The Kids at Work

2006 in Review

The following pictures and comments are ordered in reverse
chronology so the most recent will be seen first.

My 2006 season ended as it had started with a lesson with Terri Jones. Though dressage is an ongoing learning adventure my cones scores have been less than stellar. Terri took me through the basics and got us back on track. Hope I don't forget between now and January. The holidays are a busy time for me and my guys enjoy the two month vacation they get each year at this time. We will be back at it in January. See you then!


In October I found myself traveling to Lexington, Kentucky. What a great place to be if you like horses. They are everywhere. Along with friends Peter & Merridy Hance and Maureen Harkcom we attended meetings of the American driving Society held at the horse park. Actually I only went to one meeting and spent the rest of my time exploring the park with Peter while Merridy and Maureen took care of ADS business. While we were there the National Drive was in full swing, often while walking around to see the sights carriages would travel by. The weather was cool but dry, perfect for sight seeing.

Kentucky Horse park

The above is a sampling of the pictures I took while in Kentucky. The people shown are Merridy and Maureen in the lobby between meetings. More pictures of the horse park can be found on the Kentucky through my Lens page.

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The last actual competition of the year that I attend is one held at Happ's in Ethel, WA. The VSE Combined Driving Schooling Event. It is formatted similar to that of a Driving Trials only it has all three phases: Dressage, Marathon, and Cones each day. It's a tough go. Saturday we did great, excelled in all. Well all except cones, 3 balls down and time penalties. Even so we took Best Preliminary Dressage, Best Preliminary Pair/Multiple Dressage, Best of the Best Pair/Multiple Dressage and Best Preliminary Overall. My guys gave me everything they had that day

         

Sunday proved that to be true. Our dressage score was horrible and we barely made time in marathon. The kids were spent, I withdrew from the competition after marathon. The remainder of the day I choose to volunteer while Willy and K.C. took it easy; they earned it. Not sure why we had problems this event is not new to us. We never seemed to have made up for the late start in conditioning. More Pictures

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August brings us to Centrailia, WA and Lincoln Creek Combined Driving Event. It was hot that weekend as expected. Last year I left my helmet in the van after our go to watch others on the course. It melted! Well at least warped and separated where the outer shell meets the foam pad. Not as bad this time but almost.

       

Since moving up to Preliminary we went from dressage times early in the morning to nearly the last of the day. I am not a good waiter and get tense during the wait. I took the kids out for a morning warm up then waited for our turn. The later time seem to suit the horses they scored quite well. Once again my lessons with Terri paid off. : Willy generally melts with heat, he has done that from the very beginning of my working with him. He had the energy needed to impress the judges must have been the mid morning nap. K.C. well was being K.C.; figety and refusing to stand still, held it together for the test. Waiting for our cones go was another story. Three balls down again, we really need to work on that.

The rest of the weekend went well. We were neck and neck with the competition and did not know who won until the scores were posted. More Pictures

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Mid June, already. Have a few lessons under my belt now and am ready to go to Happ's Combined Driving Event. This is a true 3 day event with a different section each day. It starts with a formal Presentation/Vet Check the afternoon before the competition that is only offered at this event. This will be the third year we are competing here.

We were the very last dressage test of the day, and it is only the second time I am competing at the preliminary level. Being Prelim is part of the reason we do not follow the other VSE turnouts in the morning another is that two judges are required to judge the test. I miss not being part of that group. The timing is such that I was able to watch and cheer on some friends in the morning.

I talked my friend Jenn Charles to be my groom/navigator for the weekend, she is a great inspiration. Always the optimist. We got ready too soon and had a warm up time of 30-40 minutes. It was a windy afternoon and every few minutes my hat would fly away to parts unknown. The wind did not help the horses temperament either, they were just looking for something to shy at. Finally it was our turn to enter the arena. Out in the warm up area my guys were not listening to me at all, well at least not much, by now I just wanted to get it over with. Well we hit every mark, nice bends, round circles, perfect back. Who knew. Maybe afternoons is our time after all. We got our first dressage test score in the 40's! and won the Best of the Best dressage score for all multiples big and small.

Saturday was Marathon day. Ken and Maureen added a new hazard for this weekend and everyone was looking forward to trying it. They call it "Dry Gulch". Great day for Marathon, no rain, breezy and cool.

Sunday is Cones. Not sure where we were in the order of go but we got ready too soon again. I should of known something was up, K.C. was having a mare day and reared up while trying to stand for the vet check. Thought maybe they would settle down when on course like they did for dressage. Wrong! K.C. changed the rules and decided to go D-Derby in cones. Her goal was to see how many we can knock down. Well the count was five but we did make time. ;) More Pictures

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Can't wait for this one! Scarry

The weekend following my lesson with Terri Jones was Cabin Fever Escape at Happ's. This year instead of a play day with games and competitions CFE was a 2 day clinic on Introduction to Carriage Driving & Harnessing and Driving Pair, Tandem and 4-up. For this weekend the weather cooperated and sun was out all day both days. Still the arena was cold, cold, cold. Nights too, Merridy, Peter and I camped out and I was quite snug in my camper van but others were not so lucky.

Early campout

The day of the lesson I clipped for on March 5 was a cold one. Half way to where I was going it started to snow. By the time I arrived the snow was covering the fields and sticking slushily on the road. Luckily shortly after arriving the snow stopped and by noon it was gone. In fact the sun was quite warm and some people were taking coats off. Not me, but I was comfortable and that's unusual for me this time of year. In the arena it was another story, cold, cold, cold. Notice how the harness fits with their winter coat.

Snow Day Never Again

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