Which driving discipline is most popular in YOUR area?
I'm just curious about this. Which driving discipline is the most popular in your area?
I just moved to the GA/TN line, and b/c I have a non-CDE-capable horse, I am absolutely THRILLED to find that I have inadvertently moved to the Carriage Pleasure Driving capital of the South! TN rocks!!!
Lower GA and FL seem to be almost exclusively CDE-oriented; TN seems to be exactly the opposite. Almost EVERY open/breed show (some even rated!) has an open carriage pleasure division (e.g., Germantown Charity); even the small open shows have at least one carriage pleasure class; there are several ADS pleasure shows. In short, there is way more for us to do here in one season than there would be in five *years* down where I used to live. The local Saddle Club even offers bi-monthly recreational drives where they actually shut down some of the roads and go driving with a police escort!
By contrast there appears to be only *one* CDE in Middle Tennessee - unless the Keithleys do one, which I haven't checked into.
So that got me thinking and now I'm just curious as to what's the most popular in other areas of the country.
I'm in WNC, closest club is Carolina Carriage Club. We have a handful of active CDE competitors and less than that that do pleasure shows, except for our own (which rocks) and many, many who just drive down the road. We try to have one drive monthly for folks who just want to drive and the competitive folks can use it for conditioning, etc.
Here in the Pacific NW there are ZERO pleasure driving shows any more (not enough entries to hold the one or two they've tried to offer) but CDE is a rapidly growing sport with new venues opening and entries filling in the first few days. I think some of the breed shows offer carriage classes (Haflinger, Welsh, miniature and such like) but none of the local open shows do. There's very little organized recreational driving although the one local western WA club held a couple this winter which were a lot of fun despite the inevitable pouring rain. I think Oregon is doing somewhat better, club wise.
Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.
Here on the central coast of CA we seem pretty balanced. Most of the people I know are mostly into the CDE's but also go to the pleasure shows and go to the recreational drives. We're even lucky enough to have driven dressage shows (since that's probably all I'll want to do). I'd say there's one type of show/event every other week or so, which keeps my friends busy. It will be good for me since I'll get to experience every aspect driving can offer.
Now in Southern California, there is very few driving opportunities, and only pleasure driving. One show association (I believe not ADS related) holds a show series for driving. The only other driving shows are breed-related, like Appy, Arab, Morgan, other stock horse, but they don't fill up. There's just not the interest in driving down in the SoCal region.
There are 2 huge Pleasure shows here in the winter--Gloria Austins and the Florida STate Fair. Then I can think of 3 Pleasure shows around the state that are not ADS rated.
Two of the CDEs are actually CAI which the majority of average drivers do not get into because they have offered only intermediate and advanced in the past couple of years. One did actually open prelim this year so they could fill their rosters.
So that gives us 2 HDT(Black Prong venue training to advanced) and the Sunshine CAI (prelim to Advanced). Like Oak is mostly filled with people from out of state.
There is a large recreational driving group called the Central Florida Buggy club who camp and have fun drives.
There is also some Competitive Trail Drives.
We have a variety of open shows that off and on have offered driving classes.
Well, WA, we will be doing dressage on 2 days at our Pleasure Show in Sept and we are even closier to you now.
LOL, I honestly didn't have any hidden agenda there, Price, I was just curious!
I'm of two minds about asking the Old Professor to come out of retirement for a swan song. I'm kinda just playing it by ear at the moment and letting HIM tell ME what he wants to do. The trick to showing HRH Avery "successfully" (by which I do NOT mean winning, I just mean getting him in the ring sound) is to have a huge range of dates available to pick from and toss him on the trailer at the last minute if he happens to be trotting level that week.
Are you having MFS at your show?? I've got one I never finished!
It is mostly recreational driving around here as well. Folks out driving around their homes would be the highest number of folks Driving.
With organized functions, there are about 3 very nice Driving shows, all 2 day deals, over the good weather season. Lots of classes offered, showing at a higher skill level, but still very fun. Get out the best harness, carriage and fancy hats.
