So the ADT is tomorrow... I am anticipating the event and yet, sort of dreading it too. Dreading it only because I hope I can get it right, go through everything the right way, have a clear round and not get eliminated or 'E' out.
This week they posted the maps for the Cones course and the obstacle course as well as the order of go. There are two dressage arenas, one for horses & ponies, the other one for minis. I am second in the line up and since there were so many entries- 41 of us, they bumped up the start time to 8:30am. If I want to walk the course- I have to be there pretty early because I still have to lunge the little man, get him harnessed and hooked and work him down to the point of behaving. Which also means keeping him away from the cones in the process. He sees them and gets. all. jacked. up. Knowing all of this and the fact I didn't get to drive him last weekend- I turned him out last night. Let him work out his own kinks and settle down.
So Everyone has an idea of what goes on at an ADT here is the run down-
Link to the ADCS website with all the information as shown below.
Training Level Test 4
It looks easy enough, RIGHT? Trot in, halt salute, trot, track left, big circle, down to a walk, diagonal across the arena, pick up the trot, go right, another big circle, walk, another diagonal, trot, sort of serpentine across the arena, come back up to X halt, back a few steps, walk to G, halt, salute and leave at the working trot. Not so much in those terms, no idea where the letters go, but I know the pattern in my head and hopefully I can pull it off. I am interested to see our scores on this part the most. Just to see how our training is paying off and if we have strayed any.
From the dressage arena we head directly over to the cones course- Let the games begin!
Always salute the judge before going through the start/finish gate. Always. Then it is 20 cones to go through and remember which way to do it! The cones do have numbers by them and a red number on the right, white number on the left... You would think it should be pretty easy to do it right, but there were a few of us at the Darby in December that messed up and blew it. Blame it on being caught up in the excitement of competition, but we didn't do it all right.
Tip from another competitor and friend Liz, she breaks it down into groups of 5 cones. I hadn't thought of this, but it sounds like a good idea. Each cone has a ball on top and knocking down the ball gets you 3 penalty points each. Clear rounds are not exactly easy to do either. Gary suggested practicing at home with the cones really close together. Then when you are in the arena at the competition with the wider spacing, it is sooo much easier to go through. Makes sense too.
After all of the entries have completed their dressage tests and done the cones, there is a generous lunch break. Gotta give the ponies a rest and let them catch their second wind before going on to the Obstacles....
You must go through the In/Out gates on each obstacle. Training level no more than trotting is allowed. Breaks in gate must be taken care of within 5 seconds or you are DQ'ed. Although there is no set pattern you have to follow, you must go through the gates in order, you must go through them the indicated direction. However unlike the cones, once you go through a gate it is now 'dead' and you can go back through it in either direction to get to the next gate. Training level only uses gates A, B & C or at least they did at the last ADT as notes on the maps.
I have an idea already where I want to go and how I plan to go through the obstacles... There may be some tight turns, going through gates at an angle and the main objective will be keeping the wheels on the ground and Kat at a trot. Little monster that he is, he really enjoys these type events.
You are timed from when the horses nose goes through the 'In' gate until their nose reaches the 'Out' gate in the obstacles. I have seen a few places that we may be doing a bit of 'off roading' and it could get interesting. Yes, I tend to push the limits a little now and then. Kat is forgiving or else he hasn't gotten the idea to refuse yet. As long as he trusts me, we should be all right... I hope.
The fun part about all of this and what I thinks makes it all really interesting is this. I look at the map and see a way to go through the obstacles. Somebody else looks at the map and sees a totally different way of doing things. Sometimes their route is shorter and quicker, but the turns are tighter and it could get pretty hairy if things don't go so well. Could we have done it that way? Maybe. Could they have done it on our route- they may not have even thought of it...
Remember our first event, the Darby back in August? How I was taking it easy with nice, big, loopy circles... at least until the first ball fell down on cone #3. From there it was 'Game On' and I wasn't letting another one fall. The competitive streak in me kicked it into overdrive and that was it. I have to remember to keep that in check this time. At least I hope to, but then maybe that is what helps me to remain a bit more careful and not get too close to stuff. (Like POLES, that seem to pop up here and there... LOL) At least this time the obstacles all seem to be trees. Things with branches that stick out, keeping the horses and carts away from the trunk of the things. There is hope for us this time in that respect.