The MidWest Horse Fair enjoyed excellent weather and the forecast is for similar, if cooler weather for next Saturday.
Hope everyone enjoyed the Horse Fair. Perhaps a few more people were enticed to attend our clinic.
Just a reminder — check your trailer, cart and harness so that you can make any needed repairs/changes before Saturday.
I was reminded of this when I finally remembered to check my trailer which hasn’t been used for a couple of years. It’s nice and clean but one tire was flat. Filled with air and rechecked. It was flat again. Obviously a hole that must be repaired. Fortunately I discovered the problem in plenty of time to get it fixed.
The cart? Check that all bolts are tight and wheels turning freely. Check for any sign of metal fatigue in shafts (if metal) and braces. It can be a significant problem is something breaks or comes loose on the trail. (That’s one of the reasons for carrying a spares kit!)
The harness? Check for loose rivets or stitching. Look for any bent buckle tongues or ‘stretched’ buckle holes. A stretched hole is weakening the leather and it will eventually break. Again we carry critical parts in our spares kit, but its better not to need them.
Spares Kit, what should we be carrying? Some of the obvious items are a hoof pick, leather hole punch, a rein spice, a trace spice, a spare hames strap (if you use a neck collar), a wrench for each size bolt on your vehicle or an adjustable wrench, a pair of pliers, a small hammer (some of those bolts can be tight), and replacement bolts. Some less obvious but suggested items might include a length of cord, maybe some electrical tape and/or duct tape.
Don’t forget your helmet and a copy of coggins test for your horse.
Get ready, the day of the clinic is near!
Hope to see you all there.
30″ Like new. $375 for pair. Pickup preferred.
Call 815-789-3137 or email: email@example.com
Feather Ridge Farm owners Gary and Katz Jackson will be hosting the ‘Go the Distance’ driving clinic to introduce participants to the sport of distance driving.
This clinic is designed to expose participants to the details of competitive distance driving. As such it is desirable to have trails for driving, a nice indoor space for presentations and an indoor arena in case of inclement weather.
At Feather Ridge Farm we have all of the necessary elements.
The lounge on the right offers the perfect location for registration, the presentations and a place for lunch.
In case of inclement weather the 60 x 120 arena will afford a great location for vet checks and putting to. In case of extreme wet conditions there is even room to drive in the arena!
But the sport is about driving on trails. Trails that offer some challenge but are better known for outstanding scenery. Here we have some trails that offer that scenery on nearly level terrain. It should be an excellent site for mentoring the strategy of a competitive drive.
The only significant hill is right at the start and end of the trail.
You can see why wet conditions could make the trails undesirable. Most of the trail is on low ground.
But it does wind through some woods.
It should be a great location and a great event. By the end of April we should be seeing a very green and attractive venue.
Hope to see you there!
Thinking of attending the MDDA ‘Go The Distance’ Driving clinic on Apr 25th with your equine?
Here is a suggestion on a couple of things to work on with your horse:
1. Practice picking up all four feet and run your hands down the leg from knee to fetlock.
Part of the vet check involves checking all four legs for signs of heat or pain. To do this the vet must pick up all four feet. To make the vet’s job as easy as possible we need to have our horse used to having his feet handled.
It’s even better if you can have multiple people picking up feet. The horse needs to become used to a stranger examining his feet and legs.
2. Practice trotting your horse in a circle, both directions. The circle should be 40 to 60 feet in diameter.
You will be asked to trot your horse on a lead around a circle in both directions so that the vet can examine his movement. He is looking for signs of lameness as well as attitude and fatigue.
It is best to teach your horse to trot around the outside of that circle while you move in a smaller inner circle. You will not have the aid of a whip, so it is good to have your horse used to trotting on command and with you on either side.
Although it is not critical to master either picking up feet or trotting, it will make things easier for all concerned and improve your scoring if your horse has mastered these two simple tasks.
Hope to see you there with your equine!
We’ve finalized the clinic flyer! It’s a pdf document that includes a registration form. Click here to open it in a new window for downloading or printing.
We’ve also added a new page specific to the clinic. (See the selection bar above)
Yes, we will have a Distance Driving Clinic this Spring.
