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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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Classroom Clinic

2006 MDDA Classroom Clinic
By Jac Deweese

Saturday, March 18, proved to be a bright and sunny day as we began setting up for our annual spring clinic. This year we were located at Dan and Judy Lynch’s beautiful facility near Cross Plains, Wisconsin.We had 21 participants plus 10 members who were present to help with the food, registration and presentations. Space in the lounge was at a premium, but the attendees were all interested in the subject and easily adapted to the tight quarters.
Wes Licht started the clinic promptly at 9:30 and the time flew by as the attendees were introduced to our sport. Roger Houk presented the rules for competitive driving and explained that these guidelines exist for the safety of everyone involved and especially the horses. Then Elinore Tonsor explained the score sheet and how it is the veterinarian’s evaluation of the horse that decides the score. The score sheet is difficult to describe and did prompt a number of questions. Soon it was time for a brief morning break with an ample supply of muffins, fruit and various drinks.
Connie Gray and Sandy Rudstrom then discussed conditioning the driving horse. It was explained that, although our driving horses are not stressed as much as the typical endurance riding horse, a conditioning program is necessary to be successful and insure the welfare of your horse. This brought on a good deal of questions and discussion with various members describing their conditioning techniques. There was also discussion about whether a particular type of horse could/should be used. Participants were assured that many types from minis to draft crosses have been used with some success, but they should recognize that the thicker-muscled types will probably require more conditioning to excel at this sport.
Next Romona Radtke discussed feeding the competitive driving horse. Her theme was to keep it simple, but recognize that there may be a need for supplements, especially here in Wisconsin where we have a known selenium deficiency. She also explained the value of beet pulp in adding both moisture and bulk to a competing horse and the need to replace electrolytes lost from sweat in competition. She emphasized the need to keep hay and water available to the horse at all times.
Jac Deweese finished the morning session by discussing what to expect on the day of an event. He stressed the importance of planning for all kinds of weather, detailed the items in a spare’s kit, and how to follow a marked trail.
He noted that everyone works together to help the competitors complete the course, for to finish is to win.

Jane Licht and Wes distributed some door prizes and the group eagerly broke for a fine lunch of chili, hot dogs, vegetables, fruit and a variety of desserts. All the food was supplied by MDDA members and served by Marguerite Deweese, Dana Houk and Marge Gettelman. Discussion about distance driving continued unabated through the lunch period.

In the afternoon participants gathered in the heated arena as Wes Licht used his experienced horse Lady and, with Romona as veterinarian and Glenn Garbisch scribing, demonstrated the pre-drive vet check. After passing the vet check he proceeded to tack up and explain the various parts of the harness and its proper fit. The horse was then put to the cart and, following some final adjustment with Sandy administering a safety check, they were off around the arena to simulate an actual drive. After a couple of rounds Wes was informed that he was at the 2 mile marker. Another round and he came in to the finish where he was given his time card and proceeded to unhitch and unharness. He then offered Lady a drink and demonstrated calming her down in preparation for the final vet check. Lady, in her typical style, scored very well, although it was obvious that she was confused by the short drive.

Lady and three other horses provided by Wes were used in the final activity involving hands-on practice for determining the fitness of horses. Each of the clinic participants were given the opportunity to check the pulse and listen to gut sounds using a stethoscope. Connie, Sandy, Elinore and Romona were small group leaders that handled many questions and aided others in also checking hydration, capillary refill and respiration.

The program ended slightly behind schedule but with much enthusiasm and many positive comments from the participants – several even indicated their intent to come to our Iron Oak event on April 29th near Sauk City.

Thanks to everyone for another very successful clinic.






2006 Classroom Clinic

[img src=]90
Introductions by Wes Licht
[img src=]30
Attendees listen intently
[img src=]20
Elinore Tonsor explains scoring
[img src=]30
Connie Gray and Sandy Rudstrom discuss conditioning
[img src=]30
Romona Radtke talks about feeding
[img src=]30
Food is ready in the kitchennette
[img src=]30
Rooger Houk and Glenn Garbisch look into the arena area
[img src=]30
Demonstrating how to take PR
[img src=]30
Glenn scribes as vet inspects horse
[img src=]30
Listening for gut sounds
[img src=]30
Checking legs
[img src=]30
Wes Licht discusses harness
[img src=]30
Adjusting the harness
[img src=]20
Putting to the cart
[img src=]30
Gathering the reins
[img src=]20
Completing the drive
[img src=]30
Removing the harness in 4 minutes or less
[img src=]20
Ready for the final vet check
[img src=]40
Technique to quiet the horse
[img src=]20
Checking anal tone
[img src=]40
Giving electrolytes
[img src=]40
Paracticing checking the pulse
[img src=]30
Demonstrating Pulse and Respiration
[img src=]40
Checking gut sounds
[img src=]30
Paracticing PR technique
[img src=]20
Dan Lynch farm - location of clinic

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