Since I so enjoyed the details of Chewbacca's HDT, I thought I would post about the one I did this past weekend. I took my 18-3 hand Clydesdale, Tuffy. My overall goal was to NOT get eliminated, with the other goal being to NOT forget the dressage test. It was T-3 and for some reason I always seem to mess that one up. Well, I remembered the test, but Tuffy turned into a runaway freight train and refused to make full stops! He has never done that before, and I have no idea why it did it Sunday. But we got great marks on our free walks (8s), 8s on one circle, walks and trots. And an 8 on impulsion. I definately had a lot of that (and a strong grip on the lines!) plus an 8 on the driver mark. Not my crowning glory as far as dressage with a score of 49.39. Guess I am spoiled, since that is not a terrible score, but this is the same horse who got the best training level dressage score that the last dress show...out of 42 tests.
Tuffy was still in freight train mode in cones, hard to steer and totally demolished one cone. But we made it through. For marathon, I got to use my friend's marathon vehicle (usually just use my cart) and that slowed the freight train down some. We had a blast. Course was a little over 6K, with 5 hazards and about 45 gates. We came in right in the time window.
We were the only one in the draft division, so we won by default. I am always happy if I just get through without messing up. All the other drivers and volunteers raved about Tuffy. The people behind us in marathon said they just followed his giant foot prints to keep on course, and the announcer said his announcer stand shook when we trotted by. They were all surprised we went through the water in the water hazard even though we didn't really have to.
The place were this was held has four or five HDTs every year, as well as a CDE, pleasure show and other events. HDTs are a great way for you to see if combined driving is for you and your horse. Way less pressure and less money. People also seem to have more time to help each other and get to know each other better.