10 Things Non-Horse Riders May Never Understand

Credit : Scoopdyga

Monday 20 February - 16h56 | Maxence Magnin

10 Things Non-Horse Riders May Never Understand

Those of us who ride horses sometimes hear from non-riders who are bewildered by certain aspects of our passion, and how we practice it. GrandPrix-Replay has collected a few of the observations and questions about the equestrian world which come up fairly often.  

1. Socks over pants
This is something riders do that can raise some eyebrows, but in any case it is unarguably easier to put on boots when one’s socks are pulled over the pants, avoiding problems with folds and creases. 

2. The money we invest in our hobby
Riders need an ‘equestrian’ budget. Between competitions, courses, clothes, equipment, the horse itself and its accommodations, bank accounts can rapidly be drained. 

3.  The time we spend in stables
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there for two hours” is a phrase one should probably avoid. It is quite possible that four hours later, you will still be at the stables with your grazing horse, or engaging in the latest local gossip. 

4. The names of our horses
Aside from the ponies and horses at our local club with their monikers like Tornado, Little Thunder and so on, the names of horses can sometimes leave many speechless. A journalist actually stirred up reactions recently with an article lampooning horses’ names at the Rio Olympic Games.

5. The rules of equestrian disciplines and the judging criteria
Between show jumping, dressage, eventing and various other disciplines, it can be difficult for a non-rider to understand what’s going on — all the more so during competitions with the sometimes mystifying results.
6. Making a cake when you fall 
Tradition demands that riders who fall off their horses bake a cake for those who saw them take a spill.

7. Our jargon
Between oxers and serpentines, one could be forgiven for thinking that equestrian enthusiasts are speaking a different language — which in a sense they often are…
8. Size categories of ponies 
A (shetland, etc.), B (Welsh, etc.), C et D (for Connemaras, Français de Selle, etc). Etc.
9. The use of artificial aids
Just to be sure, we are not talking about instruments of torture. There is no need to conflate today’s equipment with cowboys spurs, as everything is regulated now. 

10. Criteria for good and bad horses
Everything depends on what you want to do with your horse. The essential thing is that he or she is courageous, kind and in good health. 

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