It has been a very very busy week! There was a horse driving trial at farm not too far away from me this past weekend. I was very disappointed that I could not compete. I was actually entered, but due to problems that arose, I had to withdraw. That’s a whole other story that I am not getting into, but suffice to say, I was quite envious of all the people who showed up to compete with all their help, and a way to haul their animals and vehicles.
Some of the competitors brought campers and slept overnight on the grounds, and came with large horse trailers, multiple trucks, multiple horses, vehicles, and many many many helpful and generous volunteering hands to assist. It was an amazing show. There were 25 competitors, so it ended up being a lot lot lot lot bigger than the organizers expected. In fact, they had to turn entries away, and put them on a waiting list. Which was helpful, because apart from myself, there was 1 other scratch, and both slots were quickly filled, with more waiting.
The majority of the competitors were preliminary people, which I think speaks volumes about the need for more driving shows in the area. This was the *only* American Driving Society recognized event in Illinois, and the turn out really supported it.
I believe fully that Chewbacca would have done amazing at this event and I would loved to have also had the opportunity to show my husband’s hackney pony, Luke, who I think would have rocked the world, however, since I was not part of the competition, I did what I could to volunteer myself. I went down on Thursday and helped in any way I could with setting up the show grounds, and got a sneak peek at the marathon…. oh, and I drove a golf cart. OK, I’m a loser, but it was my first time I ever drove a golf cart, and I had a blast, lol.
Friday I went back down to meet up with the person I was going to help at the show. We reviewed the dressage test, the cones course, and then walked the entire 2 mile marathon track. (Ok, it was 1.86 miles).
Saturday morning, I headed back bright and early to help “my competitor” with her horse, with prepping for classes, and getting out to compete. First up was her dressage followed immediately by cones. The horse is a 17h, 11 year old Trakhener that competes at 3rd level ridden dressage. He’s a beautiful horse with an amazing trot, and needless to say, he did win Dressage.
In this type of showing, just like eventing, you compete in 3 phases for 1 ribbon and 1 total score. So, although he “won” dressage, he didn’t receive a ribbon based only on that phase. Just out of all the horses there the whole day, he received the highest dressage score – which is actually to say, the lowest score, because the pointing system is backwards. Follow?
lol. Anywho, the cones run was great, too. Just slightly too slow, by a tiny little bit, and with only 1 ball down, “my competitor” was in solid 2nd place after the first 2 phases.
After a break, I geared up to navigate for the marathon course. This was my first time navigating, my first time being out on a true marathon course, and also “my competitor” and her horse’s first time, too! So we were all green going out, but we all had an absolute blast!
She was blown away with her horse’s performance, and I was too. The horse was spectacular, and when we got down to the line, she asked him for more, and he trucked along like he was going places. It was a cool drive, a fun event, the obstacles were awesome, and all in all, everyone had fun.
It was a wee bit hard to take pictures on my phone with one hand while holding on the the carriage with the other. So I didn’t get much, but I got some random shots of the marathon course….
Coming out of the first loop, heading towards the barn, going to the first obstacle.
Navigating around the second obstacle, which was round bales. The big round bale in front of us isn’t actually part of the obstacle… just decoration. The actual obstacle was a “round bale village” and was really cute! I just had to hold on! lol!
Heading out to the last obstacle, waaaay in the distance, around the corner, and back behind us on another track.
Another random view of the fields we were in…
Here is a brief video of some of the loop between obstacles. I really couldn’t get video inside the obstacles. I think, if I am able to compete in this type of sport, I would really really invest in a helmet cam just for fun!
Until next time!