Dressage in Kentucky, equitation in Canada, stadium jumping in Michigan, more equitation, then more stadium jumping…
An odd combination of equestrian events? Yes, but this has been my schedule for the past couple weeks.
You may remember me mentioning earlier that my horse, Bailey, and I were going to attempt dressage and I am proud to say that, as of two weeks ago, we have officially completed our first dressage competition. On Friday, October 22nd, after a seven and a half hour trailer ride (complete with a dinner stop at a Chinese restaurant – mandatory when you travel with our director, George), we arrived at the showgrounds, 20 miles south of Lexington, KY.
And this is when our series of unfortunate events began…
There had been some miscommunication and, for whatever reason, when we arrived at 10 p.m. on Friday, my horse did not have a stall in the barn. After checking in with the barn manager, we were finally able to put him in a pony-sized stall.
Bailey is not a pony. Needless to say, he could barely turn around. He handled it well, however, so I let it go.
After the horses were all set in their stalls, we proceeded to the hotel. We had had some difficulty finding a hotel with availability prior to the show and the only hotel we could find was a Days Inn that was about 20 minutes away. After following the GPS around cornfields, over single-lane bridges, and on dirt roads, we arrived around 11:30 pm, exhausted and ready to sleep.
Rather than go into detail, I will summarize the hotel experience by saying that we were surprised the milk provided at breakfast was still liquid….
However, despite these minor “bumps” in the trip, all of the Albion competitors did very well at the horse show. Three of us competed at training level and we placed in the top three for all four of our tests. Bailey and I got second on our first two tests and won our second two. Overall, the weekend was definitely a success and Bailey has official begun his career as a dressage horse.
The following weekend was the hunt seat meet at the University of Western Ontario. The upperclassmen (myself included) were a little nervous about the border crossing because last year we had a lot of trouble getting back into the U.S. after the meet. (The story about that trip involves classmates with dual citizenship, an O-1 visa, and a muddy van. But that’s one for another blog.) Everything ran smoothly this time, however, and we were able to get in and out of Canada without any major issues – save for the fact that the team did not do as well as we have been doing all season (we placed sixth). I won my flat class, though, which means I only need five more points to qualify for IHSA Regionals. (Either a first or a second at the next show will do it!)
This coming weekend I have a jumper show at the Albion equestrian center, where I will be competing the horse George in the 3’6” – 3’9” division. With so many different kinds of competition in the near future, I am just hoping I don’t confuse my next jumper course with my dressage routine!