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)
Hope to see other drivers at Colorama next weekend!
And- of course I am in need of groom(s) for Tim and the boys so I can ride Harley in Comp. Not sure how many days the horses will handle- Friday, Saturday and Sunday are offered. Each day is 25 miles (!!) so it’ll be nice long drives with a 40 or 50 minute hold in the middle. Any volunteers? Let’s discuss!
We welcome Jeanne White and Chessica to the sport of distance driving.
I hope all went well and both Jeanne and Chessica enjoyed their experience.
It’s really encouraging to see new drivers give it a try. Hopefully some of them will find it worth continuing.
Apology – I just realized that I’ve been keeping scores wrong for this season. At the annual meeting it was decided that we would combine singles and pairs but I continued to break them apart. This will have an impact on the total scores. It may take a little time, but I’ll go back and correct the error as quickly as I can.
I wonder if anyone will share their opinions on this subject?
Just to get the ball rolling here are some of my thoughts:
I really appreciated that distance driving was ‘low key’. I didn’t have to ‘spit and polish’ my harness and cart (I hated show ring classes and that was one of the reasons).
I was participating with others who shared my enthusiasm for horses.
I really liked being on the trail with just my horse, yet knew that if anything happened there were others around to help. (Actually had this experience when I upset and my horse ended up on a wood pile, unable to get up. Riders helped move the wood so he could get back to his feet. Unhurt, thank goodness.)
Enjoyed the people I met at the events. Riders and drivers are great people. Note: It took some time but that may have been me more than everyone else. I’m really something of an introvert and it takes a while for me to loosen up.
I liked the fact that I was actually able to drive for 2 to 4 hours at a time. (This is the other thing I disliked about show ring events. You spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for very little actual driving time.)
I also appreciated that there was a veterinary at the event. I really liked the fact that my horse was being evaluated by a veterinary every time I competed and those vets were very willing and eager to discuss any issues that might arise. (Scooter had an ulcer on his eye at one event. Believe it or not an eye specialist was present and he got excellent care. With treatment he cleared and has excellent vision. He wouldn’t have gotten that level of attention if we hadn’t gone to that event.)
Well I have to admit that I’m not much of a camper. Overnight was always stressful, but I found it worth the discomfort to be able to get more than one day of driving. The horses never seemed to mind and generally were better performing on the 2nd day. I simply had to do with less sleep. (I had a hard time sleeping at an event. It made the drive home a little tougher than it should have been.)
Will you share your likes and dislikes?