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On the road to a combined driving event

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    05-05-2012, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
Drive 24, May 3, 51 days to go: Working desperately on my cart. I put an ad on Craigslist seeing if anyone else in the area is interested in going to the CDE in Iowa, I was going to say looking for someone to share gas and trailer space but decided I might get some serious pervs answering my add, so I did not leave that much info.

I looked at the dressage test we have to do and it is frightening, I have to do a 40 meter circle in the middle of the arena, just 2 definite points of reference, I much prefer 3 points to touch on my circle. I am having heart palpations thinking about it.

Pilgrim did well today, still muddy as blue blazes as my mother would say. My boy has a memory like a steel trap; as we were heading to where the deer was yesterday he was on high alert. All in all a really good drive.

Drove 70 min, grade B

Photo is of Pilgrim's BFF, who is slowly realizing that life does not come to an end whan you best bud leaves the barn for an hour.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pilgrim on the road to CDE 049.jpg (82.5 KB, 67 views)
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    05-06-2012, 12:25 PM
Green Broke
Drive 25, May 5, 49 days to go: It was so hot and steamy today, I tried to drive early but in all actuality I got Pilgrim in the shafts about 10am. I am now driving him without lounging or letting him out first, I just donít have the time. He is doing well with it though, no huge bursts of speed, or pulling, we usually walk for the first 20 minutes or so then get to work. I was planning on working on some circles around trees and such but my boy threw a shoe just as we were getting warmed up.

The farrier is coming on Wednesday afternoon to reset Pilgrimsí shoes, Pilgrim was on the schedule for the 9th, so he will get done a week early, that works out great anyway because that gets the next reset right before we leave for Iowa. I spent about an hour in the heat looking for the lost shoe, never found it. Will look again Sunday, those shoes are way too expensive to not at least look. I wish I had half the shoe budget that Pilgrim has.

Well with Pilgrim down, I can concentrate on the cart, Time to start on the wheels while I am not using the cart every day.

We drove 45 minutes, Grade A; I think he actually was reaching for the bit todayÖ and there is hope!!

I cleaned the tack room today! Now I have to clean the tack.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pilgrim on the road to CDE 075.jpg (73.2 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg Pilgrim on the road to CDE 079.jpg (62.5 KB, 63 views)
    05-09-2012, 12:15 AM
Green Broke
New shoes tomorrow, Yea!! Back to work!

Partial to do list:

Need to find a groom
Need to find a trailer to get horse and cart to Iowa, probably Momís
Need to join American Driving society, $75.00
Need to finish refinishing cart
Need to sign up and pay entry fees, $100.00 entry, and $100.00 stall, I think $50.00 is refundable if I clean the stall.
Need to buy gloves and make an apron
Need to get an outfit for dressage
Need to find a cute hat for dressage, hard hat for cones and marathon
Need to put together a spares kit
Need to purchase several little pieces that are missing on the cart, shaft tips, the leather loops on the shafts and single tree and leather straps holding on seat cushions.
Need to clean harness
Need to take whatever trailer I use, probably Momís, to the shop to check wheel bearings, breaks, lights etc.
Need to save money for gas, 5 hrs, 53 min, $135.00 one way, $270.00 round trip
Need to save money for hotel , 3 nights, $189.00 + tax
Need to find somewhere to put pilgrimís BFF while we are away 3 nights, $60.00
This is killing me!!

Making progress on the cart!!

This better be fun!!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pilgrim 011.jpg (58.5 KB, 62 views)
    05-14-2012, 03:48 PM
Green Broke
Drive 26, May 10, 44 days to go: Pilgrim got shoes yesterday, I never found the lost shoe but by Wedenesday he had lost the other front shoe in the pasture.

I am really getting nervous I thought of some more things I need to do before I go. Pilgrim got his teeth done in September of 2011 so they should be fine; Dr. Cole, the dentist, said Pilgrim was the poster child for Dental health. I am a seriously proud Mama. But he needs his vaccinations this month. I need to take a sample of manure to vet to get a parasite check, and if needed give him a Panacure power pack. I need to clean his sheath. I tell my husband every morning that the horses need vaccinations and a Coggins test, and every day it doesn't get done. I think I am going to have to call the office and make an appointment. You know what they say, The shoemakers kids always go barefoot.

The cart is coming along nicely; everything is refinished but the wheels.

Short drive today, I put the dash on the cart and I must have put it on wrong because the singletree was banging on it, and it was driving me crazy, realizing it was chipping the brand new finish with every stride Pilgrim took. Also I harnessed up incorrectly I forgot to put the traces through the breeching straps and it was very sloppy and drooping, and that is not something I feel comfortable adjusting on the trail by myself, I am a safety girl. No matter how many times you harness you have to check and double check, tomorrow I tripple check.

Drove Pilgrim about 40 min. Grade B, Nothing wrong, but nothing great either.

Pilgrim getting fitted for his new shoes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pilgrim 018.jpg (34.1 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg pilgrim 038.jpg (56.2 KB, 60 views)
    05-14-2012, 11:17 PM
Green Broke
Drive 27, May 11, 43 days to go: I need to up the trotting time, I feel we are nowhere near being able to trot for 25 min straight. We are getting closer though. The bugs are getting irritating, I got Pilgrim a fly bonnet, it is a bit small, but he is dealing with it.

