Back when I was just a young teenaged girl, I had a pony. Her father was the grandson of a famous Canadian racehorse named “Man ‘O War” and her mother was a stout and ridiculously cute ex-Moor pony (see above). My aunt is horsey and had a farm and my father decided to pay the board for this interesting hybrid. Soon enough, I found myself on the show circuit, doing dressage and show jumping and point-to-point and all that stuff. Trust me when I say no one believes me today when I tell them I once rode to the hounds aboard a little thoroughbred-ex-Moor mix called Toots who was so ill-tempered that she came at people with her teeth bared every time they entered her stall.

One day Toots and I were entered into a big local equestrian event. And my period showed up without my knowledge. It was only my second period ever, and came months after the first one, so I had no clue what the signs were. It was a hot sweaty day so I felt sweaty all over and didn’t notice anything untoward. My aunt was the one who noticed, in horror, as I bent over in my saddle before our turn in the jumping event to lower my stirrups. I recall her shrieking in horror. Oh my.

I was so traumatized that I don’t even remember what happened next. Somehow I got cleaned up and a new pair of britches was found. I remember crying. I remember my pony, usually nasty and cantankerous, seeming to soften slightly and she gave me an uncharacteristically affectionate nuzzle as I climbed back on her, even though she still threw me head first over the second jump and disqualified us, as she always took great pleasure in doing.

It was the only bad period accident I’ve ever had, and I have actually never spoken or written of it until today. It was that traumatic. When I got back to the farm that night, I went to bed and cried hot tears of shame and embarrassment, wondering who else had noticed the gigantic crimson stain on my britches before my beloved auntie did.

Tell us, ladies — what’s your worst period story?