Monday, March 31, 2008

A look at a New Discipline

One of my goals in earning an equine degree is to get exposure to equine disciplines that I would not have access to otherwise. This semester I am enrolled in a class called Driving the Single Horse. Delaware Valley College hosted an open driving competition and our class was required to attend. I arrived at the competition at about 9:30 AM and by this time the competition was well on its way. I walked into the indoor to find an intricately designed cones course that looked different from any competitive equine event that I have ever seen. Just looking at the cones set up gave me an appreciation for the difficulty of the discipline. When the first horse came in I was extremely impressed with the turnout of not only the equipment, but of the horse and driver as well. But before the cones course, the driver performed a Dressage test. Only for this Dressage test, not only did the driver have to memorize the test and be accurate- but he had to maneuver around the cones at the same time. As soon as the competitor completed the Dressage test, the judge gave a few pointers to the driver - about equipment, his driving technique or just a quick tip. She then sent him on his way to complete the cones course. I quickly discovered that speed and accuracy are the keys to this game. With tennis balls balanced on every cone there was no room for mistakes. This part by far was the most fun to watch. All that I could think was how grateful I am that none of my jumper courses have ever been that complicated…how do they even remember which cones are next? Let alone actually getting the horse and carriage through without even tapping the cone. I would have to say that even more impressive than the single horses getting through the cones course was the two in hands getting through. I do have one question that remains unanswered. Are the single and double horses judged separately? Because it seems that there is no way that the two in hand could possibly turn as sharply and as quickly as the single horse could. Even so the competition gave me a feel of how a driving competition is held and now I can’t wait to try again….uh oh - I think I have the bug!


At Tue Apr 01, 09:12:00 AM GMT-5, Blogger Brittany said...

I LOVE driving!! I have only driven minis though, and never in actual competition. I have tried the cones courses though and I can tell you that they are pretty difficult.

Have a great time in your Driving class....I am super jealous!

At Tue Mar 23, 04:02:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Sara,
As an Alumni of DelVal, a competitive carriage driver,and a "r" judge with the ADS, I just want to tell you how lucky you are to be exposed to some of the best teachers and drivers in the industry at DelVal! PA is one of the most popular driving states! Soak it all up, and enjoy!
Jessica Snyder
Equine Studies '04


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