Wow, what a crazy weekend! I'm going to have to break the recap into two posts...4 full days of "horsin' around", there is just too much to say! Our first "real" dressage show was a blast!
Thursday was our travel and warmup day. We left first thing in the morning and got to the show grounds around lunch time. I think I've mentioned before, geographically we're super close to Vancouver, but since we're separated by a large ocean inlet with no road going completely around it, and no bridge as yet, we need to take a short ferry everytime we venture away from home. This ferry thing adds hours to our trip, because you need to get to the terminal at least 30min before sailing and of course in the summer there always seems to be some kind of delay or issue with the boat! Not to mention it's about $300 to take a horse trailer on the thing. It's a good thing I like where I live, because it's neither convenient or cheap to escape!
Anyway, Bridget being Bridget, she travelled and settled in just fine. It was freaking hot out though, oh my! I'm grateful this particular venue has permanent show stalls - so much nicer for the horses, not to mention cooler!
|She still wishes the stall doors were lower, tho.|
The dressage rings were open for schooling, which was nice...the one I was riding in the following day is kind of in the corner next to the xc course and a public park walkway and parking (partially hidden behind a row of trees) so a bit spooky for the horses.
B was on her game, I had a really nice lesson in late afternoon, then we all went out for dinner - benefits to showing near civilization!
Me, being comparatively uncivilized, camped for the weekend. There were a couple of living quarters trailers there, but nothing compared to an event! Dressage people stay in hotels, apparently. I actually slept in my trusty tent, pretty sure I was the only competitor doing so, lol.
True story, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a large, heavy breathing dog raiding my food supply for the weekend! Grrr, I assumed it was EC's dog who is notoriously sneaky about such things. I went to chase it off, but EC's dogs were both actually innocent and got wind of it first and scared it away. Good thing, because the large dog was actually a large bear running away.
So, I didn't sleep that well after that. The dressage people sleeping soundly in their hotels maybe were on to a good thing after all :)
Morning came too soon, as did my first ride time. On the plus side, I was actually too tired to be nervous! I got B all braided up in record time, and hit the warmup. And, oh my were there some fancy, fancy horses and beautiful, accomplished riders there. Midge and I definitely did not fit in...although I was relieved later to note that the riders sharing our warmup were the grand prix ones and were not warming up for Training level, lol!
|Midge with her game face on|
Our first test netted us a respectable 64%, with plenty of favorable comments. Midge was not on her best behaviour and was quite tense through her back, but I felt like I didn't panic, fixed what I could, and made the best of it. A huge win, right there. Also, an 8 on one of our changes of rein. That's a riding win for me on a wiggly, behind the leg pony. Still, I was pleased with Midge - she went out and did the thing in a very busy, noisy atmosphere with minimal actual drama.
I watched some of the upper level rides after that and was super inspired. It was a real treat for me to see some of the best of our west coast riders in action. YouTube is great, but it just isn't the same as watching the real thing :)
|Thank you, judge, you made my year with this.|
Test 2 went a couple of hours later. Midge was like "are you kidding me right now, it's hot and I've already done the thing!!!" But, then she got over it and acted all grown up and went back to work. This test felt way better and earned us a 67 point something. I was super happy with that, because I feel like it was pretty much the best test we'll get from her. It was consistent, accurate, and obedient. She is not a big flashy mover so at Training level this is a good score for us...really there was very little on the test comments that I could improve on any day soon, a couple of remarks about wishing she was freer through the shoulder and more supple, but hey, she is who she is and I am just grateful she is willing to try :)
|Icing on the cake, this very unexpedtedly, happened!Second in both classes, and there were even a few other horses there too, lol.|
On to Part Two...