Drive Into FUN!
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King's Point Goat Farm
Mini-Cooper Racing Team
20198 National Drive in Indiana with Carole and her pony Lucan, and I, once again, brought a riding pony,
. He did not get ridden a lot, but it was a great exposure for him, with Any Neary's despooking obstacle course, the cowboy shooters in the covered arena, and a groundwork lesson with Leslie Cashion.
Carole Moss did a fantastic job with hospitality, I did a lot of PEMS sessions for clients (human and equine) and the National Drive staff was wonderful, as always!
Carson has he first "big" exposure to the combined driving world at Windridge 2019. We did not compete, but drove down the road to the dressage arena, back up the long driveway toward marathon and around the trailers to the barn.
It was a great learning experience! Elizabeth gave him a good drive in the cones area, once the course was down, and ended his weekend with a great lesson.
I navigated for Carole driving Lucas in the Preliminary Small Pony DT division and ended all clear with her fasted obstacle times to date!
A couple weeks later, we had a repeat at the 2019 Indiana CDE where Carole and Lucas finished 3rd overall in the Preliminary Single Pony division, competing against the large ponies, and was 2nd fasted in hazards!!
Carson getting back to serious business with Elizabeth Keathley (May 2019)
began his single driving adventures at the
2018 National Drive in Indiana
, with the help of my dearest friend Carole Moss, and trainers, Amy Neary and Joanna Wilburn.
Early 2018 -
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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 (
) 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 ,
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:
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.
The first time doing obstacles with the pair!
Foothills River Queen
2015 August Driving Derby
What fun Charlie and I had at the inaugural River Plains Driving Derby with
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
, 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.
2014 National Drive Trace Pace - Vanessa driving
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
at the 2014 MTCC HDT
in her first go at Preliminary Single Pony. With my most excellent Navigator, Charlie Morgan, we finished in
Hope and CoStar's month with
Sue Hrizuk (2013)
- Hope was put to a pair!
2013 National Drive (Kentucky Horse Park):
; Carole driving Lucas
Catoosa Ridge with the Tennessee Carriage Companions (driving
) - Sept 2013
Scurry - June 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
, Rachel driving
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
and Dillon Morgan Navigating
The Mops (L-R: Blue and Spark Plug) - July 2011
Vanessa driving "The Mops" under
guidance (July 2011)
2011 KY Classic CDE
, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY: Marion Caldwell driving
and Laura Burns Navigating
Vanessa Morgan posing with Whip, Marion Caldwell and
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
(Balmullos Beacon x Blue Hills Morning Star), with daughter Laura as navigator, in their first CDE. Vanessa Morgan drove
(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
and Carole Moss Navigating
2010 National Drive (Hoosier Horse Park, IN) - My first National Drive with my Connemaras,
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