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Discussion Starter #1
We had our annual carriage driving competition this weekend. It involves a dressage test, a cones course (similar style to show jumping but obviously for horse & cart!) and 'hazards' (likened to cross country...) I have no pics of me sorry :p

We started with Dressage, it has to be in formal dress etc too (ugh) it's in a massive dressage arena (carts don't turn as sharp as a ridden horse, we need more room!) without so many weird moves like you can see in top ridden dressage, mainly just working gaits, collected gaits and lengthened gaits, a couple of circles and serpentines etc.

This is Spot and Brian doing their test

I didn't get many dressage photos cos I was in the middle of the order so was getting ready when half of them were in, and didn't get much time to see the last ones (and dressage is rather boring to photograph anyway!)


Then there's the cones course. Basically there are 20 pairs of [angled] cones (with weighted balls ontop) each one numbered (red numbers always on your right) and basically ya hoon around them at the best speed you can without knocking any balls off. LOADS of fun! lol.




 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Now, I did ok in the dressage test (won my class, though have a lot to improve if I actually tried training more!) and we did well in the cones course too (again, won it for our class) but um, we had a bit of a mishap from there.... lol!

Ok so because it's a speed event, a lot of the time I'm galloping Ed through it, and coming up to the finish line I lined him up and basically let him run FAST to get a good time through the finish line, woooohooo (SO fun!) except instead of then being able to pull Ed up (like we always can do fine) he went UP a gear, and bolted. We were heading for a fence and deep ditch that angled back to our right, so I opted to steer him a fairly sharp left around a gate into an open paddock so I could get some *space* and sort him out rather than race into a fence... Except while trying to turn him when he was flat out bolting away, one of the shafts of the cart (the long shafts the horse stands between) *snapped*!!! We got through the gate and I basically then started puling him around a bit to slow him up a bit (You CANNOT take a sharp turn to bring him back to himself in a 2 wheel cart or you'll tip the whole lot!) then I realised at some point the second shaft had snapped too, and I was basically being dragged weirdly, the cart was tipped on the ground and I suddenly freaked that it'd go *backwards* (with no shafts attached, it could have gone in either direction!) so I basically did a forward roll out of the cart onto the ground to my left (by that time I think I was already pulling him around to the left, so left was 'inside'!) I at some point must have let go of the right rein in my dive, so I held onto the left rein, laying on the ground essentially hauling him into a circle around me. Let go of the rein and he'd have been galloping free with the shattered cart behind him and could have quite likely gotten caught up in the harness too.

I didn't let go though, so he galloped around me a couple of times before stopping, both of us still fine, just a bit shaken and weird feeling. I had to unstrap his harness standing there in the paddock to get him free of the cart, stepped him out and we walked back. I had to go back and retrieve the broken cart with the harness dangling about.

*sigh*

So I could have gone on, borrowed another cart and done the hazards, but when I don't really know why Ed bolted in the first place (perhaps the harness pinched? Perhaps he was just being an ass with the wind in his hair!!), I don't want to put him back into a position where we'll be galloping racing about again within hours of all this, so we opted to scratch from the afternoon of hazards. Pity, cos the placings are only done 'overall' (Dressage + cones + hazards = overall placings) and having won the dressage and cones already, I was in for a good placing if we didn't screw up anything much in the hazards! But ahh well, I guess health and safety is probably better than a placing, though to be honest it was all rather fun too. LOL! I will put him back into the cart later in the week and work him a bit, might get his teeth etc checked out to see if something was up there that made him go too... we'll see.


Anyway, so I wasn't driving in the hazards, so I was roped into stewarding for one instead! As a result I only got pics of the one hazard I was stewarding for and not any of the others, but it was still cool!

Basically the way the hazards work (there were 7 of them) is there is A, B, C, D, E and sometimes F, that you have to go through in order (again, red on the right) if you go through the wrong way or out of order, you get eliminated (though once you've been through each one, you can go *back* through them in any order or direction to get to others) The trick is, that the gaps can be cones like I was at, fences, gates, metal drums, drain pipes, brush jumps etc etc.











