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I Have A Horse Show Good Luck Charm. Do You?

I Have A Horse Show Good Luck Charm. Do You?

Justine Griffin

I wear the same pair of socks on every horse show day.

They’re my favorite from Dreamers & Schemers and they are brightly colored and cocktail themed. I’m not sure when they became my “lucky” horse show socks – probably after a successful weekend, I’m sure – but they’re now the first thing I pack for every event.

I’m not big into superstitions. Never have been. But there’s a sense of confidence I feel every time I pull on those socks, zip up my tall boots, and climb in the saddle. It’s like I’m naked without them.

I know the socks have nothing to do with my riding ability that day, or how my horse is feeling, or what our competition looks like. But they make me feel better on a day of pressure and nerves and the culmination of a lot of hard work. I need the socks for my sanity.

Over the years, the “lucky socks” have manifested in a couple of different ways. I still keep the now faded and falling apart blue ribbon I earned in high school from my first big equitation medal win in my tack trunk. I used to keep the tree branch – yes, you read that right – that my trainer snapped off and gave to me to use as a crop that same day for that same class on a shelf in my bedroom. Maybe it wasn’t lucky, but it always brought back the warm memory of that day when I looked at it.

Superstitions are more common than you think. Triple Crown winning jockeys have them. Rising show jumper, Brian Moggre wears the same show shirt for every big class, just for good luck. Olympian Reed Kessler also has lucky socks – USA themed ones, from her Young Rider days. Her mom even has a lucky spot to watch Reed ride in Florida. Eventer Yoshiaki Oiwa from Japan “sprinkles salt over himself and his horse” before competing.

This doesn’t make me feel so bad about my boozy socks anymore.

We polled a few of our readers about their lucky charms on horse show days and some may surprise you:

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“My trainer and our pack of barn rats found a small patch of four-leaf clovers at the farm. We laminated them and I still have mine, that I keep in my right boot sock when I show. The trainer and I have long since parted ways, but I showed my heart horse with that clover in my sock for many years.” – Jess, a dressage rider.

“I have a lot of lucky charms but one of them is screaming in the car before I go to a show. It helps me let go of any anxiety.” – Sophie, a hunter rider.

“I had a rhinestone horseshoe stock pin that a fellow equestrian gifted to me. The only time we didn’t place was at a ‘fun show’ that I just wore a polo to. After that, even the fun shows I was decked out in full show attire – sparkly stock pin and all,” said Kirsten, a dressage rider.

“I’m an anxious rider so I always take a brief moment and watch a super funny clip (or recall a hilarious memory) before getting on. Having a good laugh is perfect for relaxing and taking a deep breath,” said Kylie, an English rider.

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