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Five things that only happen at a lecture demo

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Riding demo with Mary King

As far as horsey outings go, lecture demos are some of the best in the business. With top riders showcasing their best horses, revealing their training secrets and relaying an entertaining anecdote or two, they’re ideal not just as a learning experience, but also as a bringer of mega motivation and the chance to socialise, too.

However, to a non-horsey outsider, sitting in an unheated equestrian centre to watch horses go round in a circles for a couple of hours probably seems unfathomably bizarre. This got us thinking about other situations that are unique to horsey demos – here’s what we came up with.

1. A sea of muddy boots and hay-covered clothes

Whose idea was it to hold demos in winter? Well, it does make sense, we suppose. But with daylight lacking and a start time of 7pm sharp, it’s an uphill struggle for horse owners – winter’s busiest people – to finish work, hoof it to the yard to put their horses to bed and get to the venue. Arrive on time or look presentable – you may choose only one.

2. Freebies galore

With great riders come great sponsors, which can only mean one thing – freebies. Sachets of shampoo and supplements, bags of treats and vouchers galore, these demo goodie bags are definitely worth having – especially if you’ve perfected the art of swiping extra helpings.

3. An unreasonable amount of shopping

We’ve all been there – it’s all just too tempting! By the time you’ve overestimated how long it’ll take to get there, you’ve arrived 45 minutes early and the tradestands that you never really expected to exist start calling. It’s good stuff, too. Many accidental purchases of equine accessories – or tack-cidents – have happened at lecture demos.

4. High-profile spooking

It’s comforting to know that even the professionals have the odd drama from time to time. Indoor arenas in winter are scary places, and watching five-star event horses have a little ‘moment’ is reassuringly humbling.

5. The bitter cold

Yes, we’re coming back to this one – equestrian centres are the coldest places on earth. Be prepared to huddle like a penguin next to someone you don’t even know, and as a bonus, take home their cold.

Are you looking for your next demo to head out to? Check out tickets on our shop.

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