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We’re glad you stopped by to visit our website on distance driving. Perhaps you’ve just discovered MDDA and want to learn more about just what we do. Perhaps you’ve come to check the schedule to see when and where competitive drives are being held or check the results of past drives. Or perhaps you are just interested in looking at some photographs of our horses and drivers at the various competitions. Whatever the reason, thanks for browsing and drop us a line if we can answer any questions or be of service to you.

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Puzzle Fun

Scooter Jigsaw Puzzle Katz and Talon Jigsaw Puzzle Jane and Wes Jigsaw Puzzle Glenn & Junior Jigsaw Puzzle

Future Events

Louise Riedel Bra Buster Ride & Drive

Hello all- I am in search of a groom for Tim at the L. Riedel ride/drive, which is coming up August 8 and 9. If you are interested in riding with him in the cart with our 2 horses, PLEASE let me know!! You’d be doing be a big favor, so I can ride in the CTR division. Not sure if they will overlap at this ride, but they usually do. Right now, all I know for a Saturday “go” time is “afternoon”. Sunday’s drive will leave in the morning. If you could let me know before Sunday night 8/2, that would be great. Otherwise, I will post my request to the riders on FaceBook. Thanks!! Ruth

Benefits of Distance Driving

Jeanne White, a 2nd year driver/1st year member, has captured some of the key benefits of distance driving.  She has graciously agreed to share her thoughts:

My very first distance drive was at the Louise Riedel event last year. Although we did not make it around within the time limit, we DID make it around – and I was hooked. Bonecrusher  (on Saturday, July 25) was a “challenging” drive for us, due to the heat (chubby Haflingers don’t lose heat very efficiently), but after that initial experience last August, we have not failed to finish within the allowed timeframe and while the only time I’m likely to be first is if no other drivers show up, to complete is to win (if that’s important to you). For me, engaging in this sport has exponentially increased how much I trust my pony and it provides incentive for me to go out and have fun with her (well, she thinks it’s work, but…) most days of the week, which is good for her health and well-being by helping to control her weight and increasing HER confidence in me. Distance driving is NOT about getting from one spot to another as fast as you can or about trying to impress a judge with a fancy turnout. It is a sport of strategy as much as physical ability of the horse. You obviously need to prepare in advance to bring a reasonably fit horse to the drive (this is not a sport where you can pull a pasture potato out of the field the day before and make a reasonable showing:>), but once you are on the trail, it’s all about balancing your speed against the terrain with the goal of getting to the finish in as close to the optimal time as possible, while still having enough horse to “score” well in the vet check (and sometimes do it all again the following day)

Open Invitation

I am inviting all readers of this article to visit my farm at W6794 Patchin Road, Pardeeville, WI and make use of my groomed trails for conditioning or pleasure.

Here is a representation of my trails which measure about 2 miles.  There is another 2 miles on the other side of the road.Fun-Day-areas-(2013_02_16-1You may note there is a measured 1/2 mile track and an area for driving cones.  (The obstacles are still in the ‘imaginary’ state.)

Most of the trails are open and easy, Trail-1


But we do have some challenging, wooded areas and hills:Trail-2 Trail-3 Trail-4I spend a fair amount of time grooming the trails and can only use them sparingly, which is a shame.  Don’t worry about rain affecting the trails.  It’s sandy and drains very well without washing.

So please, if you are looking for a place to drive, feel free to utilize my trails.

I am almost always at home, but may be out of the house, so if you call please leave a message.

You are also welcome to stay overnight and camp here if you desire.

This is also an opportunity to test drive my Joy Rider Cart.  Hitch it to your horse and give it a real life test!



Kettle & Bits Results

Took me a while and I screwed it up once, but now it should be correct.

Had to build membership file and a new score sheet.  (I normally have this done in advance, but age is slowing me down)

Let me know if you see any more mistakes.

I’ve also updated the Point Standings and Cumulative Horse Miles.


Clinic Participants – Welcome to MDDA and UMECRA

We welcome the following new members to MDDA.

Nancy Baker, Monroe, WI
Linda Fidler, Elgin, IL
Diane Mader, Marshall, WI
Robert Mikos, Sycamore, IL
Tina (Christine) Pawlovich, Weyauwega, WI
Donna Russell, Prairie Du Chien, WI
Jean Scott, Marshall, WI
Jim and Kristi Slovik, Portage, WI
Mary Thompson, Plano, IL
Cliff and Jeanne White, Egg Harbor, WI

(Please let me know if any spellings are incorrect.)

As members you are authorized to add comments to articles and submit articles to this web site.  Please explore the site contact me (Jac) with any questions.

Posting comments and questions helps us understand your needs/wants and improves the value of the site to all our members and visitors.

We hope you enjoy your membership and become active participants in the fabulous sport of distance driving.

The Clinic is next Saturday!

EntranceThe 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.


Hard Rubber Tire-Steel Spoke Wheels for Sale

marathon wheels

30″ Like new. $375 for pair. Pickup preferred.

Call 815-789-3137  or email:


Welcome to Feather Ridge Farm


EntranceFeather 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.

Trail-2You 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!




Possible Prep for ‘Go The Distance’ Clinic

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!


Clinic Flyer

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)