Five Things the Great British Baking Show has Taught Me About Riding

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t’s not all that often when a piece of pop culture comes along and changes your life. Before you scoff, the Great British Baking Show is no fluffy television program with the consistency and mental “nutrition” of cotton candy. No, no. The Great British Baking Show is chock full of wholesome, heartwarming, and relatable life lessons, taught to viewers by arguably the most adorable citizens of the UK.

Sure, baking is a bit different than competitive horse showing. But the contestants and judges on the GBBS never fail to experience their highs and lows deeply and honestly, while always reminding themselves and the viewers that they did their best and just feel lucky to participate, something that we riders could take to heart. As an adult amateur who often struggles with horse show nerves and sometimes overlooks the fact that I’m doing all of this because it’s FUN, the time I’ve spent binge-watching the Great British Baking Show has provided me with many gems and words of wisdom to remind myself of while on course.

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When the going gets tough, “Crack on!”

I don’t know what it is about this adorably British saying that speaks to me so much, but it’s essentially a cuter way of telling yourself to get a move on. I love it.

When in doubt, add some alcohol.

I’m not recommending you drink before you ride. I’m just recommending that you take care of yourself if ever you’ve had a tough day at the show.

 

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Being a good sport never hurts.

One of my favorite things about this charming telly program is that although they are competitors, all of the contestants still remain friends. They hold hands, they congratulate one another, and sometimes they even help when the challenge clock has just minutes left and someone is in need of assistance. It’s so easy for equestrians to do, but we often have this “us vs. them” mentality when it comes to our competition. Just be nice! Eat cake!

Doing something wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes we learn from our mistakes, like taking a Genoese sponge out of the oven before it’s properly baked, or pop-chipping the first two jumps on course. If you do something that silly, chances are, you eventually learn your lesson and for the love of god stop pulling away the distance.

 

Written by Kate Kosnoff

Kate Kosnoff is an equestrian journalist, blogger and photographer. When she isn’t working, Kate can usually be found sipping green tea, scrolling through Twitter, or petting her horses—sometimes a combination of the three. She is based in Indiana and can often be spotted in jumper rings across the Midwest and Florida aboard her strawberry roan, Waffle.