“Teammates frantically shake their heads behind your back as an unsuspecting newbie asks about the framed picture on your desk.” Enjoy the Round One submission from HN Blogger Contest finalist Jessica Crandon!
This week, we’ll be running the Round One submissions from our five Blogger Contest finalists as they prepare their entries for Round Two. Which blogger would you like to see join the Horse Nation contributor team? Make sure you cheer for your favorites in the comments section!
While it may be the dream to spend all day every day mooching around the barn and annoying your horse, sadly real life beckons. Working in an office may not be glamorous, but it does pay your livery bill and your competition fees. If you’re a fellow desk jockey, you’ll probably recognise these truths – and probably have a few of your own (please, do share – solidarity in mud-stained work trousers ‘n all).
1. Teammates frantically shake their heads behind your back as an unsuspecting newbie asks about the framed picture on your desk. Three hours later, they head back to their desk with strong opinions about use of the whip in eventing, the overbreeding of cobs and this year’s extortionate hay prices.
2. When colleagues wonder who the man following you around at the Christmas party is, you suddenly realise that in eight years of working together, they know more about Charlie-the-horse than who your husband is. Or that you even have one.
3. How does Rob from HR still have three weeks left to take in November? Your precious days of annual leave get hoovered up faster than grass when the Welsh cob breaks into the resting paddocks. Saddler, vets, physio, lessons, vets, competitions, vets – yep, 20-odd days just isn’t enough. Lucky you’re happy with a summer holiday that consists of a few days away for Badminton, Hickstead or riding camp.
4. Your whole team waits with bated breath on a Monday morning. How many broken bones this time? How many jumps did they go over together? Will there be a hilarious video again? They might not know the right questions to ask, but equally, they don’t know enough to see through your feeble excuses.
5. Getting to work after stable duties in the morning doesn’t go together with your smart offices. “Ugh,” you think, as you walk towards the canteen, “who’s left that trail of mud and grass right through the office?” Yeah… the trail that leads straight to your desk. At least it wasn’t as bad as the time you found a brown piece of straw in your hair after sitting in a meeting with your boss’s boss.
6. “I’m just – err – waiting for my horse to poo… then I’ll be straight in!” Your manager has long since given up asking you to explain why you’re late. The less he knows, in his opinion, the better.
7. You could probably earn 10x as much working in the city centre, with an office that has your name on the door… but then you wouldn’t be ten minutes down the road from the yard, and you’d never manage to hightail it out of the car park to get a quick hack in before the sun sets.
8. Turns out the reason Sandra from Marketing won’t look you in the eye anymore is because she overheard you on the phone to your trainer, complaining that you couldn’t stay on Charlie last night. Better than the time you tried to explain sheath cleaning to your horrified (male) colleague though.
Jess Crandon, aged 27 from Berkshire, England, UK
Aspiring eventer, but yet to successfully piece all three stages together. Used to dabble in dressage before buying a horse that doesn’t try to kill you over fences. Usually forgets that riding is meant to be fun.
I own two horses. A 7-year-old thoroughbred with buckets of talent and bloodlines to die for. Naturally, he’s retired due to totally breaking down. The other is called Buttons. No, not a tiny Welsh pony or a kitten with a saddle. Is actually a giant chunky youngster from Ireland.
Character-defining qualities include the ability to stick out the most horrendous rides by chanting “it’ll make a good story” until feet are back on solid ground. Also have much less faith in myself than talent and determination, so often end up pleasantly surprised.
Embarrassing moments are too numerous to list. They range from being swiped off a horse’s back by a tree branch to mistaking an elderly mare for my yard owner’s showjumper. Other tidbits include not being able to wake horse up for the farrier so having to cancel, and reassuring vet that giant chunk would be safe to lunge in a headcollar – not bridle – after two days of box rest, and being treated to a session of grass-skiing and flat-out galloping.