Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Foto Friday: Trailer Shadow

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Milton Meets Butt Brakes

Driving Thursday

Stepping Out

Aside from the gorgeous horse and handsome driver, the significant part of this picture is the strap in the back.

When going downhill, the breeching keeps the cart from running up on the horse. Saddlebred harness does not have this. They do not expect to be going up hill and down dale. If breech-less harness goes downhill, say into the ring at Louisville, a person hangs onto the back of the cart to perform the same function. Biggest show of the ASB year and you have drag your help into the ring. But I digress.

Saturday: lesson with breeching. Sunday: schooling, hitching ourselves for the third time, breeching. Afterwards, Greg walked down the short but steep hill that exits the ring and took a few circles in the driveway and on the grass.

Downhill turned out to be the easy part. The uphill caused Milton to ride the struggle bus. To get up a short, gentle grade, Milton dug in like a draft horse dragging the championship weight at a pulling contest. Overdone, yes. First time he’s had pull on his chest. Not up to us to say how it felt.

First breeching. First terrain. First time out of the ring.

Progress. Progress. Progress.
Well …

Progress far as driving is concerned. Riding, not so much. Milton could be excused for getting upset at a strap goosing him in the butt. Not a bit. We put various driving paraphernalia on him, he considers it, says okay. I put riding paraphernalia on him, here’s what happens:

During his all-terrain adventure on Sunday, a low branch brushed the harness. This is exactly what happened with the saddle. Did he mind the branch pulling on the harness? OF COURSE NOT.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

A Bit of Phun

Milton’s new bit is a Glory bit.
ASB harness includes a check rein.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

New Equipment: Bit & Pieces

Milton’s new driving bit, to replace the one borrowed from Coach Kate [With Great Bit Comes Great Responsibility] Shorter shanks and a gentler mouthpiece.

More pants. Previous pants [Shopping Spree] were too small. How did I end up with a waistsize bigger than my inseam? In my defense, I like a loose fit. Previous pants did not have enough room for me to leap about the back of a carriage [Derby 2107]. Summer weight EMT pants with cargo pockets.

Yet another strap that goes somewhere on the harness.

Watch mount for carriage.

Storage racks for the tack room at shows. Yes, we have a tack room at driving shows. The stuff. So much stuff.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

One Year Until WEG

The 2018 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ will be held in Mill Spring, NC, over thirteen days from September 11-23rd, 2018 at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Tryon 2018

Since I get restless as a spectator, I prefer to volunteer. I need something to DO. So, I filed out the form. AFAIK, this doesn’t constitute an offer from them, nor a commitment from me.

I have volunteered on the big stage before: WEG in Rome and Lexington and the Olympics in Atlanta. OTOH, I’ve been out of the horse show/event volunteer world for a while [Kentucky Memories]. Organizers want to – understandably – work with people they know.

We shall see.

If you are interested, here is the contact form, WEG – Volunteer Inquiry
Rodney continues to extend his vacation. His lip is healing. Now he is missing a shoe. To recap, ankle -> back bite -> lip -> shoe. [Tests The Vest, Rodney Lately]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Letter Art: IHAD 2017

International Helmet Awareness Day Weekend

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

When I feel like a vox crying in a helmetless wilderness, I always know there is one person on my side. Been There, Done That and I have been horsing together for, well, enough time to have the stories to show for it. (Really, my eyes weren’t covered for that long, and the road was empty.) She wears helmets. She writes about wearing helmets, The Chronicle of the Horse: It’s Only Your Brain Afterall. For International Helmet Awareness Day, I asked her to talk about her plan to wear a helmet in a discipline where I’ve never seen a competitor wearing a helmet. Ever. Welcome BTDT.

My father rode jumpers internationally. When I was a horse-crazy kid, he made me promise that I would never, ever get on a horse without a helmet. I have kept that promise for over 50 years.


I finally quit riding (that’s a long and not-very-nice story with which I shall not bore you) after 35 years as an on-again off-again professional, and discovered that I still wanted to stay involved with horses in one fashion or another. The Rodney’s Saga blogger, whom I have known for ages, lured me into the world of driving the American Saddlebred. This is a whole new world.

I got very lucky, in that her trainer has some of the nicest and most tolerant school horses I’ve ever run into (and I’ve run into quite a few), and a good many of these are ride/drive chaps. I got involved in the Academy section of ASHA shows (Academy is designed as an introduction to riders who are new to the sport, who aren’t sure if they really want to show; gives them a chance to get their toes wet without undue expense or travail).

Very few competitors in ASHA shows wear helmets. When a specific venue mandates that juniors must wear helmets, the outcry astonishes me. By the time I’d participated in a couple of shows, I was the only driver wearing a helmet consistently. Most of the women drive bare-headed, with a fascinator, or with a straw picture-hat; the gentlemen wear porkpies.

Since I am now considering moving out of the restricted and into the open ranks (where looks and presentation do count), I started looking around for a way to wear my helmet without appearing glaringly out-of-step. So I got in touch with Debbie Navelski of RodeApple Hats (she works through Etsy) and she made me this!

It fits right over my helmet and will go perfectly with my suit and dress!

Close-up of brim design.

Previous IHAD Posts on RS
2016 Ride PHAT for International Helmet Awareness Day
2015 Networking Like A Boss, scroll down
2014 #IHAD

Every ride, every time.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott