TLDR: Greg won his first CDE!
Indiana Combined Test & Combined Driving Event
September 22 -24, 2107
Hoosier Horse Park
Edinburgh, Indiana, USA
Greg & Bliss WH in Training Single Horse
CT Dressage: 1st of 6
CT Cones: ? of 6
CT Overall: 3rd of 6
CDE Dressage: 2nd of 8
CDE Cones: 2nd of 8
(leading going into Marathon)
CDE Final: 1st of 8
Training Level Champion
Thank you to Kate Bushman of Whip Hand Farm for Bliss. (Yeah, I said it yesterday [Indiana CDE 2017], but I always thank the horse owner here, and it bears repeating.) Kate & Jewel won the CT Training Single Horse, had the only double-clean cones in our division both days, and were 5th in the CDE.
Thanks also to the folks of Indiana Whips and Wheels and all the volunteers for taking a weekend out of their lives so that we could play.
Greg has done driven dressage. He’s done cones. We’ve done obstacles in derbies. We’ve done a schooling event. This weekend was our first full CDE, with our first full-scale marathon phase. As soon as they let us trot onto the start of phase B of marathon, our weekend was a success. Whatever happened next, we got to do what we had been targeting all year.
View From The Back Seat
That was a lot of work!
The main job of a navigator is to shift weight from side-to-side, thereby keeping the wheels on the ground and making the carriage easier to steer. The level of conversation is up to the individual driver and gator.
Greg wants a constant stream of flight data. He takes it all in, then decides which bits he needs. That meant I talked for 45+ minutes straight (15 min phase A, 10 min walk phase, 21 min Phase B, plus three starts & a vet box). Fortunately, talking comes easily to me. Unfortunately, he wanted the data to be good intel: gate numbers, time to next kilometer marker, where we sat in relation to min/max times. I was looking at my stopwatch, counting gates, doing math on the fly, hanging on, reminding him to shorten his reins before each obstacle, calling out our number, making sure we passed through the start line, remembering the turns so I knew when to shift my weight, looking for the exit, saying thank you to the volunteers as we left the area. Lather, rinse, repeat for 5 obstacles.
We are honors even in remembering the course. Two small moments of uncertainty against me; one big certainty in my favor. (My blog, my scoring system.)
To keep the different levels in sync, our gate numbers 2-5 on phase B were all one physical gate. I knew this. I did not make a note of it on my sheet.
Gate 1. Gate 2. Gate 6. Wait, where did gates 3-5 go? If we miss a gate, we are eliminated. Greg was on top of it.
Fourth obstacle. Go in. Back around for A. Turn left backwards thru E (E didn’t count at our level). Keeping going left. Swing wide around the white pole. C? Wait a minute. Crap. Where was B? If we go through C without B, we will be eliminated. (In truth, those are eventing rules. As long as we corrected before we left the obstacle, we were okay. Circling, crossing your tracks, going out of order are all okay, just time-consuming.) Bottom line, there was no way to “circle the white pole” without going through B. We had to have done B. I had no memory of it. I don’t remember what I said. I can still feel the panic.
After the exit of each obstacle, there is a red sign at 30 meters to mark where any missing navigators/grooms (for teams) need to be back on the cart. Turns out some folks were letting inadvertently dismounted grooms jog to the next obstacle. They’d gotten the faults, might as well save the weight. Now there is a specific rule against this practice. The little red signs also indicate which way to go. Greg hauled out of the last obstacle, heading at warp speed for parts unknown. I whacked him on the shoulder, No, no, red sign thataway.
Where’s The Rest?
Regular readers may note that show reports are usually more comprehensive, particularly for a three-day show that was such a big deal. Reports from Academy Nationals cover several days. This weekend belonged to Greg. It’s not my story to tell. Emotionally disemboweling myself for strangers? No problem. Disemboweling others? Not so much.
Short version: he’s gonna wanna do this again.
Thank you for reading,