I’m still here! I cannot believe it has been a month since my last update. I have had a tremendous amount of things going on in the last several weeks, that I have just been preoccupied I guess.
My husband is still dealing with his medical issues, and was in the hospital for several days. And, of course, in the bad joke that our lives our, he is now unemployed, which caused a problem with his medical insurance.
What do you think? Both having had cancer, both losing our jobs, that whole fiasco last year with the psycho neighbor and the house fire…. I’d say we’re good on the s**t pouring down on us for a while, aren’t we?
Speaking of POURING, this weekend has been drowning us with rain, so no driving of the ponies just yet.
Despite all the problems we face in our daily lives, I still find I am grateful for countless things, and all and all, it’s a good life. We have a home, a roof over our heads, cars that run, and of course, horses that are absolutely amazing animals that I couldn’t be more proud of… even Jesse, and he’s not even mine. I am just blessed to be able to be around these horses, and work with them, show them when I can, and just enjoy driving them.
I have reached some of my year’s goals, too…. As a member of the American Driving Society, I am enrolled in the recreational driving certificate program, which awards a certificate of accomplishment once you spend a certain number of hours driving your horse in a non-show setting. Even lessons count, but it is of course mostly geared to the non-competitive driver. So, even though I don’t spend a ton of time showing, I still can achieve something.
And I have reached (and now surpassed) my 100 hour goal. Since February of this year, I have now logged slightly over 125 hours driving between all the horses on a recreational level. Woot! Can’t wait to see where I am at by the end of my driving year, probably only a few more weeks at that.
Also, I recently attended the ADS annual meeting, which was very near to me, only 2 hours away. Next year, it is in Aiken, SC… think I can make it there? lol.
Anyway, while at the ADS meeting, I got to drive a pair for the first time – and it was also my first time driving a 4 wheel vehicle. I’ve been a passenger in one, but never a driver, so it was fun new experience for me.
Mark and Marty were 17 & 18 year old Haflinger half brothers, and this was a real blast to drive them, and see first hand up close how the pairs harness and the reins all go together. I even got to harness a pair pony up.
Of course, I brought my helmet cam!!
I had a ton of fun doing this, and really look forward to someday doing a pair of my own.
And, although the driving weeks are indeed winding down, things are not quite over yet. I have tentative plans to take the horses out on a haul-away trail drive the first week of November, and weather permitting, get in possibly 1 more haul-away trail drive after that.
And coming up soon– my first HDT! Woo! Can’t wait for this. Next Sunday, Chewbacca and I are entered in a min-combined driving event. The only difference between a full CDE and a shorter HDT is the length of the marathon course. Instead of it being 5-6 km, with 4-5 obstacles, it is 3 km with 3 obstacles. There is still a full dressage and cones section, and the map of the marathon course looks like a blast. I will be armed with my helmet cam and someone taking pictures…. so stay tuned for updates on how Chewbacca performs at his first HDT. I am of course hoping it is a better showing than his ADT back in June. So we will see.
With the weather pouring down on us, I may not get in much more practice between now and Sunday with him, but that’s fine. He’s ready as he’s going to be. His working times on the marathon practice have been great, and he has achieved doing 12kph speeds, which is my goal. We will see what happens out “in the real world” next weekend doing this show.
It is supposed to be a small, low key event for only the local driving club members. I was told that they max out entries at 12 horses. Well, there are 22 horses competing with 19 drivers – that’s 16 singles and 3 pairs. Of those, 10 of them are in my level – single horse training level. So, competition….?? Yep, there’s plenty. I am much much more interested in simply having a good showing.
The horse I navigated for back in August will be there, along with the Dutch Harness horse that is amazing, and between the 2 of them, they will claim 1st and 2nd in everything, just like they did at the last HDT in August. So, at best, I will hope for 3rd, unless one of them messes up royally, which I seriously doubt. But really, all I want is for Chewbacca to show in a relaxed manner with his head level/low where it normally is – not the sucked back, agitated, tail wringing, head up in the air horse he was during his dressage & obstacle phases in the arena driving trial back from June.
I believe he will do better, but only time will tell. I am looking forward to it, and I will update with pictures and helmet cam video!
Stay tuned and stay well!