Day 1 of our weekend adventure started with a morning ferry ride to Vancouver. There was a bit of a hold up when the big truck and trailer nearly got high centered on the ramp. We were told they may not be able to load the trailer, so there were a tense few minutes until they figured things out. Apparently next time we are going to have to be aware of the tide charts - the joys of living on the coast! I always wonder what the horses are thinking, parked on the big noisy and shaky ship, the truck and trailer wedged in amongst all the commercial trucks on the bottom vehicle level. They've all done it a million times, so I would hope at this point it's more interesting than scary.
|Trucks get to be on the very bottom middle - no windows, it's kinda creepy.|
Following the ferry, off we drove to Southlands Riding Club. Southlands is an interesting place - it's a private equestrian club in the heart of the city. As such, we had to drive right through downtown Vancouver - it was a little surreal to check the mirrors and see Ms Bridget eyeing up her reflection in the windows of the Gucci store.
I hadn't been to Southlands before so was unsure what to expect. I was expecting your typical equestrian center type place, but given the neighborhood I thought it might be extra fancy.
The reality is it is literally just a club grounds - there are no barns or horses stabled on site. Everyone hacks or trailers in from the surrounding neighborhoods. Again, super surreal, as the area definitely feels like part of the city, albeit with a number of big mansions and estates. A quick google search tells me this is a part of the world I'll never be able to afford. If I win the lottery, perhaps I'll buy this fixer upper for a cool 8.5 million and let Bridget roam the yard!
The facility itself was nice, and the grounds themselves were gorgeous and included all the amenities you'd want - even a polo field! I admit I felt quite out of place in my budget clothing with my not so fancy pony, but that's on me - the judges don't care about that, right? :)
|Wood chip track that circles the polo grounds. Photo from SRC website|
|let me out!|
Our test times came up too quickly, and I never did get her feeling that great. My nerves were certainly not helping, either! The weather was absolutely horrible, and by that point, we were soaking wet, cold, and miserable. I don't think either of us were feeling the love for showing. Poor Midge still didn't have a lot of focus, and was tense and calling to the other mares.
On the plus side, I remembered the test (Training 2), the geometry and transitions were accurate, and the judge loved how forward Midge was. She got great marks on her free walk and for her gaits, and the trot work had some great moments too. On the negative, we lost marks since she wasn't consistently on the bit, and the canter was rushy and unbalanced. The second test rode much the same way, and I was left feeling a little disappointed since our rides at home have been so fabulous. Our final scores were a 62 and a 63 (rounding the numbers as I don't remember the decimals), putting us in a three way tie for 15/17. I was embarrassed to place almost last, but after some thought, I'm proud of those tests. I'm not going to get hung up on the placings. I know it sounds like a cop out, but the other horses looked so amazing and well trained - I'm pretty sure I had the only green horse there. Going into the weekend, my goal was to have a positive first experience for us both and to get a mark over 60 and we did that (twice!). Midge did pretty darn good for her first real show, particularly considering all the drama her trailer mates were causing.
Since this was a two for one weekend, we immediately loaded up and headed out to MREC for a two phase event on Sunday...