In joining another Yahoo! group focused on driving, I was emailed by one of their members. Melanie has been a HUGE help to me in ways she may not know yet. She recommended I read the ADS rulebook as advised by her trainer. In there you will find everything. The rulebook has been referred to as your "Driving Bible" and I have been pouring over it since.
A few people know that water has been a big deal for us. The marathon courses for the CDE's usually involve a water obstacle. The first ADT of the year- gate B on obstacle #3 was IN the water. I am glad we skipped it in a way. The Darby course back in August- our first driving adventure/ competition/ fun event- had a water obstacle. It also had a way to go around the water obstacle if needed. Which we did.
Kat had followed me into the water that morning, sans the cart & harness, but he was not getting in the water when we were competing. He just wouldn't and although I tried to get him in, I also wasn't going to force the issue. At that point we had only been driving a few months (4 actually) and had already had our epic tantrum- why risk it again? He wasn't ready and neither was I really. At least not then.
Since reading through the "Driving Bible" I have found we are pretty much on track for competing at the CDE in March. It is not too far away, either by distance or time frame. I had taken him out and driven a new area and then gone back with the car to figure our distances. A little over 3 miles at a swift, strong trot, he hardly broke a sweat at all and was not breathing hard at any point during our workout. Overall we had covered a little over 5 miles, with a lot of walking before and after the trotting.
The rulebook breaks the marathon down into three sections. A, D & E. Section A is to be driven at any pace and is to be between 5000m & 8000m in distance. Speed not to exceed 14 kph for ponies. Section D is a mandatory walk of around a half mile in length (800m-1000m) with a speed not to exceed 6kph for ponies. After section D there is a mandatory 10 minute rest and the horses are to be given water, provided shade and you can walk them around the rest area, but nothing more. Section E is to be between 6000m & 9000m and I believe this is where you encounter the obstacles. Speed not to exceed 13kph for ponies. The noted speeds- you are penalized per second for coming in Under the recommended time limit as well as per second for going Over the time allowed. This is a pace, not a race, type of challenge.
As for the water? I had asked a while back about help or training on the course IN the water, before the CDE in October. Everybody asked then who my trainer is and threw out their recommendations of theirs. One person offered to come out and do a few lessons and we could use the puddles along the street in the neighborhood. We have since been making a puddle at home and he is fine with that, but off the property can be another story, with any horse on any given day.
Then I found this in the rulebook. For training level in the CDE's, the ADS rulebook states-
Page 157, Article 942, section 3, 3.9
3.9 Where a constructed water crossing is included in an obstacle, the depth must not be more than 30 cm. Where natural water is used the Technical Delegate may allow a maximum depth of 50 cm. The bed of any water crossing must be firm. Where water depth exceeds 50 cm a substantial fence, firmly fixed, must be constructed to prevent horses going into deep water.
AtADS-recognized events, Training division must have a dry, measured, legal, optional route through water obstacle gates.
The last part in red has been a lifesaver of sorts. At least it helped me breathe a sigh of relief when I first read it. I can still work at home on getting him INTO the water or at least through the water, but if need be, on the day of the event, we have the option to go around. The pressure was off about getting IN the damn water.
To be continued...
To be continued...