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Wagons ho -- National Drive final thread

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  • Wagons ho -- National Drive final thread

    Just called Devers as is recommended on the National Drive website, only to be told to go to their website:


    Here it's a straightforward process to pre-order your shavings and hay. They don't ask for a stall number, only the name of the registered stall renter. They also don't tell you how much the stuff will cost.

    I have been hoping to get everyone's stall numbers from Shirley, but she's running off her feet trying to keep up with the hundreds of turnouts who will be coming. I believe we are all in aisle 20.

    I've packed all my stuff and I hope that Ashemont is right that the weather will be clement! It's hot as blazes here, and twice as humid. Weirdest autumn I've seen in a long time.

    Roll on!

  • #2
    We've been running around like chickens without heads all morning. Trailer is just about set. Bringing TWO carriages for Bob so my golf cart and scooter are out. But I feel pretty organized. Just might need a big shoehorn to get the other two carriages on I am SO ready to be there!!

    Dear sweet Harvey is finding our stalls for us so that if we get in late (like we did last year) and it's dark we'll not be wandering around. Can't remember... is any bedding included with the stall?

    Oh and Joe got a new Garmin GPS for the trip... but doesn't know how to use it yet. Should be interesting. I put a bed in the trailer just in case

    See y'all soon!
    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

    PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


    • #3
      I would plan on no-bedding. We have never gotten any bonus, included bedding when staying there. Maybe you could have some delivered to your stalls, so you don't have to cart it along. But if they deliver to the wrong place, you have nothing, in the middlle of the night!

      You should have spoken earlier, I could have sent the BIG shoehorn, to aid in your trailer packing. I got it for when we haul horses and all their "accessories" somewhere. Too bad about the scooter, have you got a golfcart reserved at the park? They sure are helpful with carting stuff around, along with saving your tired feet.

      It is miserably hot here, upper 80F's and very humid the last 4 days. One of the mares needed two fans to dry her winter coat, sweating just standing in the stall. She is the hairiest one we have so far. The youngest horses are still pretty slick, but the older ones are fuzzy. Supposed to be back to 60F's tomorrow, so she will be feeling better then. She and her partner didn't last 20 minutes when driven on Saturday. Just soaked with sweat and humid air doesn't let them cool off. Took longer to harness than he got in driving time.

      Hope the weather is nice for all of you and the activities in Kentucky.

      I am looking forward to seeing photos from everyone, and lots of details of the days events.


      • #4
        The tack trunk is almost packed. Harness and cart are cleaned and polished. Ms. Priss has her new shoes with borium and is moving really well. Truck is getting a final check today by our mechanic. Trailer is ready. Going to be packing for the 2 legged variety this evening.

        I can't wait to meet everyone! Safe travel to everyone!



        • Original Poster

          No, no bedding is included, which is why you may want to get on the website and pre-order. Hopefully/supposedly it will be outside your stall when you arrive.


          • #6
            Devers is VERY GOOD about delivering everything to the right place, they do it week after week all show season long for hundreds of horses, both at the KHP and WEF. I am not sure of the shavings prices, but I would estimate that they are $7-8 per bag, you will need a minimum of three, the stalls are on blacktop, I usually use 4-5 depending on the horse. the hay will be $$$$$$$, very good quality, but if you can bring your own, do. I'm sure if you contact your person at the National Drive, they can contact Devers for you. They also rent golf carts, so those of you with more carriage's than space, can rent on for the non driving amoung you.


            • #7
              Oh I've got 6 bags for each stall but couldn't remember if the Park provided any for the stall charge. And for half the price I can haul shavings. They're in plastic so we just put them in the bed of the truck under the GN

              We just measured and can fit FOUR carriages in with plenty of room in front of the horses... or so the tape measure says. Now actually DOING it... that's another story.
              Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

              PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


              • #8
                Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and wonderful week at the National Drive. I hope everybody enjoys themselves to the max and takes lots of pictures! We do wish we were going to be there..... next year for sure!

