Monday, 29 February 2016

SRC Dressage Show

Apologies yet again for the lack of media...the weather was absolutely terrible and I just couldn't ask someone to stand in it to take pictures or video of our test. Next time we'll have to bring rain suits and an underwater camera!

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
Two of the other mares with us were absolutely hysterical. Neither is overly green or inexperienced, they're both just drama queens. Midge picked up those vibes and was more anxious than I've ever seen her, calling back to her buddies and generally getting a little panicky. Poor girl. We moved her to a stall next to some of the calmer members of our little team, but although quiet and polite, she was still stressed - she didn't eat much of her hay which as we all know is very out of character for her!
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...

24 comments:

  1. I wonder how my two would do going on a ferry...

    also - well done! :) takes some serious guts :)

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    1. Thank you! Taking horses on the ferry always makes me slightly nervous. The stupid part is my worries stem from a scene in a horror movie (The Ring - do not watch it!!)

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  2. hey, don't be too hard on yourself! You accomplished all your goals. :)

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    1. It's so, so easy to fall into the trap of alway wanting more and comparing yourself to others. But I really am happy with how the weekend went :)

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  3. Your goals were accomplished. Right now my goals are to SURVIVE our first dressage show. 60 seems like a pipe dream, lol. Congratulations.

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    1. I was saying all weekend that they should give out big flashy ribbons that say "You Survived!", with a drink ticket for the pub attached to the back ;)

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  4. I've been to a lot of shows where a 62 or 63 is an awesome score! Don't be too hard on yourself! :) Excited to hear about Sunday!

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    1. It actually felt like a pretty good test. There were some REALLY nice rides all day and some pretty fantastic horses - it seems they take their dressage seriously in Southlands!

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  5. Oh man, sounds like the weather was not nice to you at all! But even so, you pulled through and had some nice scores anyway. Great job!

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    1. The weather was total misery for each of my ride times all weekend long. It was like I had a storm cloud hanging over my head lol

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  6. Over 60 is amazing!! Honestly I'll be happy if I can keep Katai in the ring at our first test. Sounds like you guys did really well :-)

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    1. We almost strayed out of the ring once or twice...the call of the other mares from the stabling area was nearly irresistible lol

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  7. Those are great scores! You should be very proud of yourself and your mare :) Like Cathryn I wonder what my herd would do on the ferry haha. I'm excited to read about day two!

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    1. I feel like if they are good/patient with waiting in the trailer while it is stopped they are probably going to be ok on the ferry. My vet of course, freaked me out with tales of him just happening to be on the ferry when random horses escaped or needed tranquilizing, so for Ginger/my peace of mind he did actually give me something to have on hand just in case :)

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  8. I "high centered" my horse trailer on a WA ferry and destroyed the electricals and I had 3 horses in the trailer, was all alone, and my truck couldn't stop the trailer without the trailer brakes - it was one of the scariest things I've been through with horses. The anti-lock brakes were engaging constantly because the truck thought it was skidding, so the entire rig was jerking. Thank God there was a service station not far and they fixed it right then. And WA state ferries paid for the repair, because they should have been more helpful and not let that happen. Being aware of the tides was something I would have had to do, if I'd had the nerve to try again.

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    1. Oh man, what an awful experience. I guess the time prior to this the water/sewer for the living quarters got ripped off so thank goodness our coach stopped and made them check the clearance this time! There is a bit of room for the ferry 'load master' to adjust the ramp so luckily we made it on safely after a bit of a wait.

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  9. Those scores are great, especially for her first fancy show! And hey, you stayed in the ring. That always counts for something!

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    1. Staying in the ring = winning. Seriously, I need to make a "Stayed in the Ring!" fancy ass ribbon to hand out too.

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  10. Those are great scores for your first show!! Well done!

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  11. congrats on getting out there and making it happen despite some circumstances that sound decidedly less than ideal! crummy weather and a green, nervous pony? that's HARD. sounds like you made the best of what you had tho, and got some very nice remarks for your efforts!! can't wait to read about the 2 phase ;)

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    1. I do think the judge really liked her, the 'negative' comments were mostly tips for me to ride the pony better/capture all that positive energy!

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  12. That's a pretty good score for the first time... Wow that sounds hectic having to get a ferry ride to get to a show.

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  13. That's a pretty good score for the first time... Wow that sounds hectic having to get a ferry ride to get to a show.

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