Saturday, December 13, 2014


ADS doesn't so much like calling them Hazards anymore, since Hazards leads you to think it could be Hazardous. It's probably something to do with the insurance... lol

Obstacles were the same for both days too. It was easier since you seemed to get a Do-Over if you had competed the day before. You also may have seen someone else take a different route thru the gates and tried it their way, shaving time off your score. Or you drove it once, figured out a better way and tried it, improving your time in the hazard. It also gave your pony a chance to go thru things without being afraid of decorations in the hazards. All of which worked in our favor and thankfully things went smoother for us the second time around.

Obstacle 1 was barrels decorated like Easter eggs with stuffed bunnies sitting on top of them. Straight in to make a right  by the wall and go thru Athen back across the paddock to make a left and go thru B. You could either slow down and make a U-turn to the right then another U-turn to the left to go thru C, or you could circle around B on the left and line up for C. Saturday we did the U-turns, Sunday we did the circles. Coming out of C you make a U-turn to the right and head thru D that was behind you. Doing this put your horse on the right lead and you could go thru D and veer right to go back thru the Out gate.  Don't forget to thank the volunteers on your way out!

Obstacle 2 was back in the corner and decorated for Halloween. Kat wanted NO part of it. Huge tree trunks with shiny banner letters strung between them. High enough horses could go under them, but still... bird cages with fake rats in them, a scarecrow and several other things I don't remember- it was all enough to keep the little guy on his toes. He reluctantly went into the Hazard. Kat did well enough, but he wasn't to thrilled with the idea of this hazard. Coming OUT of the hazard? He was all for it!

Saturday I had talked to Jim (cones course designer and judge) briefly before going on course for the Hazards. He was talking to Paul Sidwell who had judged Dressage. I had asked him if anyone else had destroyed the course the way we did? Not even close! Well as it happened, Jim and Paul were still talking when Kat and I came GALLOPING out of #1 headed to #2 and were standing by watching as we came FLYING out of #2 headed to #3. Paul asked Jim- "Are those two always like that?" Jim replied- "Only when she's driving!" and they had a good laugh over it.

Obstacle 3 was a little trickier. It was up by the front gate and decorated for Christmas. There were 4x4 wooden posts in the ground, wrapped with sparkly red garland to look like candy canes.  Gates A & B were in these poles and on Saturday as we came thru A and circled around to go thru B, Kat and I had a conflict of interest on where we would go thru the posts. I figured we would go between these two and he decided to go between the posts before it.

Kat came Reeeeeaaaaallllllyyyy close to taking a header on one of the posts. Dang near smacked into it with his forehead!  As it was, he stopped with his head and neck turned to the right and the post between him and the shaft at his left shoulder. We were within inches of taking it down. Typical! Hahaha  We backed up a few steps sorted things out and continued on. Gates C and D were no problem after that. Sunday Kat was more than willing to let me make the call on those poles although for the most part, we had very little to no right turns.  Both days we came galloping out of hazard, full bore.

Obstacle 4 was behind the one barn and decorated for Thanksgiving. There were turkeys all over the huge tree stumps, more glittery letters in hanging banners and Kat had no problem with these. We would come galloping in make our way to the far end and a hard right between two huge stumps going thru them for A. Continuing the turn to go thru B that is behind us, going up past it on the left and making a U-turn to come back thru it and down and around for C which is in front of us but needs to be taken in the direction of coming back towards where we are. Gate D was back up behind B and again, coming thru the same direction we went thru B. It was a sort of ribbon candy effect with all of the back and forth, circling around, but at least coming out of D you were headed right for the out gate and Kat fired hard both times, galloping thru it with no problems.

As usual, walking back to the barn and passing several others who had yet to go, already gone or were between obstacles, everyone was buzzing about how fun it was and "Can we do it again?" Sometimes it just doesn't feel like 4 Hazards are enough. Maybe it's because we aren't the ones pulling the cart or carriage. There are a few of the horses that really enjoy it, Kat obviously being one of them I know when he's feeling good and running full bore, I have to admit, that's an awesome feeling and it's about as close as I'll ever get to being on him for it.

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