The date and place have been identified:
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Feather Ridge Farm
970 Sherman Drive
We are now in the process of creating and finalizing the program which will emphasize actual participation with a pre-drive vet check, a short drive, the post-drive vet check, scoring and awards.
Of course we’ll discuss and answer questions about the sport, what is required to participate, basic safety and some of the key rules. The intention is to hit the critical points (handouts will be provided that expand on this basic information) but allow more than enough time to actually allow you and your horse to get exposed to the ‘action’.
We’ll have experienced drivers with their horses to accommodate those who want to attend without their horse.
We picked the date to sandwich between the Midwest Horse Fair and the start of the competitive season. The week after the clinic is Kettles & Bits at New Prospect, WI and the following week is Glacier Trails at Palmyra, WI.
These are excellent events for the novice driver with 15 and 12 mile drives. (We’re trying to get some 6 mile events planned for the future, but it is up to the ride manager to mark the trails.)
Watch for more information.
Several members traveled to Michigan to attend the annual UMECRA convention.
They traveled with a mission and were well rewarded for their efforts.
Here is Ruth Casserly’s report:
Our MDDA Spares Kit skit was judged the Champion of the UMECRA Commercial Contest on Friday night. Great fun was had by all, the audience enjoyed it greatly. And apparently the judges did, as well. We had the great advantage of rehearsal time- all of us in the skit except Tony drove from Illinois to Michigan together, so there were multiple hours available for rehearsal! But I must say, Alice’s idea of the Spares Kit and Gilligan’s Island tune (to say nothing of the grass skirts and leis she acquired), with lots of fluff added by me/Ruth, offered the best potential for a catchy routine. We put Tony to work holding buckets from Ace Hardware to collect all the Spares Kit contents we demonstrated, which worked out well…. He didn’t have to sing the tune and spit out all the words!
UMECRA year-end awards for the drivers were custom made mug/crockery with driver and horse names. Very nice!
And the Winners:
Showing off their
well earned awards.
The following was forwarded to me and undoubtedly many others. I thought posting it here would provide the broadest circulation to our members and other interested parties.
Dear WHC Directors & District Officers:
Please take a minute and fill out the below survey from The State Non-motorized Recreation and Transportation Trails Council, advisory to the Department of Natural Resources, is looking for information on how existing trails are utilized and how the state-wide system can be improved. This survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.
Please pass this survey on to your friends and groups that you belong to!
Thank you from the WHC Trails Committee
Darla A. Schack
Wisconsin Horse Council
121 S. Ludington Street
P.O. Box 72
Columbus, WI 53925
Phone: (920) 623-0393
Fax: (920) 623-0583
The season is nearly over.
The last competition is Big River, Oct 25 and 26 in Keithsburg, IL.
We had 13 different participants which is a slight improvement over the last couple of years. Five of those 13 are new to the sport, Jeanne White, Charlene Ehlert, Kathy Skoza. Diane Monson and Nancy Holmseth. We hope they will join us in the future.
It was also great to see Wes Licht and Mary Clapper returning at Iron Oak. Welcome back, hope you enjoyed the drive.
After Iron Oak the following have qualified for year end awards: (5 drives required)
Pairs – Tim Casserly and Tony Troyer
Singles – Alice Hubert and Sharon Hahn
Unfortunately no member has qualified for a Rookie award: (3 drives required)
Watch for Annual Meeting details. It is planned for mid-December at the McFarland Community Center.
Does everyone have Iron Oak on their schedule for October 11 and 12? I certainly hope so! It’s coming up very soon….
The MDDA board of directors has been busily planning for this ride. We will start off with a set-up party at 9am on Friday morning (10/10) to put up Easy-Up tents, tables, vet area and water tanks. Tim and I plan to mark the trail on Wednesday.
Two riders, Victoria and Nancy have volunteered their services for a multitude of jobs over the weekend. We are SO grateful to them, and hope we can also count on MDDA members to help with additional duties such as scribing, P&Rs, running, secretarial help, etc. during the event. Remember, it’s an MDDA event! We’re a small group in membership so we have to make up for it in volunteership!
If you wonder how you can help, just come to Ukarydee that weekend and ask Tim or me!! But if you want to discuss things beforehand, don’t hesitate to drop me an email or post your comments here! :o)