Thursday 5 July 2018

Topline Weekend

Where to start?

I was away almost a week by the time we factored in travel time and the fact that this was a "back to back" horse trials (2 separate events) running over 4 days. I'm not sure if that's a common set up elsewhere, but here, with our lack of regular competitions and long travel distances, it seems to be a format a lot of people like.

Up at 4:00am to hook up the trailer and get to the first ferry, arrived by 2:30pm. I rode along with one of the parents trailering for the first time. I give the guy five stars: a ferry ride, through the city of Vancouver, then over the Coast Mountains (The Coquihalla Hwy that connects the coast to the interior is, imo, a tougher drive than our Rocky Mtn routes), all on his first time towing a trailer! Also, he used to be a concert organizer so had lots of cool stories. 5* ride, for sure :)

We stabled and camped across the street at a lovely farm. The camping and stabling at the venue looked very cramped, so we felt very grateful to have a barn and series of paddocks to ourselves. The farm we stayed at is where one of our Canadian Olympians grew up, so for me it was a bit inspiring, I've been a fan of hers for a long time!
My little campsite. So glad I had that shelter, there was rain and thunderstorms every day so it was pretty nice to have a place to dry off.

The weather was pretty bad the entire time we were there, so I appreciated having a dry area to set up my little tent, as well as water and power right there.

We took 6 horses with us, including Ginger, the ever lovely Q Mare, and "my" horse to care for for the weekend, Romeo. Romeo is a giant ex dressage horse, who is learning to jump and went Starter. He's adorable. The other horses were all signed up for Training or Pre-Training.
Ginger appreciated the barn

My grooming experience was interesting. Romeo tried to kill himself twice over the course of the week, so 10/10 do not recommend being responsible for him, lol. I left him alone for 15min the first time and he managed to get cast in his stall and rip a shoe and half his hoof off, plus scare himself badly. The second incident involved him mysteriously getting out of his stall and in with a dominant group of horses in a paddock, where he got all beat up and nicked that vein that goes up the inside of their hind! So, the poor dude was withdrawn from the second competition and had to take some meds until we got him home to his mom.

He should have jumped in with these two instead, they were in love with him.

None of the other horses attempted suicide and were all good eggs all week, so there's that! Ginger packed her rider around like a superstar. They had a bunch of time on XC during the first event, and some refusals the second. The footing deteriorated over the weekend and her kid wasn't super confident, so no one is blaming Ginger for taking her time and kindly opting out of the not so safe distances her young rider was getting her to.

Q Mare and her rider did fantastic, finishing in the ribbons the first event and having an even better run the second, just with a bit of unfortunate time penalties there.

Mr Romeo got a lovely ribbon to take home from his first event, and was winning the second before we withdrew him, so everyone was pretty happy with him even tho he was a bit high maintenance.

Ginger again. I was so busy getting horses and riders ready I really didn't get much time to take pictures of the actual competitions. My braiding game is really strong right now tho! :)

Our other barnmates all had solid outings, and I think everyone came away confident and ready to move up at their next shows.

I had time to walk the Training and Pre Training courses and both looked super fun. There was a lot of terrain utilized (there was one very steep hill I'm pretty sure I'd have walked down lol) and some challenging lines to attack if you wanted to make time, but the jumps themselves were pretty straightforward. The footing was a challenge in a lot of spots, but by all accounts it rode well enough. To be successful, I think you'd have definitely wanted a surefooted horse that's comfortable out alone in the back woods over terrain - not a lot of open,  flat XC field there!

Some of the lower levels looked tough...we were joking the XC was going to be their Olympics! Definitely a good one to go to if you have thoughts of moving up by year's end...I think if you had a good round there you'd be good to go for a move up at any of our other semi local events later in the season.

Despite the weather, I fit in a quick visit to a vineyard and a dairy, so wine and cheese was had. The venue is also close to town, so we had a few dinners out and the kids got to go to a movie on the last night.

Beach weather was a bit of a fail. Zero people there on a long weekend, lol.

There's really too much to recap here. I had a great time. I'm left with a lot to think over...I really enjoyed helping the kids all weekend and am 100% sure that's something I want to continue doing. I'm looking forward to getting my Equine Canada coaching certifications. For my own riding goals, the courses looked super fun and I've been offered a half lease on the lovely Audrey mare if I want to add in some jumping lessons along with the dressage ones I currently take and try moving up the eventing levels. One of the horses I helped with this weekend is just my type and also for sale, so that's being tossed around as well as an option while we wait for Sophie to grow up.



  1. I thought I saw Ginger! I kept an eye out for you but with you across the road no wonder I missed you.

    Pre-Entry and Entry definitely walked pretty beefy, I walked my Entry course with wine after I decided to move up for the second event.

    1. We were calling the entry course The Entry Olympics, lol. Beefy course for sure, and a couple of those hills you went up and down were no joke, too. I saw you warming up the last day, but did not draw attention to myself as it looked like you had your hands full with your lovely horse!

  2. Sophie's name reminded me today of a mini I knew, her name was Sobe (like the drink?) but her owner called her "So B" for so bad.: )

    1. So B would suit her too, lol. She's into everything and quite a troublemaker!

  3. Sounds like a great weekend!!

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  5. I think I want to borrow you to come and help me at shows! I can promise that Carmen does not attempt suicide. :D

    1. Anytime! Especially for nice bloggers and non suicidal horses ;)

  6. If you saw us in warmup I feel lovely is very kind. Turns out we need a ton of warmup experience. On course she’s way calmer but the warmup definitely gets her amped up.

    1. She did look pretty pumped, and that warmup was super busy at times! Our suicidal warmblood also turned out to need more warm up experience but was great once he got out. There were a few horses warming up for xc in the fields at that gorgeous place directly across the street, maybe a thought for next year!

  7. what fun that all sounds except for the part about Romeo almost killing himself! Glad you got to have some downtime but do fun things like the event and the wine and cheese :) YAY! very cool!!