Life is full of opportunities to embarrass ourselves. These moments are things we can certainly laugh about later, when the shame finally wears off and our friends move on to more current trending topics. Luckily these crappy “live and learn” moments happen to the best of us. And when it comes to living and working with horses, the ever-embarrassing learning moments are aplenty.

Here are a few of my favorite personal revelations that have kept me humble over the years.

Getting stuck in the mud. I’ve been trailering horses on my own for a while now. I’m fairly confident in my abilities to load/unload, hitch up, back up, you name it. Then comes a few summer days of rain and I get the damn thing stuck in the mud like a total rookie and need to be towed out.

Falling into and/or dumping the manure wheelbarrow. You’re almost done mucking out the entire barn, and the wheelbarrow is getting pretty full. You’ve got two choices here: be responsible and go dump the nearly-full wheelbarrow now, then do a second dump once the barn is done. Or you can risk it, and pile that thing mountain-high in turds, and attempt to wheel it successfully out to the dump pile when you can’t even see over the top. I’ve done the latter enough to know it will almost always ends in disaster (and more work).

Wearing red underwear with white breeches. It’s the morning of your dressage show and your pre-show jittery brain forgot to remember Spanx or at least an extra pair of white- or nude-colored underwear. So now you’re forced to show in your bright red panties, which shine through spectacularly in those white breeches. Doh.

Washing your Tailored Sportsmans at home instead of the dry cleaner. You just dropped an exorbitant amount of money on the last horse show. So in an effort to save a few bucks, you decide to wash your expensive, pristine show breeches at home. The washer has a delicate cycle, so no worries. WRONG. I’m still crying over the pair of Tailored Sportsmans I ruined six months ago.

Two horses, one human. The horses are going nuts out in the pasture and are ready to come in for breakfast. After bringing in the bulk of the horses, you eye the two Thoroughbred geldings left outside, who from several feet away look like two innocent, well-behaved dogs begging for a bite of your hamburger. I can do this, you think confidently, as you approach with two lead ropes, hoping to save some time by leading these forever pasture buddies in together. But nope. The second you exit the pasture gate, BAM, bucking broncos.

Getting caught peeing inconspicuously in a stall. Maybe your barn has a nice bathroom. Maybe it’s a smelly porta potty. Either way, there are just instances where it makes more logical sense to relieve yourself quickly in your horse’s stall before climbing up into the saddle. You give the barn aisle a quick one-two to make sure no one’s coming before dropping you pants. And of course, like clock work, the second you do, here comes Mrs. Mom and her three kiddos jaunting in for their lessons… in full view of your “moon over my hammy.