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I Can't Blame This One on Relapsing MS: The Costume Debacle LEMTRADA® patient blogger: Kimberly By Kimberly, Texas Gal, Born and Raised • October 31, 2018

Kimberly's daughter making a Halloween costume

Yes, relapsing MS can plague us with dreaded cognitive issues, trouble with heat, and other unpleasant symptoms. But sometimes I make mistakes that we can only chalk up to being human. For instance, my Halloween debacle. Please read on to learn how making a costume went horribly and expensively wrong. 

It started on a fall day. The leaves were changing and if you live up north, there was a crispness to the air. But here in Texas, it was still hot. However, it had cooled down to a relatively less humid 93 degrees.

The holiday festivities were around the corner. First up was Halloween. It’s no secret that my family loves to ride horses and compete. Halloween is especially fun because most of the October horse shows have a separate event for “team” costumes. That’s right—you AND your horse. As you can imagine, the creativity is just mind-blowing. 

Full disclaimer: my daughter and I have always been spectators at these events.  Oh, we compete in the riding events, but we always sat on the sidelines and watched all the creativity on display during the costume contest. This year, my daughter came to me and said “Mom, this is our year! Let’s do it! Let’s enter into the contest, it will be fun!” I paused, gave it some thought, smiled, and agreed.  “You know what?” I told her. “It will be fun!”

I should’ve listened to the pause. The pause was my sign. Who knew that one little phrase—“It will be fun!”—would come back to haunt us? Boy ... did it come back to haunt us. 

So, my fellow MSers, here is my step-by-step guide of what to do when making a Halloween equestrian costume. (Believe it or not, the first half went well.)

Step One: Sit down and brainstorm with daughter. Together, research and come up with workable ideas. You will notice that the word research is in bold, underlined, and italicized. That is important. More on that step in a second. 

Step Two: After coming up with an idea that is easy enough to design and construct, head to a creative big box store to gather supplies.

Step Three: Head home and get to work. 

Step Four: Enlist the help of siblings.

Kimberly’s daughter making a Halloween costume

Step Five: Put the finishing touches on your costume.

Now, I have kept our costume choice vague. This was intentional. Remember the step where I mentioned research? Well, we did research creative ideas. What we did NOT do is research how horses had reacted to certain costumes. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is where our Halloween veered off course. 

My daughter and I decided to do a spring theme. Wende, our horse, would be the flower, my daughter would be the bee, and I would be the beekeeper. Easy peasy. We get to the barn, grab our horse, and put her in the cross ties to groom her and get ready.

Kimberly’s daughter and her horse wearing a costume

Mistake Number One: I completely forgot that Wende gets skittish when we put the saddle pad on her. So it took a minute to get this new flower version of her saddle pad on her. 

Mistake Number Two: My daughter’s bee wings freaked out Wende. So much so, that we had to take them off because she reared back when my daughter came near her.

Mistake Number Three: This one was huge. So I was dressed as a beekeeper. I had on a painter’s suit that I picked up at one of the big box stores, and a floppy hat and with gauze wrapped around the brim to complete my look. Uh huh. Big mistake.

See, it was windy that day. So when I put on my hat, the gauze began to fly around and Wende reared again. This caused another horse, who was tied up next to Wende, to spook. That horse took off and snapped the cross-tie ropes. Luckily, we caught her before she got too far.  

After apologizing profusely to the owner of the horse, and agreeing to pay for the cost of replacing the cross ties from the stable manager, I got a “stern talking to” from our trainer. I learned the hard way why she does not let us compete in that part of the Halloween competition. Apparently it literally scares some of the horses! 

Hence, the importance of research. I would’ve known if I’d just asked why no one from our barn ever competed in that part. 

Wende rearing wasn’t even the scariest part of that day. Remember, I had to pay to repair the cross ties. That bill was scary! I also had a very unhappy husband. Fun fact: just because you start your conversation with “Honey, you are going to laugh,” does not mean he is going to laugh. But he was glad we were okay. Also, I would not add, “But, honey, it was a great teachable moment!” into the conversation. I mean you can, but give it some time. Maybe until January. 

So this is how my Halloween went awry. And this had nothing to do with relapsing MS! MSer or not, we all make mistakes! On a positive note, my daughter and I had fun coming up with ideas. Yes, it truly was a learning experience. All in all, it was a little fun, a little scary, and some great family time. And is that not what Halloween is all about?

Do you have any funny Halloween stories? I’d love to hear them! Be well!

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