We drove today and the spooks are getting almost nonexistent, if they happen at all he deals with it himself before I can even react. Today we were coming across the dam, we saw, correction, I saw a deer, It was standing in the middle of the dam, the deer was actually so big I thought it was a stray cow. Anyway we were trotting so I slowed to a walk, I did not want a spook on the dam, Pilgrim did not even see the deer, and I tried to point his head to it, which was easy because it was straight ahead of us. If he did see it he did not even faze him. He is getting so good I canít even believe it. I never believed that he would become an accomplished driving horse, and I believe there is something there. He enjoys driving much better than riding; he is so much more secure in harness.

Drive 60 min, Grade B.

Pilgrim in his fly bonnet, I don't think he likes it!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pilgrim 031.jpg (46.8 KB, 57 views)
    05-15-2012, 11:27 AM
Green Broke
Drive 28, May 13, 41 days to go: I drove twice today, 60 min in AM and 30 min in PM.
We need to get used to driving in the heat and the bugs, gosh I wish I could find a fly spray that really works. I think mine left over from last year is not as good as last year, maybe if it freezes it affects its potency.

Pilgrim is amazing; he can do an extended trot through the field and come out with an entire mouthful of grass. We walked through the first field and he had so much grass in his mouth I had to stop, get out of the cart and clean his mouth out, all he was concentrating on was all the grass in his mouth, so much grass he couldnít swallow. I cannot wait till the hay is cut and I can use the fields again.

Pilgrim did well; he hates the flies and had terrible itches on his knees after we went through the tall grass. I bought Bronco fly spray I hope that is better than what I have.

Drove 90 min, Grade A, just for being a good boy as I got out of the cart and cleaned his mouth out on the trail. He did not move a muscle, except to object about me taking his grass, he wanted it back after I got it out, and after all he found it.

Here is Pilgrim feeling his oats in the morning.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg maple syrup 007.jpg (62.1 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg maple syrup 018.jpg (60.0 KB, 55 views)
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    05-16-2012, 11:46 PM
Green Broke
Drive 29, May 14, 40 days to go: I found a groom, I found a groom, I found a groom, I am so excited it is now coming together, I guess I will enter the show tomorrow, Pilgrim is healthy, truck is running, I have a groom, I donít need much more. Drove Pilgrim 65 min today and we reached the equilibrium of kilometers, meaning we trotted same distance in Ks as we walked. I need to work on time equilibrium now, equal time trotting and walking.

My groom is a graduate of Stephens College with a degree in equestrian science; several of my friends are having her ride their horses. I asked if she was interested in the experience of going to a CDE and giving me a hand , she jumped at the chance, I told her I couldnít pay her but I will make sure she doesnít spend any money on the trip, she said, " sounds good," YEA!! Number one dilemma solved.

Drove Pilgrim 60 min, Grade B-; we should be getting better but I donít see a lot of forward progress. We are at a plateau and fighting discouragement.

Pilgrim enjoying finishing morning workout.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pilgrim 047.jpg (98.6 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg pilgrim 048.jpg (99.6 KB, 54 views)
    05-20-2012, 10:06 PM
Green Broke
Drive 30 & 31, May 15 &16, 37 & 36 days to go: I am falling behind in my journal; I canít keep my drives straight. These two days went well, driving an hour while trying for 30 min of trotting accumulative. I think we went on the 15th, twelve min straight trotting with 25 min accumulative, on the 16th a little longer. I am not moving fast enough in the fitness department. I need to look at it this wayÖ. If I can do 25 min straight in step aerobics, Pilgrim can do 25 min trotting in the cart.
It is getting boring driving at the estate one bridge is out and one path is too muddy from the neighborsí lake leaking on our property. So that cuts driving distance in half.
Next week when my groom comes to drive with me, I plan on going out the back gate and 100 yards down the black top road to the neighbors 300 acres, they have some logging roads throughout their property. I think that will be a little more interesting for us. But driving the first time over there I prefer to have another person with me if only to get out and open the gate.

Possible ways to braid Pilgrims mane for dressage, I am not going to trim it short.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pilgrim on the road to CDE 057.jpg (84.2 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg road to CDE 013.jpg (82.1 KB, 54 views)
    05-21-2012, 09:19 AM
Green Broke
A little info on what a Combined Driving Event is:

American Driving Society

And just for fun, a photo of the first day I hitched Pilgrim up at home. He was 3. I had him about a week.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pilgrim.jpg (54.4 KB, 55 views)
    05-23-2012, 10:05 AM
Green Broke
Drive 32 & 33, May17& 18, 35& 34 days to go: Still no coggins and vaccinations, I guess I am going to go up to the clinic and give them myself, can't do Coggins though. Working on extending the trot time. We are up to 15 min straight, walking 4 min, and then trotting another 5 min. Getting much better at bending and more willing to turn the way I want and not the way he wants. NO SPOOKS TODAY!!

We are working on doing some tight turns at a trot, turning around trees and around sharp corners, practicing for those hazards on the marathon. He is doing well with those turns crossing over his front feet as he turns; I put overreach boots on now that we are doing more sharp turns. Eventually I would like to see us pivot on one wheel, like a zero turning radius lawn mower.

Drove 60 min each day, Grade B+

Photos: Driving across dam at the estate, with surry
Two years ago discussing obstacles stratagy before my turn.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg horses 018.jpg (66.2 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg 3 g farm 009.jpg (99.0 KB, 45 views)

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