Monday 15 August 2016

CVES Horse Trials Days 1 & 2

I'm going to drag this out over a few posts, because as a newbie there was a lot to take in and a lot to learn. Notes for the future are always helpful. Also, real photos should be coming, I'm going to order some pro ones once they're posted :)

Day 1 consisted of getting to the park, setting up camp, having a lesson and getting signed in with the entry secretary.
Midge and her friends traveled just fine on the ferry, and we made it to the park at around lunch time.

Stabling was in the form of little pole corrals, which Midge is of course fine with, but the last few times we've gone to places with that set up it's caused a ton of chaos with some of the more 'dramatic' ponies hauling in. Loose horses in the night are pretty much a guarantee, as are substantial renovations to the fencing every morning.

Notes re: 'rustic' stabling.

- Bring a hammer, screws, and baling twine!
- Bring a sturdy stall guard, or at least some spare lead ropes.
-Some sort of waterproof tote or box to leave by her stall for brushes, etc, to save me packing all that little non valuable stuff back and forth from the camping area.
- I really wish I had brought a tent shelter of some sort for Midge - it was hot out there.
- I need a bigger water bucket for her to drink from, also a smaller one for packing water from the water tanks...or one of those muck bucket carts...that would have been genius for transporting water.
-Also, never assume there will be running water, apparently in eventing land it's an optional thing :)
This thing would have made me very happy for moving water and gear around.

My little camp site was simply a tent under an apple tree. Being poor and not having a fancy rig actually worked to my advantage, I'm pretty sure I had the only shady spot in the entire place. Also, unlimited treats for my pony!

If you can't guess by my repeated references to shade and water...the temps were insanely hot all weekend. Gorgeous place and wonderful event, but I was miserable in the heat.

We had a dressage lesson in one of the rings and Midge felt amazing...the new venue gave her a little added spark and it felt really promising for the morning. I also took her for a little gallop partway around the track to get her in eventing mode :)

Following that, we went to the rider's meeting, which as a new person I found helpful. It's nice to put a face to your contacts for the weekend and get a bit of an idea as to how things are going to be run and any park specific rules to follow.

And then, off to bed for a sleepless night! Horses are not fun camping neighbors, I think they were partying all night long :) Also, it was hot.
Luxury accommodations, actually more comfortable than most

My dressage ride time the next morning was super early, as competitor number 3 of two hundred and something I got to ride at 8:10 AM. We went out and got it done, but we were both pretty tired feeling. We did a correct and relaxed test, but maybe a little too relaxed. We were definitely tired and feeling the heat and lacking sparkle. Overall, I was OK with our test, but more on the disappointed side of OK.

Notes for dressage day:

-Multiple warm up rings because multiple arenas. Make sure you're in the right one, and sign in with the whipper in if need be.
-Tack checks before every phase. I did not know this but luckily everyone was super friendly and nice and I was sent in the right direction :)
-Practice braiding prior to showing.
-Don't need to wear a number on your back if you have a bridle tag....I need to invest in bridle numbers.

I wasn't checking scores because I just wanted to worry about giving Midge a fun and positive weekend, but I can tell you now we scored a 65.8% on our test which in Canada equates to something like 53 penalties and put us 10th out of 24. Also, the remarks on our test were as expected, lots of positive comments and even a 'lovely pony!', but no real criticism, just in the final comments a note about Midge not being quite as consistently forward thinking as the judge would have liked. The entire test was 6's and 7's.

Post dressage Midge remains skeptical, also jealous of the other horses with tents
On to Day 3: XC...



  1. Stall chains are more durable and sturdy than guards. I always have one on the top as well as my guard since it's less likely to break when leaned on. Also, carabiner clips and some short lengths of chain work great for horse who have figured out how to bust the baler twine most people clip guards too.

    Tent shelters are awesome (it's too bad they are not allowed in Alberta, or I'd always use one).

    You can also pin your number to your saddle pad if you don't have bridle numbers. A number is only required on one side :)

    Congratulations, it sounds like you put in a good test, despite the missing sparkle.

    1. Chains = genius. Will definitely use next time instead of baling twine. Saddle pad makes even more sense!

  2. Woohoo! Congratulations on your successful day!! I can't wait to hear about the next one :)

  3. I love my muck bucket - it's been invaluable. Also, I just bought a canvas folding wagon that I think will be perfect. I'm glad that you Midge had a great day!

    1. We use a wagon like that for mucking at shows and it's been invaluable! But also probably not it's intended use and now it's gross and stinky, so now I wish for a muck bucket cart :)

  4. Definitely absorbing all this info for my first event next month! Excited to read about day two :)

    1. You're going to have so much fun. The learning curve was steep but I never felt overwhelmed and everyone there was so supportive and amazing!

  5. I'm glad you had a great first day. I need to get a muck cart too.

  6. How can that pony not sparkle? She is adorable! And ooof, no shade is rough, but I am liking your tent space!

  7. Late to the game commenting, but AHH so excited you've done your first event with Midge!! Solid dressage test. :)