HDT Training Day, June 2014

An HDT training day was held at Low Hill Farm on 21st June to give people the opportunity to have-a-go in a relaxed atmosphere, with advice and guidance. Here’s what Emma Baxter had to say:

“The weather was good to us for the longest day of the year, and for Sue Norriss’ special event held at Low Hill Farm: Introduction to Horse Driving Trials.

When Sue first mentioned her idea to me back in the autumn I was keen to give it a go myself if possible, so with the help of the calm and very patient Laura, and the lovely Lightfoot, there I was taking part in my first one day event (without having to worry about the scoreboard!). For such a novice it really was quite a daunting experience but I was committed and managed to rustle up some confidence to get on with the task without disgracing myself or my trusty companions entirely.

It was great to have the opportunity to take part in this kind of event with such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and without the added pressure of worrying about errors made and the scores and times of a real competition. Nevertheless I was still a bag of nerves to begin with but once I got started with the dressage test, and a few deep breaths later, I started to relax and even had some encouraging comments from the judge – of course I did not have to concern myself with memorising the route which was a blessing!

Then swiftly after came the cones course with the option of a second attempt which in my case was an improvement on the first one – not necessarily faster but more control!

A lunch break after all this was very welcome, and I could quite easily have nodded off at this point but no time for that as after refuelling preparation for the two obstacles was next on the agenda. I remember walking the five obstacles with Sue at the Lisa Joyce event last year and all I can say is that two was plenty for me for me to take on; it all seems reasonably straightforward when you are on foot planning a route through the gates, but oh such a different matter in the driving seat. It’s very easy to forget where you are supposed to be going when concentrating on the actual driving!

I cannot deny I was quite relieved when Lightfoot was safely back in his stable, but it was such a fun day which I am sure everyone enjoyed as much as me. Whilst rounding off the day’s events with some refreshment, rest and relaxation, Steve Lucas guided us through the driving trials scoring system. This was much appreciated but I might just need him to run through it a couple more times before it becomes less of an enigma – I really was ready for that nap by then, well that’s my excuse anyway!

I would like to thank Sue Norriss for taking the time and trouble to organise this event and for her team of helpers on the day who were on hand to offer advice, support and encouragement which is what we all need to help us along the way.”

We are all grateful to Sue Norriss for organising the day and to Roger and Sue Page for allowing the Club to use their facilities. And thanks to all those who helped before and on the day.

Photos below – courtesy of Sue Norriss. (Click on images to see full size photos.)