If you compete horses, then you've no doubt had this pleasurable experience too.
I've encountered it ever since I started competing at about 6 years old, these people used to scare me back then, and they still do now! But I also find myself thinking these days, " calm down dear!"
So the other weekend at a competition with Alfie, I was quietly warming up for dressage, it was quite a small warm up area, but it was fine, there was at the most, 3 of us actually warming up. But it wasn't really square, had a big puddle towards the one end, and everyone was doing little circles, crossing the diagonals, halts etc, so everyone just had to look where each was going.
A stern looking lady was giving her horse a fair warming up sesh - you know the ones... horse in a white lather, been going for hours! On 2 occasions we did that slightly panicked who's going where,
"arhh which way? will she, won't she, should I, shouldn't i??" sort of dummy faint manoeuvres along a diagonal.
When I say we.... I mean me! Because she was coming no matter what, and If we didn't want to get taken out, we were the ones moving!
Now I'm one of those people that always apologies, I'm not sure why sometimes, because it's no-one's fault. It's a no-one has right of way situation, but I still always say "oh sorry, ha ha" - with my best possible friendly smile and polite courtesy I suppose.
But Sometimes, and oh how nice it is, you get the same response back. "phewww thank God..a nice person". ...and sometimes you get the other type!
The 'oh my God she's going to absolutely nail me if that happens again' type!
Sure enough I knew she was this type! The speed train - move it or lose it sister attitude was plain to see. My "oh sorry's ha ha" were getting more jittery, and she was completely blanking me, or giving me the "stare".
I was next in and walking around the edge clockwise, the entrance to the arena was on the left.. Alf had just side stepped a puddle, so we were a foot and a half from the rail, an arms length away!
I'd began my "turn left manoeuvre", it was very clear to see I was headed straight for the narrow entrance in the white fencing because I was Practically there, and Alf's head was almost going through the entrance.
But with that, "speed train" decides to try and squeeze herself and her enormous horse between us and the rail, whilst giving us the death stare to end all death stares and shouting, ...... (well it started with a growel really), "gggr for Christ sake get out of the way"!
Personally I reckon I would of read where she was going... seen as she'd just been called, and gone to the inside, but hey ho.
These little incidents have happened often to me, and sometimes the other person may have been at fault, and bless them they've said "oh gosh I'm so sorry", looking petrified, and l always reply "ha ha no worries".
Even if you are nervous, concentrating, completely bricking it, or just trying to stay on, I always try to acknowledge people, say my "oh sorry's" or a "no problem" with a smile.
Apart from on one occasion, and this is where I must apologise.....
Picture it, several years ago, West Wiltshire horse trials, dressage warm up, massive field, couldn't collide with anyone if you tried.... I was concentrating like hell, and somehow very nearly collided with someone, we both came to a screeching halt and actually had a little knee touch!
I quickly looked up about to say "oh God I'm sorry" - huge smiley face, but before I could open my mouth to speak it fell open. The other person gave a cracking smile and said "oh sorry love" and he was gone!
Bugger me it was Paul Tapner! Top notch event rider, and let's be fair not a bad looking stick, and he still had the time to smile and apologise to little ol' me!
I was gutted! And it really does still haunt me!
I'd just acted like all those people where I've said under my breath "uppity sod". But I'm not, and I'm sorry Tapers.... I was hit by star struck speechlessness!
Who's fault is it?
It could be argued either way I suppose, but is there any need? Let it go surely?
I know it's meant to be left to left, but sometimes someone puts in a tight turn or a small circle, someone's horse kicks out...I mean unless they were actually trying to come at you deliberately, let it go folks!
In the grand scale of things, they are unintentional accidents, and at the end of the day, it's not that much of a biggie is it?!?
If these incidents have happened to you, then you should consider yourself lucky and should be grateful!
Because you are there - at that competition about to compete on a horse! You have managed to get to the event and all your hard work can be put into practice!
We all should enjoy what we're doing! Some folk dream of getting their horse or pony to a show but have no transport, no money r even ever owned a horse! But we do....
So next time someone completely pees you off unintentionally ...take a deep breath and force a smile! Life is too short!
All thoughts are my own!