Monday, March 23, 2015

Driving Show Recap

 This weekend, I was navigator at a local driving event with Pistachio the pony and Gretchen, his owner, who just moved up to Preliminary level. It was a small event, but was loads of fun. We brought Pistachio there the day before to allow him time to settle in and save time in the morning. We drove him for a few minutes, and he was very relaxed, which looked promising.

 Like eventing, driving has three phases: dressage, cones(stadium), and marathon(cross country). Saturday morning was dressage. Unfortunately, things didn't go as well as the day before. He was rushing and wasn't quiet in the halt–he was fidgety. However, the judge did like his forward trot and his nice bend. After our go, a bay Hackney went, followed by a dark bay German Sport Horse(the driver said it was a German Riding Pony that got too big) with a white blaze and white socks. Both are driven by very good drivers, and the one with the German horse has competed in Intermediate and Advanced competitions overseas, though not with the same horse. The horses were very good movers, and the Hackney had the high stepping trot. It was neat to see.

Cones course

Pistachio didn't relax any more for the cones course in the afternoon. For cones, there are pairs of cones that you go between, forming gates, with 20  gates on the course. The course was a fun, windy course. Gate two was a serpentine with three cones to wind around. There was even a bridge and deep indent(a downhill followed immediately by an uphill) that is filled with water when it rains, which didn't happened this weekend. Unfortunately, we had a refusal at gate 10, which was heading into the indent.

 For marathon, the driving equivalent of cross country, he was fast and didn't want to relax. Marathon was a long windy, 3.81 kilometer course with 40 gates and two hazards, obstacles you wind around, placed in the course. The hazards had A, B, C, and D parts. They were tricky because had to make several rollbacks and turn around a few time to go through them in the correct direction with the red on the right. Those went pretty well. However, after the first hazard, the strap on his back came undone and the strap that goes behind him fell down to his hocks. He was good about not panicking while I fixed it. This caused us major time faults. We ended up driving the course in 21:19, and OT was 17:35.
Driving through hazard 1.

The blues are from dressage and marathon(each class was judged separately) and the yellow
is for the overall placing.

 The classes were judged separately at that event, and we earned two blue ribbons, one for dressage and one for marathon(we were actually the only large pony at Prelim). Overall, we placed third, behind the Hackney and German Sport Horse.


Thank you for reading this post! I love to hear from and interact with my readers; it's what makes blogging worth it, so please comment and let me know what you think.