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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
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Last First Horse Place Miles Pts Place Miles Pts
Licht Wes Ranger (Morab) 1 12 5.28
Deweese Jac Scooter (Morgan) 2 12 4.8
Clapper Mary Benjamin (Rocky Mountain) 3 12 4.32
Shea John Kim (Canadian) 1 12 5.28

ApDRA 2008

By Jac Deweese

This was my first opportunity to drive in competition this year and I was looking forward to pleasant day in the woods.  I’m a little concerned that I haven’t been able to work Scooter as much as I have in the past but the drive is only 12 miles and I view it as a conditioning opportunity.

I load everything in the morning and am on the road at a reasonable time.  The sky is a little threatening, but it stays dry.  The drive doesn’t start until 1PM.  This is a blessing in that it allows me to participate without staying overnight, but a concern because the temperature is rising.  By the start time it is in the 80’s and the humidity must be close to 100%.  Not ideal conditions for a horse to work in.

Mary Clapper is already on the grounds and we have a good visit while Mary’s Benjamin and Scooter enjoy grazing and relaxing after vetting in.  Wes Licht arrives with his horse Ranger and that is the extent of the drivers for this day.

We watch the riders come in for their mid checks and note that many are showing the effects of the heat and humidity.  We are allowed 2 hours for the drive and will be allowed to slosh our horses at the end prior to the vet check.

Mary has elected to go 1st, I am 2nd and Wes will bring up the rear.  Mary is ready a little early and takes the available time to help condition a riding horse to the cart.  She drives slowly around the camp while the riding horse is lead behind.  He seems to get less nervous as they proceed around the camp.  Later he follows me and Scooter, but Scooter is moving rather quickly in anticipation of working and they have difficulty keeping up.  I hope the experience has been helpful.

As we head out on the trail I am anticipating the rough stony areas in the 1st 2 miles of the trail.  We are pleasantly surprised to see that those areas have been treated with gravel and/or bark and we are able to trot with ease.  Virtually no issue with stones.  This is a very pleasant surprise but it is followed by equal surprise to find extensive areas of sand where I didn’t remember them in the past.  In spite of the frequent rains over the past week the sand is soft and deep.  It takes a toll on Scooter where it probably wouldn’t have bothered him if better conditioned.

The woods are really quite pleasant with spring flowers in full bloom and the trees fully leaved.  It is an overcast day and the woods are not much cooler than the open areas.  Normally we will cross open areas quickly and do most of our walking in the woods, but today there really isn’t much difference.  The humidity is oppressive no matter where we are.

We’ve been told that the turn around is at mile marker 18.  I guess I’ve never been out quite that far, for it is unfamiliar.  I note that there is work on a section of the trail to avoid a steep hill which is perhaps prone to washout.  Another ¼ or ½ mile and we are at mile marker 18 and sure enough there is the sign to turn around.  It’s taken us just about a full hour to get here.  I’m a little surprised at that because I felt we were moving rather rapidly up to that point, but we had spent some time at the water tank on the way out.

Scooter is still strong and willing and I’m feeling good at this point.  I’ve passed Mary and Ben at about 5 miles but they are right behind me at the turnaround.  Very soon after turning I meet Wes and Ranger.  Everyone seems to be having a good time.  Mary has told me that she will probably take extra time so I’m not concerned as we head back.  We spend some time at the water tank and Scooter drinks with enthusiasm.  This is about 4 miles from the finish and things are going well.  At about 3 miles out I note that Scooter is showing evidence of being tired.  His walk speed has dropped significantly from his normal 4 mph.  We end up walking most of the way back.  I’m encouraged that as he walks the pace slowly picks up which indicates that he is recovering.  We come in 13 minutes over our ideal time.

I stop him at the water tank and he drinks while I unhitch and remove the harness.  He gets his fill and we move over to the sloshing buckets where I sponge off his neck, shoulders and head.  He is puffing and doesn’t come down.  When we take his pulse it is at 20 and we head back for the sloshing buckets.  This time we soak him down all over and by the time of the second check he is down to 16 which allows him to qualify for a completion.

He has limited interest in grass and refuses an apple.  This is unheard of and indicates the level of his exhaustion.  After hosing him down again he obviously is feeling better and does eat some grass with gusto.

It turns out that many horses failed to make their P/R on the 1st test.  Wes and Ranger did and had a respectable score of 345.  Scooter’s final score was 299 and Mary’s Ben finished at 280.

A tough but successful day for all.

On the way home I ran through some extremely heavy rain and listened to a Milwaukee station talk about manhole covers being lifted by the flooding.  Once I hit the Interstate the rains slackened and most of the trip was easy.

Scooter was none the worse for his experience and grazed peacefully for a while before I returned him to his pen.

Later in the evening I got a call from Jack Shea.  He wanted to tell me that he had seen me on the Interstate and ask if the drive was still on for Sunday.  He lives close and would check with ride management before going.

It turned out that he was the only one to drive on Sunday and didn’t have rain until the 2 mile marker on the return trip.   But from there on the rain didn’t stop.  This was a milestone for Jack as it was his first drive without any assistance.  Congratulations, Jack and Kim.

Unfortunately, we have no pictures from this event.

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