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Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Oh! is such a wonderful word (at least according to my trainer).

According to her, this is the appropriate response when told something by any show official.


It's not a lie, it's not an admission of guilt, it's simply an expression that allows the show official to view you as a ditz, but as a harmless, non-defensive ditz.

I think we should all use "Oh!" more often.

The specific example my trainer gave was this:

You are warming up around the dressage court and the bell rings (you have 45 seconds to enter the court). You take your time. As you pass the judges stand, they say "Did you hear the bell ring". Apparently the correct response is "Oh!". Apparently the incorrect response (and what I would have totally said) is "I know."

The same applies if you are wearing your jacket at a jackets-optional show. You might be wearing the jacket because your shirt is wrinkled and has sweat stains. If the judge says "you know jackets are optional", the response is "Oh!", not "I know" (I would have failed this test as well).

So I've decided that "Oh!" is a wonderful word. I should practice. Here are some other situations where "Oh!" would be appropriate (and might make ride managers/show officials in a better mood).

Horses are not allowed in the check in area.
  • Oh!
Your out time isn't for another 5 minutes
  • Oh!
The vet is on lunch and will do vet ins in 30 minutes
  • Oh!
The course has been changed to the yellow loop for the last loop. We aren't doing the blue loop.
  • Oh!
Shavings are available for the stalls, you'll have to go get your own from the local feed store.
  • Oh!
Those of you that manage events - where would you like to see "Oh!" applied?


  1. Word of warning, do not use "OH" when riding your horse, and trotting or cantering. You may find yourself in an unexpected halt. lol

  2. Another underused wordlett is "hmm." Hmm is best used when you want to argue the point, maybe really bad, but you know in your heart it would be counterproductive.

  3. My mom's favorite word is "mmmmm", similar to Carolyn's "hmmm," but Mom uses it to indicate a lack of intelligence on the part of the other speaker.

    Most people to whom she applies "mmmm" think that she agrees with them.

    It's a very useful word!

  4. I use "alrighty" Mostly when customers tell me things about their purchase that doesn't require a response as such
    "This will be a credit card purchase"
    "bag the candy separate"
    Happy, cheerful, and a little ditzy

  5. In EMT school we were taught to say "there" like we meant it if something happened. Patient bleeding all over the place? Put pressure on it and say "there" like you mean it.

    It works, sort of. I'm also loving the "Hmmmm" and "mmmm" suggestions.

  6. My two youngest say: Okaaay? It's a 2-syllable dis.

  7. I love "interesting" as a response when someone tells you something. Of course, saying "that's interesting" when faced with "My shirt is on fire!" is almost synonymous with the snarky "That's nice" (ie, deal with it yourself)


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