First off we have the course map. Which doesn't want to load because it is a pdf file and beyond my blogger capabilites of translation or ??? that needs to be done to make it happen. If anything changes- You will see the map here instead of a lengthy description of what it was.
Enter the Start/Finish gate where your time starts when the horses nose crosses the line. Head straight for a line of cones 1, 2, 3 & 4. Right turn to go through 1, sharp left to come around to 2, sharp right to come around through 3, sharp left again to go through 4 heading away from 5 so a hard right to get back around to go through an opening into Fort Atonna and look for gates A, B & C.
Here we are coming off A and circling around to get to B. I don't know if anyone else went this way during the day or not. The beauty of hazards and obstacles- you get to choose your own course. As long as you are going through the gates in the right order, the right direction, how you get to them is up to you.
Heading into A there is a big pile of tree branches/small logs stacked up in a diamond shaped pile, and Kat sorta spooked at it. He took a couple of hesitant steps off to one side or another, but hearing me urging him on and forward, got over it and went right on past without another look.
Through the three gates and off to the second set of cones... 7, 8, 9 and 10 were set up sort of as a square. If you could manage going through 7 and pull a sharp leftt to go through 8 (we did) then cool. Otherwise you looped around to the right to line up for 8 which the bigger horses pretty much had to do. Go through 8 and loop around to the left for 9, back around to the left to line up for 10- be careful not to knock down any cones...
Although it looks wide, (horses and ponies have one setting, mini's another) it is still pretty easy to take out a cone or bump it hard enough to knock balls down. 10 second penalty for each ball down. Thankfully we were clean! Last year- 1 ball down.
After going through 10 you are headed back to the water hazard. Gates A & B don't require going through the water, but to get to C quickly- you cut through the water. Although Kat had gone in the water on Saturday in long lines, adding the cart and two passengers- whole 'nuther story. Nuh uh, not today! He pretty much planted his feet and said "Not happening!" After two attempts and a lot of urging, we ditched that thought and went around.
You can see the cement in front of the mermaid statue. Those red PVC poles protecting her? Kat took them out on Saturday, trying not to get his feet wet. They are designed to come apart to prevent a bigger wreck. We were not the only entry to go around the water instead of through it. The horses a few of the minis and Kat, had other ideas that day and water was not included.
Once we went through C we headed off to the other side of the property for hazard 12, more cones and hazard 18. Going through A, B & C on the hazards, you can go back through a gate to get out, which in this case would line you up for a straight shot at cone 13. In a Darby, the hazards, once you go through a gate it is now 'dead' and you can go back through it to get to another. Cones are never dead. Cutting through a set of cones to get to something else- elimination!
Straight through 13, loop around left to get to 14, right around 13 and loop to get to 15, another loop around to the right and past 16, hard right to come back through it, sharp right loop to get back around and go through 17, line up to go through the poles of 'Paulden Forest' for A, around a pallet box to go through B and straight out through the 'forest' again through C and back to the other side of the property...
The cones for 19 and 20 were right by the start finish gate. 19 was headed away from them while 20 was headed back the same direction as the finish gate, but further away from it. We wound our way through both of them and through the finish gate. Kat was a bit pooped and had slowed to a walk a few times on the course. Having too much time off didn't do him any favors in the fitness department. Looks like we will both be working on that before the CDE in October. At least we have some time to ease into it.