I had fun with Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy at the ADT (Arena Driving Trail) this past Saturday in Prescott Arizona.
I was packed and ready to leave the ranch at 7:15 am and as usual Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy stepped right into the trailer. I arrived at the host ranch by eight and proceeded to get checked in for the days activities. Our time of go for dressage and cones was not until 12:30 so I spent the first hour checking out the dressage court and then walking the cones course and memorizing it.
After a brief rest and a cup of coffee I went to walk the obstacles and decide what track I would take in them. Once I memorized the four obstacles there was plenty of time to watch some of the lower level drivers as they drove dressage and cones. Of the 30 competitors the majority were Miniature horses and ponies. There were only about six full size horses that were competing.
About 11:45 I started getting Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy harnessed up and hitched so I would have enough warm up time with him before doing dressage. Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy was calm and listening as I drove into the dressage court. The test was going really well until out of the blue the judge blew her whistle,which meant I was off course. Now I quickly run the course through my head as I head over to the judges stand, and I just did not know what I did wrong. As it turned out I did nothing wrong, I just wasn’t as far along in the test as the judge thought I was. So after this brief hiccup I continued on with the test. Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy took all this in stride and did a beautiful test.
As I was the last competitor to go they were all waiting for me over at the cones course with bated breath. I saluted the judge and away we drove. I did most of the course in a very fast trot with an occasional canter thrown in for good measure. I ended up with two ball down and a couple of time penalties.
After a rest for Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy and a quick lunch I hitched up again to do the four obstacles. The first obstacle had all sorts of large metal animals in it for the horses to spook at. Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy took them all in stride and only gave the very tall horse a wink. I have seen in the past these metal animals come alive to some horses. Then on to the second hazard which consisted of six foot tall poles placed in rows with large flags on the tops. Now Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy normally does not have an issue with flags as he has seen many, but these flags with the wind blowing them straight out were smacking him in the face and he took exception to that. He basically said this is more than even I can deal with. For all the other horses this was not an issue as they were all a lot shorter than him and most could not see them unless they looked up. I eliminated out on this obstacle because it was the right thing to do and not force Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy through them.
The third obstacle was made up of these huge boulders placed within the obstacle. Just a note, as we went through the in gate there were flags on top of higher poles and Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy went right through. We flew in and out in record time and did not move one boulder. The final obstacle was the water one. When we got to it there were several competitors waiting to drive it. Now as we all know training a horse to voluntarily run through water is not an easy task, thus the backup. Now when Pinegrove’s Sailor Boy saw the water he was more than eager to fly through at a gallop, and that he did. We crossed the water pond three times to be able to make the fastest time we could. Of course my gator, Allan, got quite wet during this romp through the water obstacle. The three obstacles we completed we did in sixty seconds or less so it was a good go for us.