I've been driving for about 5 years on and off and competing in HDT for a year at club level. I'm in the north east of England and currently drive a welsh section D (with just a few issues...! Lol) and my young hunter is off to be broken to drive in January. The youngster is already riding nicely, so we're going back to long reining this week in readiness of his driving training. So next year he'll be doing some dressage and cones, and maybe a short marathon at the end of the season and some showing, ridden and driven hopefully, alongside Ru doing trials at Novice level... I'm predicting a busy year ahead!
Ru does love his work, but he's a typical section D with a few niggles... He's my special needs pony!! He will only catch for me, runs away in a halter, is partially sighted and has a funny lump on the bar of his mouth that makes choosing a bit damned hard work.
Gunner however is easy- nothing is too much bother for him and once he understands what you're asking for he tries his little heart out!
Hi Katastrophykat, Welcome, what a joy to see Welsh's driving. Both your boys are looking good. I too am from the North East, but transplanted to the USA. Used to go to the driving trials at Holker and also Mellerstain, just as a spectator. I always insisted on driving a Governess Cart, totally frowned upon by the mainstream, but I enjoyed it. Anyway Cheers and Welcome.
Welcome!! Your horses are beautiful
I also drove a section C cob a couple of years ago and am currently driving and showing a pair of section B welsh ponies in CDE's and pleasure shows. We also have an up and coming pair of British Riding Ponies which we plan on showing in the next couple of years. All of our ponies fathers were imported from the UK...
I'm intending on being more regular so I thought of start with an update.
Gunner is now 5 and 'came out' this season for what was meant to be a few club events. I started filling in my competency card ready for next season when I was looking at nationals with him.
So... We started in May with a full weekend at a trial, but only doing dressage and cones on Saturday. He was no bother. Took it all in his stride and even looked slightly confused when he was ridden on Sunday instead of driven as everyone else was under harness.
So then we had four weeks fit turning work ready for his first full trial. I'm not sure of the layout there but here at club level, I've bought him out as a novice horse and we have dressage & cones on Saturday then marathon on Sunday at club 2de's. Marathon at my club is 15-18km usually.
A lovely weekend dawned and we headed off to Nidd Hall. He settled well, and after a somewhat argumentative warm up for dressage, put in a decent test with a storming 'show some extended strides over x' which we haven't yet managed to replicate
Cones was a battle of wills... Ie will he/ wont he canter about like a baby show jumper... He won the battle, (I'm still waging the war,)and we were well under time for three down.
This is one of the last shots of him on the marathon- section A was horrid, he had loads of things to deal with like steep inclines (up, down and side to side!) water (his pet hate...) and sludgy mucky horrible slimy mud- and lots of it! He was really brave, and saw me safe to the obstacles but then it all got too much for his little brain and he flattened right out in the obstacles. Too much information for him all at once and he copes with it by coming right back and going very steady. Regardless, some not bad times posted and he didn't bat an eyelid at anything on course, so I was really happy to end up in 2nd place!!
Followed by a lovely open cones course, which just leant itself to being cantered around again (!) but for just one down... The pro managed to get one trot picture... Think that was the only one of the day!
And in true 5 year old style, he hit the obstacles VERY fresh on Sunday, meaning a couple of arguments, and a few extra wide routes with a couple of added circles within the obstacles, but it had the desired effect and he now loves going through those flags!!
Sooo... He won his club class there as well!! and as that meant that our third event was signed and sealed, we decided to enter a national at the last minute! Off back up to Scotland we went, the weather was awful and Gunner was very tense when I rode him in on arrival on the Friday. So much so that I had to get off, lunge him for a few minutes and let him have a buck/fart/squeal/attempt to fall over before daring to lower my bottom back onto the saddle so when dressage day dawned (3 day event, dressage Saturday, marathon Sunday and cones Monday) I was apprehensive to say the least. The weather was wet, the ground sloppy and he put on his mr sensible hat and stood yawning while we put him too for the test!! He does find dressage boring, however... He hasn't ever seen pot plants, big boards for the arena or a sound system up close and did find it a little spooky, but the overall test although a little tense, wasn't bad. It was raining before the test- hence the wet weather kit!
Marathon day he danced about like a pillock when being put too- he's started doing this only ever on Sundays at driving trials- he's just too excited for the marathon ahead! Section A was testing, with a river crossing (steep banks, high river, wide and fast flowing) which he coped really well with, and a wooden bridge- we hadn't met one before then! Vet check at the stand after the transition vetted him in at a testing heartbeat, and complimented us on his fitness, so very vetted out no bother, and we were off onto the 8 very tricky obstacles. They closed right in on us, the routes if walked didn't drive like is thought (lessons learned for me!) and he was so, so good!! It's like it's his 40th trial, hot his 4th. Unfortunately, the most simple obstacle on course was the water. I knew it. It was dead easy. Until I flew past E and didn't correct myself and eliminated us both. We completed the competition, and I would have ended on about 114 pens (allowing for the few seconds detour through E(!!)) and the winner of my class was on over 210 penalties. As far as I'm concerned- he won anyway, I'm over the moon at him.