Combined Driving Lesson, Cones
Greg spent his lesson time practicing
jumper courses cones.
Similarities between Jumper Courses & Cones Courses
The course is a pattern of numbered obstacles, which can include combinations, grouped together as A/B/C/D.
Each obstacle is marked with a number and red/white flags. (Oddly, I’ve never found this to help while riding. Actually checking the number/markers never occurs to me while aboard. Helps with the course walk.)
You walk the course beforehand. (If one is having a lesson, one drives the course in a golf cart. No such luck at a competition.) You want to walk the same line you will drive/ride, and then sometimes you decide that a different approach will be better. So you walk it again.
Courses have turns, roll-backs, off-set lines, and so on. Courses can be easy or hard. A well-designed course can be both challenging and fun.
Smooth and efficient looks slower but ends up being faster than racing and jerking.
Optimum time is determined by course length. Exceeding the time adds penalties.
Going off course equals elimination. Excessive use of the whip can be grounds for elimination.
Course designers take advantage of horse psychology: being distracted by things outside the ring, knowing where the in-gate is, etc.
Horses look for the next obstacle.
Twenty cones pairs versus 10 to 12 jumps.
Grooms are permitted for single horse, and required for pairs & fours. While on course, grooms may not move around the carriage, or provide any verbal assistance to the driver (i.e., no shouting “WTF? You forgot to go through #14!”). (And thus why they are designated as “grooms” for cones, and not “navigators”, which they are for marathon.)
3 penalties for dislodging a marker ball (sitting on tip of cone).
Fewer refusals. More mashing of the obstacles.
No jump-off. But overall course time is considered a tie-breaker when penalty points are equal.
The cones must be a specific distance wider than the cart. If the carts are different widths, the cones must be reset. At the schooling driving show we watched last summer*, the cones changed after every. single. competitor. Since one has to bend down to adjust cones, this wears out the help. Much more work than the occasional knockdown of a jump pole.
Thank you to Kate Bushman & Lyricc
(*Despite – or perhaps because of – lots of photos, I never got around to posting about this.)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.
That moment when … you realize wiping off the Blu-Kote was a bad idea.
Thank you for reading,