So all in all, a fun weekend, even with smashing the cart and coming out (lol, am I strange that I think that bit was fun too?) I had a weird twinge in my thigh after coming out of the cart (I realised later that the cart has sides on it, I must have rolled over it... lol) but now, 10 hours later, I realise my legs are absolutely aching all over, my feet and everything are sore and I'm totally pooped. I'm sun burned (again, ooops) and didn't sleep well last night, so the whole adrenaline thing has suddenly worn off and I'm about ready to crash for the night now!!

There's always next year!!!

*edited to add* there are some more pics here too: http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j162/flyingduster2/OMHCDC 2010 DOD/
 

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Cool, that looks like so much fun!
Shame about the mishap :(

But there is always next year!
Man it must have been hot in those outfits!
I was boiling in my clothes out at forrester park!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ugh, yeah, yet another reason why I hate the formal wear needed for dressage & cones (luckily hazards is casual though!) though in saying that my jacket is fairly thin, and I was only wearing a stock under it (a bib thingy that makes it look like I'm wearing a blouse. lol) cos of the heat! Once I got Ed back into the paddock from the whole ordeal, I was stripping those blimmin things off though, gimmie jeans and a t-shirt any day!!!
 

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Oh My! What kind of cart where you driving when the shaft broke? I'll have to put that on my Do Not Buy List. It's much longer than my Buy list :)

Is Ed a Miniature Horse?

There were some very nice looking ponies at your event! Thanks for the pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yup, Ed is a mini.




The cart is one we can get in NZ for cheap, the wheels are always total crap and need replaced, but this is the first time the (metal!) shafts have snapped on one! I'm not sure how old this particular cart was though either, it was possibly an older one so I guess the time has taken it's toll on it too...? It's the same type of one that is in the dressage photo, and the last photo too.
http://www.saddlerywarehouse.co.nz/afawcs0126509/CATID=8/SUBID=/ID=14627/SID=314739621/productdetails.html

and this is how it ended up:
 

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WOW!!! I have driven miniature horses for the last 9 years and NEVER had this happen! What an exciting ride! Whew. Ed was fine after this?

I trained 31 miniature horses to drive in those years, some where ponies :) but all were fun! Some of the owners were moving into the driving ring because they were afraid to ride their big horses. They would tell me that this MUST be sooooo much safer than riding. I was always very careful about telling them that we are still dealing with horses and things can happen! We just cross our fingers that something like this won't happen! I'm so glad that you guys were alright!

Good luck next time!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ed is fine too, though in saying that my legs are bl**dy sore this morning, they were fine yesterday but I guess the rest last night has made them stiff this morning and I'm having trouble moving now. *sigh* I think I was bracing myself in the cart (and my shoes were crap cos they were the formal wear from the dressage test) when it all happened which is why my thighs hurt so bad now.

I have been driving Ed for 11 years and not had this happen, and broken in countless minis (and the odd welsh pony too) and competed in oodles of competitions including the fast paced hazards etc without a problem. I have had the odd 'runner' who went bolting off for whatever reason (bee sting once, a loud noise with a fresh/new horse another time) but I've always had no trouble just bringing them back down again and carrying on. I could have bought Ed back down fine except that the shafts broke which freaked him as well as me!! But yup, sometimes something goes wrong! We can only be grateful it wasn't any worse....
 

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I am so glad that you both are alright. I have also had my fair share of runaway's... they are NEVER fun. There was only one that I couldn't stop either, but she was intent on kicking the crap out of the cart and me if she could manage it. It was a VERY bad situation, but we all made it out alive :) She had been badly scared by a small dog barking and running in and out of her legs. After that any barking dog would set her off, only I didn't know that at the time I was driving her. Great right!?

Again, I'm so glad you are alright! Good luck on your next drive!

P.S. Ed is adorable! I love his face :)
 

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Wow, I am so glad you and your mini were not hurt badly. I have never seen carts break like that either. Congrats on winning the first two classes. Good luck next year. :)
 
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