Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pot O' Gold- Games

The show was to be a fun show and learning experience so they had a couple of cones classes and a 'Pleasure Drive/ Marathon' class, which turned out to be more of a Marthon Pace type of class.

Of course we entered these! That's a no brainer considering our past performances and how my little man loves games classes. There have been shows before, where we did okay or even tanked in the main ring, went out to the cones courses, taken our fustrations out on those and got it out of our system- winning those classes pretty easily and boosting our spirits again......

In a typical competition, they measure the widest part of your cart and depending on what level you're showing at- depends on how close the cones are set. Beginner/Training Level is set pretty wide and it is trotting only. As you move up to Prelim, Intermediate and Advanced- the cones are moved closer in and you're allowed to run. As an attempt to keep things fair for everyone, they limited us to trotting only and they did not measure our carts or move the cones at all. The cones were set at 2 meters wide and since my cart is just over 1 meter in width- I had plenty of room to work.

Fault and Out is just as it sounds. There was a course of 10 cones, you must take them in order in the right direction and you get 2 points per cone. You do the course until you knock down a ball. When you knock a ball down, you continue on thru the next cone where your time will stop. You will get points for the last cone. You are allowed 2 minutes and if you make it thru all 10, you start thru them again and keep going until your time runs out and they blow the whistle.

This was the course for Fault and Out. Kat & I made it thru the course once and started back thru it again. We were making the turn back around to line up for cone 7 when the whistle blew. At 2 points per cone, yeah we pretty much killed it. 

Your Route My Route is a bit more fun. Your Route is listed on the map.There are another 10 cones that must be taken in order, in the right direction. Once you go thru the last cone- It's game on! The portion for My Route- is open to interpretation. You have to go thru the 10 cones again, but... You can take them in any order, in any direction, but you can only go thru them each once. The start/finish line is 'live' the whole time, which means you go thru it to start and stop your time only and must be driven the right direction also.

Your Route My Route? Well I had a plan when I went in..... Coming out of cone 10, I thought I would circle around to the left picking off cones 7 & 6, going back across thru cone 4, down to cone 1 and 2. Make a hard left and get cone 8, change rein to make a right and go thru cone 9, another right to go get cone 3 and down to the rail, make a left and pick up cone 5 then left to finish with cone 10 and thru the finish line. 
What really happened? Coming off of cone 6, I went thru cone 9 instead of cone 4 because they were actually a bit closer together and I got a bit confused. (I blame it on our speed and driver error. lol) Thinking on the fly is something you have to be able to do in times like this so I figured I would 'flip' the order' of the two cones. I took 9 instead of 4 so where I would've taken 9- I took 4 instead and still picked them all up.  The Pleasure Drive/ Marathon class was more of a Hunter Pace. There is a course distance with an "Optimal Time" which is not disclosed. There was 2 'hazards' with 4 gates each that you had to go thru in the right order, in the right direction. Your job as the driver is to navigate the course from start to finish and try to come as close to the Optimal Time allowed. If you're going the right speed, you will hit it without issue.The correct 'speed' for ponies to be traveling was 12kph. I'm not sure what that works out to be for us and since I know we almost always get 'dinged' on time for being too fast, I decided to change it up some. There was a hill on the course and across the top of it as it went around the lake- the footing was not the best conditions. For this I allowed Katman to walk. Since it was up on the hill and pretty much right in the middle of the property, it was visible to all. Which meant that pretty much everybody seen us walking and when we got back in, there were plenty of people asking about it. We managed to stay in the ribbons and tied for 3rd. So how did we do? Well of course we smoked everything in the two cones classes. That was pretty much a given and came as expected. Trying to keep things fair by setting the cones wide, really wasn't all that fair in a way because for anyone who has done cones before- it made it hella easy to speed things up. It took off all the pressure of having to be a bit more accurate in leaving the balls up. While everyone else was doing a normal, working trot, we were doing a very extended trot almost the entire time. Kat did break gait and go into a canter a few times, but you are allowed 5 strides to get them back to a trot without being penelized. Fun fact- If driving a pair or multiples, if one horse  breaks gait but the other horse remains steady and trots the entire time, you don't get penelized.  Our efforts for the weekend got us 2 blue ribbons (1st place), 2 yellow ribbons (3rd) and 1 white ribbon (4th). Not a bad haul for a hella lot of fun. 

1 comment:

SprinklerBandit said...

Hello! Following up on a blog comment you made—I actually am looking to sell the Tony Slatter bridle (you’ll see why in a bit...). Would you be interested in measurements on it to see if it would work for you? Let me know. :)