Periods! white jods? Are you having a laugh??!!
Unfortunately no! There is nothing funny about this taboo subject... the "time of the month". But seriously who in their right mind thought "Yes, we will have competitions in light coloured, tight trousers, where any type of stain or spill will show up straight away! And let's be honest, who ever comes home from a show as clean as they went out? Certainly not me or anyone I know.
Between hoof oil, shit stains, horse slobber and muck... the stain we dread is the most... "the red devil herself "... that dreaded day that comes once a month and nothing stops it...
Two years ago, I had my young horse at his very first hunter trials , everything was ready I had prepared for the worst. I had spare tyres ready, tack in the jeep, rugs, water, hay all sorted and ready to go. Except one thing never crossed my mind,(and you think having 20+ years of it I would think of it at this stage) my unexpected period came 4 days early. Just before I got my number I ran to the toilet to check. And yep, I was right. Frantically running back to my friend asking did she have anything, she rooted in her car. In the heat of the moment she pulled out a mini sock and some tape.. Mc Guiver I call her! I think she panicked too, adrenaline was high 🤣. I looked at her nervously laughing and said " I might try find something a bit more substantial".
Eventually after running around asking random people do they have a tampon, I came across 2 lovely ladies who kindly obliged. One of them was staying in the guest house and ran upstairs to her room for me where the lovely people who worked there had a sanitary basket in the bathroom. Thank goodness for kindness.
Needless to say we got around the course stain free and home safe thank God.
As natural as it is our womb allows us to create life. The period itself is embarrassing. Why?
I know so many women have the same stories. So why is it such a terrible thing to talk about? If we get a miss-timed period and have to go showjumping, should there be room for us to withdraw and get our money back if we are bent over with really bad cramps? Or can't leave the house for fear of a leak? Should we have some sort of jods out there that are stain free and absorb a spot or two? Do we change history and make an allowance for women to wear black jods for shows instead? Or is that a step too far?
I know women out there who faint because of the pain periods cause. How are we supposed to hide that and carry on as normal? We do our best and plan, but sometimes nature takes over and we have to deal. Along with the hormones and PMS.
I always carry spares now, but apart from that... does this need to be talked about more in competition? Allowance for your money back if you have your period on the day of the show? The chance to wear different colour jods? Or is it just that we are fine and we should keep going? Maybe there is no problem with it. Maybe I'm just thinking out loud. Maybe it's just a thought...