by Alice Hubert
This weekend Ray and I traveled to the Southern Kettle Moraine Park near Palmyra for the Wildcat Mtn Competitive Trail Drive. I took Lil Kay, while Penguin stayed home. The trails were more technically challenging than normal. Mother Nature added numerous washouts, several of which were 9-12 inches deep throughout the trail, but mostly on hills which, in the past, Lil Kay would trot up. For this event, she had to walk so I could negotiate the cart over or through the washouts. There were also a lot more branches and logs near or across the trail. It was evident that the DNR had gone through and cleared some of the, as there were cut logs very close to the edge of the trail. At one point, there was a log on one side of the trail, and a large piece of wood sitting on the other side of the trail. I had about three inches on either side of my wheels to get through. It seems like the rains in June must of washed away some of the sand and exposed more rocks, and the sandy places were deeper than before. There were only a few large puddles on the trail which Lil Kay tried to avoid.
Ride management moved the turn around point out about a half mile further, but that half mile was some of the best trails of the event. Good footing, not a lot of sand, and very few rocks or washouts. Because it was a nice weekend, there were a lot of trail riders. Most were fine with the cart, but there was one group who took several minutes to debate whether they would dismount or just try to ride past me. They decided to ride past, and Lil Kay stood very nicely for the first four horses, but when the last one went past, she decided it was time to move, and this horse spooked. The rider stayed on, but the horse skittered into the woods for a little stretch. I was impressed that Kay stood for as long as she did. When I first started competing with her, she would only stand for about ten seconds.
The great news on Saturday was that we had another a new driver. Kathy Skoza from Illinois brought her little pony Red, who she believes is Haflinger/Shetland cross. This course is challenging for horses with a long stride, so her little pony had to work. What a great little pony. He should have won an award for cuteness and pluckiness.