                Don, Rose, and Sam
                *Charter Member-Blue Tarp State Driving Clique*
                "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, you just might find you get what you need" Mick Jagger


                • #9
                  See you all on Friday or maybe Thursday

                  Not much packing for just us humans, maybe next year bring the horse if I can get a ride down for her???? My husband has his new camera (said he bought it for the ND, but has been itching to get a new one for awhile, oh well, any excuse and need to keep him happy) and related gear, so he'll be taking lots of pictures.

                  Hope everyone equine and human have safe journeys to the KHP. Only one sleep to go!!!!!!



                  • Original Poster

                    ready for an early start tomorrow

                    It's a very different matter, packing for a VSE instead of a horse! This afternoon Becky and I lifted the cart onto the roof of her minivan, loaded up the little boxes that carry Little River's harness and grooming tools, threw in the half-bale of hay that will probably be too much for five days, and still had loads of room for us and our stuff. Little River has a standing stall in the back of the minivan, and loves to travel.

                    I keep looking around for what I've forgotten to pack, because this is just way too easy.

                    See you all at the Kentucky Horse Park!


                    • #11
                      Everything packed but the pony who is spending a last night of freedom on the grass, without even a grazing muzzle. I want that belly full of wet grass before heading out in the morning.
                      See everyone soon. Travel safe


                      • #12
                        Well we're here and settled in And did it in daylight too!

                        Had some concern because neither of the kids would drink on the way... they thought splashing water all over mom was much better But there was a manure bucket full behind them (I fertilized a rest stop in TN ) so I wasn't especially worried. Both drank nicely once they got in their stalls.

                        We were greeted by Dick Kearly who so kindly lent a hand getting hay and shavings unloaded. Finally got to meet Bob Giles. Got everything but the two extra carriages unloaded and put away and by then it was dark so we headed to the hotel.

                        Had a shock when we were told we did NOT have a reservation! I said we had one of the Orem rooms. Nope, no rooms. I then tried Belskie. Still nothing. I KNEW we had a room so finally asked who she had confirmed from today thru next Monday. As soon as she said Ashemont I started breathing again Whew!

                        The pool was cool but the hot tub was WONDERFUL! Oh, and Mr. Lyons came by while we were getting the horses settled. He wanted to make sure we didn't need anything. Then he said they're hoping to start on Tuesday next year! Wow!

                        Our new Garmin worked just fine even though I didn't have the actual street address of KHP. It brought us in a back way but somehow took us straight to the barns Can't wait to hitch up tomorrow - the weather looks PERFECT!!!

                        We're in stalls 20-21 in Barn 20 so please stop by and say hi
                        Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                        PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


                        • #13
                          Hey ya'll, I'm here too!

                          I've been here since Friday but I just got internet access tonight. I stopped by the Horse Park this afternoon to find my stall and figure out where to park tomorrow and saw a few carriages, but of course no one I knew (yet!). I went to the Lexington Classic CDE over the weekend but was so busy volunteering in the record 90 degree heat that I never got to figure out where the ND stuff was going to be. It turns out I'm over in Barn 13, stall 50, with my little borrowed Platinum so please come find me if I don't pop into Barn 20 first! The mini got a trace clip and bath tonight and a 30 minute drive where I discovered that while currently obese he is quite sensitive and an enjoyable drive so except for a regrettably dirty harness he's all set for tomorrow.

                          My friend from Maryland got us here with a Garmin Street Pilot GPS and I've got to say I'm hooked! It's WAY more useful than I would have thought even if it does insist on telling us to make a u-turn the entire length of the Horse Park camping grounds exit....

                          Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.


                          • Original Poster

                            We're here too! Andhave already had a little drive through part of the park, a gloriously new experience for Little River and Becky and still a thrill for me. So we've had our safety check and we're ready for Becky's lesson with Bob Giles tomorrow at 10.

                            Found Dick and his four beautiful Caspians, and the Belskis with elegant Phoenix and beautiful Maggie, who lifted her head like a swan from her hay when I went to say hello. Also a pair of minis with a doctor's buggy that I am looking forward to watching tomorrow, and a surprising number of Fjords, and the same stunning Welsh fellows that were here last year. We followed the tracks of something with size 10000 feet, but never found the owner.

