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Early 2018 - Team Dyno is off for pairs driving training. They are proving to be well suited for the endurance phase!! LOL

 

In December 2017 and January 2018, I had the great priviledge and blessing to accompany my wonderful friend, Carole, as she competed in the Preliminary Small Pony Pairs divisions at two combined driving events in Florida. December was The Grand Oaks Preliminary Championship CDE and January was the Nature Coast HDT at Black Prong.
Read about them, see more photos and video at: 2017 Grand Oaks CDE and 2018 Nature Coast HDT

Carole's ponies are Section A Welsh (the small pony division has to be under 11.3 hands). They are Clear Meadows Freckles (aka Lucas) and Dandardel Maxwell (i.e. Max).

Carole, as whip, has the daunting task of driving the pair, ideally in perfect harmony, in a driven dressage test, which is very difficult considering you have no leg or seat aids!
Dressage is scored the same as eventing i.e. converted to penalties.

That phase is often followed immediately by the cones course. The wheels of the vehicle are measured (before dressage) and the cones are set (reset for each turnout) with a certain clearance, depending on the level of the division. Of course, the distance is smaller as you move up the divisions. The cones course has to be completed within a certain time limit, after which penalty points are added to your dressage score (if you go over the time allowed). Naturally, additional penalties are accrued if a ball is knocked off a cone.

oops! A ball down at Grand Oaks, but no time penalties:-)

double clear at Nature Coast - expertly driven!

During those two phases (dressage and cones), I just sit on the back, (shhhh - I can't make a sound) and hang on.

Marathon day is, for me, the most fun, as that is when I get to participate as more than a groom:-) Before marathon, I have to learn the course, write up the time sheet to tape on the carriage, be sure I have working watches. During marathon, I manage the green card, track the the time limits in each section and at each km marker and all the compulsary flags, and I had better know all the gates within the hazards!

When one is driving a horse (or pair) with speed through the hazards, that is plenty to keep the whip's mind quite occupied,

So I occasionally get to add some directive advice, act a balast to keep all 4 wheels on the ground, and "jump" the carriage, if the turn was a bit too ambitious.


Oh what fun! I wish everyone could experience it. Even my self-proclaimed "non-horsey" husband loves to "gator". Take some time to enjoy the photos at the green links above.

At Grand Oaks in December, we stayed in the Magnolia Barn and the ponies were in Valhalla, with Elizabeth.

After Grand Oaks, we left the ponies with Elizabeth for a few weeks,

then returned in January for the Nature Coast HDT at Black Prong.

See more photos and video at: 2017 Grand Oaks CDE and 2018 Nature Coast HDT

After Nature Coast, we went back to Grand Oaks to pack up for the return to Tennessee and to audit the Barry Hook clinic on Wednesday.

I have been a big Barry Hook (horsedrawnpromotions.com) internet fan for a couple years now and he proved to be as entertaining and insightful as I expected.

6/17/17 - Middle TN Carriage Club Driving Trials , Carole and her small pony pair, Lucas and Max, with Vanessa on the back-step

 

below: the I-75 overpass at the Florida Horse Park (2015)

above and below: Foothills Hopefilly and Foothills River Queen in "The Caravan" 2015

2015 National Drive

I had two wonderful trips this October with my nearest and dearest friends! The first trip was my annual trip to the National Drive with Carole Moss. This year, she took her small pony, Lucas, and I took Tullymor's Tigger to ride and expose to all the great things to see and do at the KY Horse Park. I met a lovely young lady, Anna Tootle (below in orange), there with her mother and younger sister (who is taking up driving). Anna needed her pony-fix, so I let her take Tigger out for a hack and a try at the bank, which was a first for both of them - no problem.

 

https://youtu.be/ueR6D8bS1xw

The first time doing obstacles with the pair! Foothills Hopefilly and Foothills River Queen

2015 August Driving Derby

What fun Charlie and I had at the inaugural River Plains Driving Derby with Foothills Hopefilly!

