Horse Life

The Stuff of Nightmares

So the other night I was perusing the USEA website, as well as some local show venues, putting together my own little calendar of all the horse trials from different areas that are within reasonable distance to me. Then I went upstairs and to sleep.



I’m at an event, seemed to be Carolina Horse Park, and walking my XC course. I find it odd that 5AB is a tricky combination, including a full coffin, on the BN course, but keep walking the rest anyway (note: I suck at walking XC courses alone- please see here and here if you need proof- so the following could ACTUALLY HAPPEN in real life).

Dreamlike POOF! And now I’m back at the barn, tacking up P and talking to Husband: “You have to go by the jumps with the black numbers on the white background. Not the yellow anymore. I accidentally walked the Novice course so Trainer B’s changing my entry from BN to N because I don’t have time to find the BN course.”


I for real woke up and froze…making sure I was in my own bed and not at a horse show where I was about to ride a Novice XC course.

Then I was talking to Trainer B about the plans for this weekend and mentioned it in a “haha, this is so hilarious” type of way.


Expecting a “haha, maybe in 10 years” response.


I then mentioned this absolute hilarity to Husband who has seen us struggle even more than Trainer B has. And Husband’s reply was, “He’s right.”


Don’t get me wrong…I know we can do N dressage. N stadium? I don’t doubt that we could do that as well, given P’s latest rockstardum in that particular phase. And we’ve even jumped a couple Novice XC jumps recently. But a FULL XC COURSE? Hard pass. And here’s specifically why:

A random picture from Google
MDHT Novice
MDHT Novice
MDHT Novice. Guess who’s never going to MDHT?
Stableview Novice
Whidbey Island Novice

Tables and similarly shaped wide structures are what will most certainly be the death of me. I don’t know why they get to me more than any other jump, but they do. Even at STARTER, if there was a table I’d give it the evil eye. And let’s not forget my meltdown over jump 5 at Full Gallop (which, as it turned out, I didn’t even NEED to jump, but I digress). I just have a thing about tables, ok?

And a couple other items as well. Like brush. Those jumps with brush can be up to 3’7″. Who actually needs to jump that high? Because if you think P will jump THROUGH brush like a normal horse, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. And since I can’t get over wide things (literally or figuratively), while BN obstacle width is a mere 4′ (still OMG), Novice is JUST UNDER SEVEN FEET. That seems excessive.

I also have no use for this thing.

I see a certain Trainer B taking P around his first (ok, first few) Novices. Because I’m going to need irrefutable proof that P can jump a Novice table before I clamber on the beast. I’ll also require a shot or two (or 7) of tequila.

Don’t be alarmed…just KC in the startbox

I’m sure I can’t be the only one who hates a certain type of fence. So spill, guys. Or at least make something up and leave it in the comments so I don’t feel so alone.


39 thoughts on “The Stuff of Nightmares”

  1. The stableview jump is actually big and decorated, not looking forward to that one! Having been to Whidbey island though, that one is actually not that big at all. It’s a straight forward gallop fence. All perspective 😉. Your move up will be great!

    You still planning on Sporting Days in February? We’re rerouting to Full Gallop the weekend before.


    1. I feel like I should also warn you that if you hate tables, don’t go to Chatt. They always have these big bright tables near the water. I still hate riding the BN one and haven’t touched the N yet… Might have to do that soon.


  2. You’re not alone in hating tables. I really only hate the very square ones though, especially if they have an upright face (which I call BATs – big ass tables). I can’t help but picture what would happen if a horse left a leg. They give me the heebyjeebies in a bad way. I solved that problem by just not walking up to them on course walks. And when I say not walking up to them, I mean not within 30′ of the damn things. I sure as shit do not make direct eye contact with them, especially from the side. Nobody needs to know how wide that shit is. If you watch where horses take off and where they land, they can actually clear some seriously impressive width without even trying… they’re built to cover width, after all. It’s just our minds that can’t reconcile it, because humans are certainly NOT built to cover width. Just sit up, look up, and keep riding to the base. And NEVER EVER EVER make eye contact with them! The more you do them, though, the more they’ll start to shrink. When I started eventing I said “never Novice” because of the tables, and now there’s nothing at Training that makes me even look twice. Shit, we’ve jumped a P one and it was fine. And if I can do it, anyone can! lol


    1. Right, logically I know width isn’t the problem for horses, I just can’t get over it! So I think keeping a 30’ distance with one eye half open will be a good solution 😂 Well, you’re killing it at Training so good to know there’s hope for us yet!


  3. My horse and I are still at the point where I am *pretty* sure she would jump up onto the table and then jump down if it were that big. Wait, would that count?


  4. Corners!!! Corner jumps freak me out!!!! There use to be no such thing as corners below Prelim and now I’ve seen them at novice!!! I just keep telling myself they’re oxers and I’m ok with it but i pee in my pants every time I see a big open airy oxer on course… thankfully I’m not competing at that level!!!!


    1. I hear you on corners! I’ve not attempted one on P just yet. One lesson, B was setting up a corner and I was all, “death is soon upon me,” then thankfully P started acting like an idiot before we could get to it. I’ve seen corners on Novice also, what is the world coming to?!


  5. i will be here munching on popcorn when you go Novice! Squee can’t wait 🙂 HA ! At least you have Trainer B who could take him first !That would be great to see too! I keep trying to bribe Amanda or someone to fly up and take Remus BN! Cause i am not even doing that. I hate tables too and Amanda showed me her avoid looking directly at the table scheme in real life last summer. HILARIOUS. BAT for the win!


  6. Ooh, benches have always been my bugaboo. I absolutely hate them. The Novice move up seemed like a big deal to me, but I promise it only takes one or two before you’re like, “This is not a big deal AT ALL.”


  7. awwwww c’mon now! little 14.3 isabel jumped all those MDHT fences! P can *definitely* do it 😉

    my favorite thing about brush jumps is that horses seem to just love them. eat them up like candy. even tho i think they look fucking giant. tables are definitely not my favorite either tho. but, so far the horses just jump them like anything else!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Which will be ALOT, judging by the sheer size. But I can promise that P will clear the brush the first couple of times and I quite frankly don’t want to be on his back jumping 4’ or whatnot


  8. I think the dream means you secretly want to do Novice so do it !
    You have a trainer and you have a great horse and a great husband so go for it!
    I’m with you though on brush fences, my horse billy (who is now retired) would not go through brush he would jump over it. So even when i was doing introductory (80cm) we were jumping like a pegasus and i was frightened by it. Brushes scare me a little. I’m unsure why, but they do.
    Mel x


  9. Grif and I have jumped the BN version of most of those N MDHT jumps and they weren’t too bad. I have no trouble imagining the possibility of N on them. If my 15hh pipsqueak is capable, P can absolutely do it! You’ve got this =)


  10. Girl, yes you CAN do Novice. You ARE brave enough for it. You had the cojones to keep getting on a horse that would repeatedly stop and not jump. Not just stop, some of his stops were dirty. You kept getting on him regardless. You found the tools necessary to help you two get past that obstacle. You can get around a Novice course. Have trainer B school you guys on tables and such if you need to be more comfortable with them but lady, have you looked at yourself recently? You are all sorts of brave and amazing.


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