hard to tell apart, aren’t they? I know it’s not cool to admit you’ve failed to recognise your own child, but I know you’ve all done it. And the horses definitely all look the same to me so they’re no help. Despite your 1001 silly names for all the different horse colours, all named after Farrow & Ball paints, I’m going to have to burst your bubble and tell you that they’re pretty much all basically brown. Dark bay? Brown. Buckskin? Again, brown. Blood chestnut? Sorry, lovely name, but it’s fucking brown.
But back to the eventing. I’ve already mentioned that they’re mentally ill, but has anyone else noticed how much these people talk to their horses like they’re people? I mean, I get yer basic encouragements… ‘Good boy!’, ‘Wooah there’, that kind of thing. Gentle, patronising sort of things you say to any animal, but these people actually engage in conversation with their nags the whole way round the pitch. They’re galloping round at a million miles an hour, chatting away. “No Blackie, not that way, we talked about this. Left, Blackie, left, remember?! No Blackie, number 12 next, can’t you count?” No, they can’t count, you fucking lunatic. You need sectioning.
It was definitely more exciting though. I don’t mean to downplay dressage of course, which as we all know is all about control, attention to detail, the beautiful synergy between man and horse, blah, blah, blah, but you need to start adding jumps to bring the crowds in. I only saw one person today being thrown off their horse before being dragged by their ankles through a comedy windmill while being lovingly trampled, but it beats the slightly annoyed neighing I once heard at a dressage event for drama.
I’ve got to say though, I did notice that their matchy matchy was a bit shit. Some of them tried, bless them, but they didn’t really have the knack. A few went for, say, bright blue for the numbnut and matching ear warmers, and then let it all go with an entirely different shade of blue for their own shirt! Pathetic! I’ve become the Gok Wan of Matchy Matchy, I tell ya. I mean, it’s all ridiculous of course, but if you’re gonna do it, do it properly I say. Just get a job and pay for it yourself, that’s my only stipulation.
So, I dunno, on balance I suppose I’ll stick with being bored by dressage on my weekends instead. CC2 would have a better chance of living long enough to provide some kind of payback with dressage, and, most importantly, it’s often indoors.