2015 June Driving Derby

The ACPS Region IV Show had driving classes: you can see results and photos here 2015 ACPS R4/SMHSS

2015 The Caravan

Starting a pair: Foothills River Queen and Foothills Hopefilly, about the 3 time hitched as a pair (Dec 2014)

Two (2) Connemara pony mares driving together for the 3rd time: Foothills Hopefilly (13.3 h dark brown) is a 15 yr old Connemara broodmare. She has competed in Prelim single pony in Indiana and has been hitched a couple times in a pair. Foothills River Queen (14.2 hand grey) is a 21 year old broodmare that just learned to drive this year. She has very limited driving experience; she has never driven off the farm, never competed and has never been in a pair hitch, other than with Hope twice before. We are practicing to get ready to join "The Caravan" in March 2015 in Florida. Both of these ponies are by Concord River's Roaringwater Bay.

https://youtu.be/LciE-Psn2TQ

2014 National Drive Trace Pace - Vanessa driving Foothills Hopefilly with Carole Moss on the backstep

2014 Indiana Combined Driving Event, Hoosier Horse Park
Foothills Hopefilly: whip, Vanessa Morgan - navigator, Charlie Morgan

2014 Middle Tennessee Carriage Club HDT

Vanessa driving Foothills Hopefilly at the 2014 MTCC HDT in her first go at Preliminary Single Pony. With my most excellent Navigator, Charlie Morgan, we finished in 2nd place!

 

Hope and CoStar's month with Sue Hrizuk (2013) - Hope was put to a pair!

2013 National Drive (Kentucky Horse Park): Vanessa driving Strawberry Shortcake; Carole driving Lucas


Catoosa Ridge with the Tennessee Carriage Companions (driving Shorty) - Sept 2013

Scurry - June 2013

2013 Carolina Carriage Club HDT at Windridge Farm (NC): Vanessa Morgan driving Corner Oak Celtic Star and Charlie Morgan Navigating

Black Prong 2013 (Vanessa driving Corner Oak Celtic Star; Carole driving Lucas)

2011 National Drive (Kentycky Horse Park): Vanessa driving Corner Oak Celtic Star, Carole driving Cooper, Rachel driving Cathreim Solas [a.k.a. Loppy]

Gary's Wagon Train - McMinn County - September 2011

Catoosa Ridge with the Tennessee Carriage Companions - Sept 2011

Aiken, SC: January 2011

2011 Indiana CDE, Hoosier Horse Park, IN: Vanessa Morgan driving Foothills Hopefilly and Dillon Morgan Navigating

The Mops (L-R: Blue and Spark Plug) - July 2011

Vanessa driving "The Mops" under Carole's guidance (July 2011)

2011 KY Classic CDE, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY: Marion Caldwell driving Foothills Juniper and Laura Burns Navigating

Vanessa Morgan posing with Whip, Marion Caldwell and Foothills Juniper at the 2011 KY Classic CDE

Fun times with sisters at the Gayla CDE in Georgetown,KY, May 2011

Connemara Pony Siblings at the Gayla Bluegrass Combined Driving Event Two purebred Connemara sisters and four ACPS Region IV members competed in the Training Single Pony division at the Gayla Bluegrass CDE on May 21-22 in Lexington, KY. Marion Caldwell drove Foothills Juniper (Balmullo’s Beacon x Blue Hills Morning Star), with daughter Laura as navigator, in their first CDE. Vanessa Morgan drove Foothills Hopefilly (Concord River Roaringwater Bay x Blue Hills Morning Star) with ‘gator Carole Moss, their second CDE. Through Dressage, cones and a grueling marathon, both ponies and Whips performed with excellence! Marion and Juniper brought home 2nd place, with Vanesssa and Hope placing 4th. The two ponies were the topic of much conversation in the Marathon vet box, at the same time! Congratulations ladies! ACPS Region IV Newsletter


Gayla 2011 Cones Pics
Gayla 2011 Marathon Pics

2010 Katydid HDT, Aiken, SC: Vanessa Morgan driving Foothills Hopefilly and Carole Moss Navigating

2010 National Drive (Hoosier Horse Park, IN) - My first National Drive with my Connemaras, Foothills Hopefilly and Corner Oak Celtic Star. It was their first big driving venue, both having less than 6 months in harness.

2009 National Drive (Kentucky Horse Park): Vanessa riding Teago (and drove Cooper a little!) and Carole with Cooper

2009 - Tellico Plains

2007 National Drive (Kentucky Horse Park): Vanessa with Champ (miniature), who ran off with me! and Carole driving Lucas

Carole trying to convince me of how much fun it is to drive - Cooper in harness (2007)

Below: Vanessa driving Champ (2007) - I decided to give it a try

2006 National Drive (Kentucky Horse Park): Carole with Cooper

 

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