We want Eventing Nation to be a home for readers and content from across the entire eventing world. So when I heard that a Canadian eventing friend of mine, Lindsay Pearce, was traveling to England to ride for a while, I thought we might get the best of both worlds in one guest writer. Lindsay is a tremendous personality, and if her stories are half as entertaining online as they are in person, we are in for a lot of fun. Thanks Lindsay, and thank you for reading. Go eventing.
By Lindsay Pearce:
As an eventer I have always wanted to spend some time in England where horses and horse sport are such an integral part of life. So when I sold my Two-Star horse, Tangle Top, in August I thought now would be as good a time as ever. Jumping right in, I made a few calls to England and sent a few emails, and found a job working for Lucy Wiegersma in Devon. As a Canadian, obtaining a visa to work in the UK is relatively easy, only taking a few weeks. So I would be ready to start working early in the New Year.
That was the easy part! Figuring out how to get myself, my new horse shipping from Ireland, and enough stuff to be able to ride and compete said horse to my destination was not so easy. I looked into shipping things ahead of time, but it looked like taking everything with me on the plane was going to be the best and cheapest option.
My travel plan was to take the nearly 8 hour flight from Detroit, Michigan to London Heathrow, England. From there I had to take a quick underground shuttle, to then catch the 45 minute bus ride to Reading, to finally catch the 2 hour train ride to Exeter. From there I would be picked up and driven the 45 minute trip to Warren Farm. Needless to say, a long trip with many transfers! The greatest amount of luggage I thought I could manage was 4 large suitcases. That may seem like a lot of baggage, but when you have to pack 2 saddles, 3 helmets, bridles, boots, bits, etc. it isn’t all that much.
Finally, the packing was done and on January 10 and I was off to the airport! Too bad for me that they weigh all the bags before they go on the plane. Two of them were considered heavy and I would be charged $150 extra for each one. Then one was so heavy they wouldn’t even allow it on the plane. Hey – how can it be too heavy if I managed to carry it to the counter? Anyway, I’m sure it was amusing to those in line behind me as I went through things- throwing out a bit here, pair of jeans there, and anything else I thought I could live without to send back home with my parents. Eventually I got it down to weight, and I was ready to start my trip to England.
Flying was easy – the Captain didn’t disturb me the entire trip looking for help. Navigating four large bags around an airport/bus station/train station however, is definitely something I don’t want to try again. But with the help of a few nice people, and only one minor incident of my bags running away with me on a downhill moving sidewalk(loose horse! I mean, loose bags come back!), I made it to Warren Farm! After all of that they certainly won’t be getting rid of me anytime soon.
Apparently they were expecting someone with blonde hair that sounded like Forest Gump. Clearly that is what all Canadians are like? I’m not sure I will be able to live up to such high standards, but I’m taking the fact that I already have a new highly original name, “Canada”, as a good sign. Even though John misses me terribly, with 58 event horses on the farm, I think I will be sticking around England for a while.