Intervention: We think you have a problem

You may recall our first intervention, involving an event rider who admitted she “would much rather jump one of the red concrete balls in the Target parking lot” than an upright vertical.

Today we’re back to address another rider’s jumping fixation.

A while back, Rachael Walker wrote us to discuss a specific object she strongly wished to jump–specifically, a red picnic table that sits outside her barn–but felt that to do so might be considered inappropriate by her peers.

Rachael writes:
I teach and coach at the University of Wisconsin, and as a part-time employee I am allowed access to the facilities. I use this to my advantage, as the indoor on my farm is small. I haul my older eventer there to run courses, and my younger horse to get her out and about. The indoor is nice, and we have a full set of matching jumps (in university colors, no less!), but out next to the old barn there is a bright red picnic table.

If it’s anything like mine at home, it’s only 2’9″ (yes, I measured). That’s not even Novice height. The spread fairly wide, but my old guy loves oxers, so it shouldn’t be a problem. But the U is home to many many reiners–horses and riders that use a pole to initiate a sliding stop (NOT something that is OK in the stadium ring). My overwhelming urge to drag the picnic table to the arena and leap over it is tempered by the thought that the reiners may just put me in a straight jacket and cart me away.

Rachael, I know you wrote us seeking an intervention–someone who would say to you, “Rachael, that’s a bad idea, you must abandon your picnic table jumping fantasies immediately.”

However, unlike schooling skinnies in the Target parking lot, we don’t think jumping that a picnic table is a bad idea. In fact, Rachael, we think it’s a great idea. Picnic tables make fantastic jumps (see photo below of the picnic table cross-country jump out at my own farm). We think you should go for it.

DIY tip: You can improve upon the picnic table's already ideal design by nailing boards over the gaps.

Empowered, Rachael set out to jump the picnic table that had been taunting her for months. She sent us this photo with the caption, “It was easy!”

Well done, Rachael! Glad we could help.

Intervention is a Horse Nation series in which we identify horsepeople whose compulsive behaviors have brought them to a point of personal crisis, threatening to estrange them from their friends and loved ones. If there is a horseperson in your life you would like to nominate for a spot on Intervention, or if you have self-identified that you need an intervention yourself, please email [email protected].

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