Green Mountain Horse Association Horse Show Review
Recently I’ve found myself an empty nester as both daughters are off to college, leaving me more time for my third equine child and I to spend showing. By day I work in marketing at GTM Payroll Services, which funds my equine habit. My mare, Lucy, and I fall into the “aged” category. She has much more experience and knowledge than I do. May, 2017 was the first time I showed at the Saratoga Springs Horse Show (and possibly the last). It was a positive experience that got me thinking about trying another multi-day show. The hole in the May 2018 calendar prompted some searching for new venues to start off the outdoor season. Quiet Run ventured to South Woodstock, VT for the GMHA (Green Mountain Horse Association) Spring Hunter Jumper show. This show offered a range of classes from pleasure classes to jumpers.
The show is just a few miles south of Woodstock, VT nestled in a valley complete with a running stream, beautiful views and a quiet road free from busy auto traffic. There are many options for housing close by with Woodstock, VT - a quintessential New England town complete with town green and historic buildings - offering the most. The grounds for the GMHA are excellent. There are 6 permanent barns with stall doors and matted floors as well as an overhang to keep dry. They even provide wheel barrows on the premises to use. In addition to hunters/jumpers, the facility also hosts dressage, eventing, competitive trail riding and driving. There are two main show rings with a large warm-up ring between the two. For one of the show rings you can cross a stream from the warm-up ring or take the longer walk around if your horse isn’t water friendly. Footing in the rings was excellent and held up well in the rain. It’s a European geo-textile footing. There is also a third ring where the derbies were held which included some of the eventing fences. You won’t find cell phone coverage on the grounds except in one of the buildings. Plus or a minus depending on your point of view. Most important, there is a permanent snack bar building with plenty of food options.
What I like about showing is the opportunity to put my best effort together with my horse’s. That is what makes riding interesting to me – there are two of us in it together trying to merge as one. Some days that works out better than others. At the GMHA I had a lovely ride in one ring for the modified adult equitation. The highlight was that we were consistent for the division (a rare event in my world) and were awarded a reserve champion. Moving to the special hunters on the same day in a different ring was a different story. Lucy decided that this ring provided the perfect venue to stretch out and run. It was a good reminder lesson that horses can change from trip to trip and you need to adjust to that. I find that bad experiences can also help build confidence. I survived to ride another day. We are headed back to GMHA and I hope to conquer the ring of terror this time.