Combined Driving March 2016

I drove my first marathon obstacle!

Katherine, Coach Kate & Lyricc
Katherine, Coach Kate & Lyricc

We walked the easy line and the fast line. Then trotted both. Apparently marathon is like billiards. You are always thinking about how to set yourself up for the next gate. If B is over here, you go though A on this line. If B is over there, you take A at that angle. Sometimes you use such approaches in jumpers, but usually for a fence or two, this involved the entire obstacle from crossing the start line to aiming for the finish. A marathon obstacle is basically a maze wherein you pass through labeled openings, called “gates”, in a specific order. Description by the American Driving Society, Combined Driving.

I kept forgetting that I had a turning radius. Except for our combined driving lesson last month [Lesson], all of my driving has been in two-wheeled carts. These carts move as a one long unit from back of the wheels to tip of the horse’s nose, think delivery van. A four-wheeled cart has a swivel at the front wheels, allowing the cart and horse to head off in different directions, think semitruck with trailer. This means a tighter turn. I kept planning wide sweeping turns and then remembering, Oh right, I can just turn around.

I was also reminded how much of a driver I am not. I’ve the good fortune to do a fair amount of driving lately. Well, I’ve had the good fortune to sit in a lot of carts lately. Alvin [ASAC] and Big [Georgia Fall Classic] and Natalie have all had a high level of auto-pilot. Not that I did all that much steering here. By the time I got in the cart, Lyricc knew the course. We’d come through B and she’d be turning back for C.

Yes, Greg also drove.

Greg, Coach Kate & Lyricc
Greg, Coach Kate & Lyricc

It was mostly his lesson. He was as happy doing the necessary evil dressage as the rest of us are. On the marathon obstacle, he looked awesome. I could so see him doing this. Second lesson, nailed it. In my opinion.

Alvin & Greg July 2015 Queen Bee Cottage Creations Photography by Shannon Slemmons
Alvin & Greg
July 2015
Queen Bee Cottage Creations Photography by Shannon Slemmons

Greg’s second time with saddle seat driving [Show Photos], looking at ease and in charge. Also showing the difference in carts.

Many thanks to Lyricc, Bliss, and Kate Bushman of Franklin, TN.


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