Pre-season confessions of an eventing addict

It’s February and the start of the eventing season is fast approaching, so:

  • The bank account takes a double whammy and it’s only 1 pay check post-Christmas…..early in February my poor bank account had a rather tough day having paid out double whammy on both Eventing Ireland and SJI memberships. This resulted in the debit card having to put in a dark room for a number of weeks.
  • Spreadsheets are not just for work, but become an integral part of life in general…..February is the time when your friends and fellow amateur eventers share their event calendars and spreadsheets via WhatsApp with each other. As one close friend said  “I know exactly what I am doing every weekend between now and mid-April” This particular friend also brought her multi-coloured spreadsheet to dinner with myself and a 4* rider and just before main course arrived whipped it out to see what her plans should be for the season… the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”


  • You start to warn all non-horsey friends and family that if they are planning birthdays, marriages, christening and social functions, in general the date will first need to be checked against the Eventing and equine calendar (see section on spreadsheets). Normal attendance at such functions will resume in October.
  • 7.09am is the time this week that it was bright enough to go hacking on the road and the countdown ‘till the clocks go forward is on. Some weeks you only seem to ride in the dark and riding in daylight is a foreign concept.


  • There are not enough days in the week (and enough annual leave days in life) to cope with all the dressage, jumping and xc lessons you are trying to get in pre-season. Often not helped by the weather not cooperating.
  • The first pre-season combined training shows start and you really hope that you will fit into the show jacket, as you clean last year’s mud off your boots. It’s at this time you start to think about investing a “spring” wardrobe of fleece lined beige breeches and a larger jacket….you then attempt to kick start the already lapsed new year’s resolution of eating healthily and going to the gym more.

As you have probably gathered from reading through this, all of the above apply to me, but I am sure there are many of you out there who can relate to some of it too!

February is hurtling on and having managed to get a few days skiing in safely (and most importantly injury free) it has been all systems go in terms of getting the horses tuned up for the start of the season. The first outing of the year will be at Coilog this Sunday, where I will have the neck firmly in place for the dressage warm-up!


Until next time…….


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