There are some driving classes in riding shows if you hunt for them. Far and few between. Some Fairs, have driving classes, allow you to haul in for the day to show. Usually for the Drafts, but may have light horses too. One Fair has Drafts and Ponies, no light horses in Open though there is a huge 4-H driving particiption at that Fair. They have one whole day of 4-H Driving, showing with all kinds of equines in all kinds of classes. Fairly good skill level with the kids showing. Used to be more than 40 kids in the Driving program. Some of the Fairs require you to stay for the week it is on. So that limits entries as people don't have that much time to get away.
Another organized drive would be picnics, with several scheduled around the State. A number of Parks will allow us to come for the day or weekend (camp out) and drive on their roads. Some really nice areas to see. Unfortunately, there is not much of a turn out to the picnics, 3-5 carriages is a good drive. Metamora has club picnics, with driving on member's farms and local dirt roads, with the food as the attraction. Since folks live close by, these usually get a fair amount of folks attending. 10-25 vehicles may come. All Driving gatherings do eat well!
And lastly we have one MI CDE each year. It is an hour from us, a bonus! Further for other "local" driving people because it is on one side of the state, not a central location. Michigan is fairly large, so distance depends on your home area. I would consider anything within a couple hours to be pretty close, not far to travel.
The next closest CDEs are Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky, all about 6 hours in a car. A bit longer in the truck, hauling horses. I stop longer at rest breaks, to let them relax, give drinks. But if you want to play CDE, you have to go where the competition is. Having several CDEs within 4 hours, would be GREAT! I do appreciate the 6-8 hour drives after hearing of the Western State folks who think 12 hours is "close" and still inside their own state. We are LUCKY!!
Eastern folks just don't appreciate the distances some States contain. I know my mouth fell open when some folks told us they didn't attend anything over 2 hours away, "Much too far!". Husband and I looked at each other and both silently said "Mackinac" which is at least 6 hours from us, traveling fast. Mackinac is the name and location of the Bridge that leads into Northern Michigan, the other half of the State. We are about an hour and a half above the State line to Indiana. So about 7 1/2 hours travel to reach Northern Michigan, with lots of State left to drive over, before you hit another State line.
The driving clubs are often invited to attend Parades, so members who like that activity have a chance to dress up and go. I would call that Recreational too. Some Parades are very large, 300 or more units. Others are much smaller, the local Harvest Festival, Victorian Days, Historical celebrations (Costumes desired), but fun to be in. Metamora has a weekend of Celebrating the Horse. They have horsey themed activities, Blessing the Hounds, a short parade of the Hunt, followed with local folks riding and some carriages thru town. Club members have a horseless carriage display at a location, showing a nice variety of vehicles, with informational signs for people walking around the small town area. Much fun conversation with visitors, questions and answers.
I do think the Michigan local Driving groups work really hard at having a good time. Activities take place all over the State, not just Metamora. There is certainly a variety of activities to choose from, to suit your Driving desires.
Musical Freestyle (in driven dressage). The ADS rules provide for it, and the year the ADS added it, I got all gung-ho and started composing one for HRH Avery, but that was the year all the pleasure shows in/around GA got canceled for lack of entries, so I never finished it or used it... It was just as well b/c I was "stuck" for an ending anyway! I now have one in mind, though, so it wouldn't be THAT difficult to finish the thing if opportunity were ever to arise to perform same.
The last time I talked to my cyberpals in California (ages ago), driven MFS had taken off sooooooooo huge out there that they were actually thinking of splitting it out into different levels at their dressage shows! DancingApp, did that ever happen??
I honestly don't know. I don't know who puts on the dressage show in NoCal but at Ann McClure's dressage festival I believe it's only the dressage tests for CDE. She holds the dressage festival so CDE people can practice their tests. Other people come just to show as well. There may be some people doing freestyles, that would be fun. I'll let you know when the prize list comes out.
We have people doing everything here. Sure there's a large CDE group but there are also pleasure shows, breed shows, trace paces, poker drives, distance drives and just good ole going down the trail drivers.
If you look you can pretty much find the activity you want to participate in down here.
I love Musical Freestyle. We did it at Silver Sands and had 4 entries. I have a great song by the Pointer sisters that allows for all the gaits and has a wonderful stop in the middle of the song. Have competed twice in it. Wish it were offered more often.