                            The hotel really messed up the reservations! Only seemed to have hung on to Dick's clearly, the rest having been consigned to the strange world of the internet. How they hooked onto Ashemont I have no clue! They completely lost Pam and her hubby, but fortunately were able to give her Dick's reservation, as he has wound up at the La Quinta.

                            So we're in 20something -- Becky and me in 2016, and Dick to the left of us and Pat to the right and Justslide somewhere alongside. So let's get together, the rest of you!



                            • #15
                              20something? Huh? Are we in the same Hampton? Our room is 215 I'll tell you how we got it straight when I see you later, Dale, but it involved being FIRM

                              Yes, let's do plan at least one dinner together

                              Got to meet Bob Giles, Leia, and Candy (with another Phoenix) today as well as several others. Learned how to hitch with a collar and was designated the stallion handler for Dick's little boy who was very full of himself. I got rewarded with a lovely ride behind a 4 of Caspians

                              We took Phoenix and Maggie out twice. Did the hazards (what a blast!) and after some airs above the ground finally got Maggie through the water with Phoenix leading. He's been super and she's doing quite well for a first-timer. I actually had TWO people seriously want to buy her today!!!!

                              Visited with Laurel from Driving Tidbits and she's brought a harness for us to try on Maggie (I want something better already ). Also got to spend time (and $$$ -so many things we NEED) with Harvey Legasse of Journey's End. Dale arrived with her friend with the mini... and was down on her hands and knees with the tiny little cart Weather was perfect in the morning but got rather chilly and windy by late afternoon. Glad I brought 'clothes' for the horses!

                              The pool was a toasty 83 degrees tonight and the hot tub eased away all of the aches and pains. I'll be raring to go again tomorrow!
                              Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                              PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


                              • #16
                                We're the last ones here... pulling out this morning. Oh, what an INCREDIBLE time we've had! It was so much bigger and better than last year!!! We enjoyed driving and visting with old friends and made many wonderful new ones. I really got to know the Caspians and what neat little fellows they are! It was such fun to meet new COTH'ers and CD-L folks. Even met a couple from my CarolinaHorses Yahoo list

                                The time just flew by and I honestly can't believe it's over for another year. Those of you who missed it... well, you missed one of the best horse activities I've ever participated in. It was the greatest training opportunity for the horses and we sure got in lots of miles and hazard schooling. I now know how much Maggie weighs (506 lbs.), how much my carriage weighs (296 lbs.), how fast we walk (5 kph), working trot (12 kph) and strong trot (19-20 kph). I had two serious offers on Maggie (she is NOT for sale ) and introduced way too many people to "The Polish Driving Pony" Phoenix was a star and gave many exciting rides. As opposed to last year, this year he LOVED the water!

                                We sore and tired and happy... and already have our campground spot paid for next year Hope to meet more of you then. Oh, and we SHOPPED! LOTS of vendors this year

                                Loading up and heading home. Hope everyone travels safely and looking forward to seeing many of you at Pine Tree the end of the month
                                Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                                PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


                                • #17
                                  We arrived home last night. About a 7 hour drive from Lexington to St. Louis. We had the most wonderful time. I want to thank everyone for all their help (especially Pat & Joe for helping to make some much needed harness adjustments and to Dale for helping out with the hotel room just in the nick of time!). It was so nice to get to meet everyone and their horses & ponies.

                                  We are already making plans for next year. The ND staff was so helpful, friendly, and super organized. The vendors were great and I now know to vastly increase the toy budget for next year.

                                  Katie did much better than I anticipated and we learned so much from everyone. So many beautiful turnouts. We are inspired! And may be looking for a new addition to the tack room to supplement the use of the death cart.

                                  Thanks again to everyone!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Becky and I pulled in here at Wind Child Farm early yesterday evening after an easy cruise home from Lexington. All along the way we drew crowds whenever we stopped, people wanting to see and photograph the mini in the minivan. On the road, cars that overtook us often had little girls' faces pressed to their windows, gazing delightedly at Little River's bright face gazing back.

                                    As Pat said, The National Drive is just the best five days you could possibly spend with horses. Total immersion in the environment of a well-run stable yard, surrounded by people from all backgrounds who share this one passion for driving our equine partners. There's no sense of competition or one-up-manship, at least not among the people I met. It's a great and grand sharing of information, experience and delight.

