The Kids at Work

The Kids

Driving my guys as a pair is my passion now.   We started off competing at AMHR shows.  The classes offered are few and the competition sparse.   The largest class we participated in had 6 entries, but most of the time I was alone or there was only 2 of us.   We would wait all weekend long for our 10 minutes in the arena.   If we were lucky 2 classes would be offered per show.   We did make it into the National All-Star top 10 for Fine Harness, 3 times, highest placing 2nd.

I had been interested in combined driving for several years but only got into it recently.   The idea of competing outside, cross country and in open dressage arenas appealed to me.   The endless arena laps at the breed shows weren't what we were looking for anymore.   We still attend a few for the performance classes but do little driving.

Dressage is still a mystery to me but the marathon and cones are a thrill.   Getting two to bend and flex as one (the correct direction) is our weak area but we are working on it and getting better all the time.   The following are some of my favorite pairs pictures some in the arena but most out doors.   I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

custom cart
15 Minutes
About Us
2007 Now & Then
2006 ReWind
Odds & Ends

This picture was taken at Monroe Fairgrounds in 2002.   I know some frown on pairs put to a 2-wheel cart but it worked well for us.   Arena driving is for the most part flat, no creeks to cross and no hills to climb.

This particular cart was made just for me in 1999 by a good friend and excellent craftsman, Will Heyer.   It was originally intended for Willy alone and has shafts as well as a pair pole.


K.C. is closest in this shot above.   Willy in the shot below.

at Carols

close up
at work Precision Driving Class
They can bend when they want to. I just need to convince them to want to during a dressage test.

My first 4-wheel cart was also made for me by another friend and skilled craftsman, Ken Northfield.   With a few dimensions and a pencil sketch he built this very suitable, light weight cart to start us off on our new adventures in combined driving.   Ken even made the wheels.   It served us well during our training level year.   I am very lucky and blessed to know such talented people.   It is very difficult to find equipment both cart and harness that is sized correctly for miniature horses.   My guys are on the taller side of miniature, I don't know what the real little ones do.

under construction

The these 2 rows of pictures are of the cart in various stages of construction including the finished product.   If you look closely you can see Ken in the row below.

big blue
1st Time out
My first time out with this cart was an "Intro to CDE's" clinic heald at Happ's Inc. in Ethel, WA. As you can see here the cart was so new it wasn't even painted yet.    We had a great time roaming the fields and trying things out.
1st dressage
Here I am getting ready for my dressage test accompanied by my navigator and good friend Jenn Charles. This is also at Happ's.

Below is navigating a cones course.


We were fortunate that our first year of outdoor competition was a relatively dry one.   Towards the end of the summer it sometimes rained in the evenings and their were a few chilly mornings but the sun always came out and warmed things by the time we were scheduled on the marathon or cones course, though dressage was sometimes foggy and on the damp side.

If anyone reading this has white horses or even high white socks you know how hard it is to get them and keep them white.   Below we are navigating a hazard during a marathon in September.   It wasn't raining then but it did all the night before. After this phase we needed to clean up for cones held the same afternoon.   The cones picture above is the same day as the marathon pictures below.   My navigator Elise earned her keep helping me accomplish this bit of magic in time to be presentable for the more formal part of the competition.   In the background of the cones picture you can see the hazard of the pictures below.

start gate
hazard time
nice bend
finish gate

Back to Top