                                    And some of the best driving opportunities you can possibly imagine, with well-laid arenas for dressage or pleasure work, a cones and an obstacle course in another arena, and broad rolling fields of well-groomed grass in which to set your own course and your own speed.

                                    And then there were the clinicians! My brain feels swollen with new and reconsidered understanding.

                                    Our own COTHers made great contributions to the event. Pat and Joe were noticed everywhere with their beautiful Maggie and Phoenix. Phoenix, with Joe as handler, was the star of a clinic on harnessing taught by Bob Giles. Dick Kearly and his four Caspians were a mainstay of the event for a number of people, who were privileged to drive them in lessons and watch them in demonstrations. If you hung out near their stall you got to watch one war wagon and four sets of harness be put together in -- oh, say dozens! of configurations. And then Dick and Bob Giles assembled a pit crew and ran a demo of single, pair, tandem, unicorn and four-in-hand hitches for a riveted crowd.

                                    Swift-tongued Leia was there with a mini contingent that were just a delight to watch, and she was a great help to Becky in her search for a new vehicle. Cynthia and Leo came horseless but with boundless enthusiasm. And Pam and Mike with their beautiful mare Katie made a stunning turnout with the Meadowbrook that Pam built herself. Fun people to hang out with, too!

                                    By Saturday there was at least one example of every possible private coaching turnout you can imagine. Stunning four-in-hand coaches with impeccably attired whip, groom and passengers. Beautiful gigs and competition vehicles of many descriptions. And far too many other carriages to even try to mention here.

                                    There was only one serious accident, a woman whip who made a turn too quickly with her team and was flung out of her seat. Her passenger also dismounted or was thrown clear, but was uninjured, as were the ponies when they were caught down the field. Becky and I were among the first on the scene, and it sure ended any lingering doubts I may have had about helmets. That lady, who had not worn head protection, was seriously addled by the fall. Thank goodness she came out of it okay, but she had to be carted off to hospital in an ambulance, and I'm pretty sure she had at least a concussion. She was a trooper, though! I'm always impressed by the courage and stoicism of horsepeople.

                                    Seriously, if you couldn't make it this year, consider coming next year. It just keeps getting better, and it leaves a lingering sense of optimism and growth.

                                    Thanks to all of you who made it such a great experience for me and Becky and Little River!


                                    • #19
                                      Not sure what I can add to the remarks already except to second them. I never got over to ya'lls barn but kept very busy, having a great time and learning a lot.
                                      Carolina Carriage Club had around 20 members there and Pat Cheathum said we had the largest club turnout. I stayed pretty busy with them since we had several with green ponies. Everyone had a great time and grew in their driving and confidence. I was thrilled with Poppy in our lessons in dressage and hazards and feel we are ready for the next step in speed in the hazards. Having someone on the back to direct and egg you on that really is a pro makes a ton of difference. Sunday morning we were galloping the water and were very glad it had turned warmer because we were drinched to the skin and laughing all the way.
                                      I agree, about the most fun 5 days with your horse there is.


                                      • #20
                                        Great time had by all

                                        We arrived home this morning at 1:00. Of course, first order of the day is to go to the barn and check on the horse. It was great to meet MySparrow, Ashemont, Justslide, Becky and Kearly and their equines Maggie, Phoenix, the 4 Caspians (had a lesson with Bob Giles and got to drive Kiyan), Little River and Kate. I learned how to hitch multiples, with collars etc. Met up with a lady who I met at the Metamora show and her friend, who were looking for passengers, so of course Leo and I volunteered!!!!!!! Had lovely drive with with the Salt and Pepper minis on Saturday and went with the pinto pony pair on Sunday for the Mimosa Drive. Attended a couple of clinics and could not have asked for better weather.

                                        I have not had time to look at pictures yet, but am sure Leo got some great shots. It was lovely to see the mix of horses and everyone having a good time enjoying their equines whether they show or just do it for fun, and the good weather did help.

                                        Glad everyone had a safe trip home and now you have to make plans for 2008.