LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 Work Day May WORKa.m. meet@ 3G12 FARMS 9:00 DAY at 3G Farms MAY 12 - 9:00 AM 3:30 p.m. BITS meeting Special election for Treasurer MEETING @ 3:30 P.M. Potluck following the meeting POTLUCK TO FOLLOW President’s Message I want to thank Steve Stillions for his service to BITS as Treasurer. His was often the voice of fiscal sanity in the midst of Great Plans and Wild Schemes! His leadership on the Executive Committee will be missed, but will be welcomed at BITS meetings and events. THANK YOU, Steve. We are fortunate that Christie Loiacono and Linda Viani have agreed to being nominated to fill the position. THANK YOU! And, if you cannot attend the May 12 BITS meeting, be sure to register your vote for Treasurer with Secretary Edna Oakley (firstname.lastname@example.org) before then. The cookbooks are flying off the shelves (okay, out of the boxes!) They are wonderful, and practically sell themselves. I mailed a couple of packages of cookbooks from the Gilbert Post Office last week. I asked for the book rate. “They‟re cookbooks.” “Oh,” she said, I love cookbooks. I‟d like to see one.” I had one in the car, so I went back out and brought it in for her to see. “They‟re wonderful. I‟ll take two!” So I returned the next day with two for her! Another THANK YOU to the cookbook committee of Katy, Rhinehart, Christie Loiacono, and Edna Oakley. The project is a unique way to raise funds for our activities . . . not to mention share our recipes! Finally, competition season is here at last! The two events that BITS sponsors are coming up quickly. I look forward to working with everyone to make them a success. THANK YOU (in advance!) for working together to make them a success! The fifth annual Combined Driving Event Camp, held April 19-22 at Three G Farms, had good news and bad news. The good news: seven of the 16 people participating were new to Combined Driving Events, further indication of the growing interest in driving in Iowa; we missed the really cold weather of the week before, and the rainy weather of the week after (by minutes on Sunday; it began to mist as the last competitor completed the marathon course, so people were loading up to head home in the rain); the dressage tests of all participants improved significantly over the weekend, thanks to lessons with clinician Kathy Palmer of Plattsmouth, Nebraska; LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 getting to drive the cones course and the hazards several times, trying different routes was REALLY fun. Because of the practice, everybody made the time easily in the cones on Sunday, and almost everybody did the same in the marathon. The cones were a lot tighter in the Driving Trial on Sunday, of course, so only three of us had double clean runs in the Driving Trial. The bad news? We had our first accidents in the seven years we‟ve been holding events at Three G Farms. We had loose horses (without a carriage, fortunately) and a turnover on the marathon that resulted in a driverless horse and carriage streaking to the barn. The good news about the accidents was that, although the people and horses were bruised and shaken up, there were no broken bones. And, of course, all humans were wearing helmets. The major casualty was a Meadowbrook carriage, which may never drive again. BITS members did very well in Sunday's miniature Driving Trial. When the dust settled, and the scores were calculated; BITS member Christie Loiacono, driving her Welsh pony, SL Rey, posted the lowest dressage score of the day, a 42. Mickey Hansen, BITS newsletter editor, was second in training level dressage, with a 45, Jo Arrowsmith, a new BITS member, posted a 48.75 for third, and Anita Schlosser, also a BITS member, was right behind Jo, with 49.06. With only one ball down in her cones run, Christie held her first place finish through the rest of the event. Mickey and Anita did not do the marathon, so two first-time participants in the camp (and in CDE-type events), Jo Arrowsmith and Nikki Thummel of Des Moines (also a new BITS member), placed second and third, helped considerably by their double-clear cones drives: no balls down and within the time allowed. They were two of only three competitors who managed double clear cones drives on Sunday. In fourth place was BITS secretary Edna Oakley, driving her Morgan, Jake. Fifth was Jim Block from Minong, Wisconsin, driving a pair of Morgans. Jim spends his summers in northern Wisconsin and his winters in northeast Oklahoma. He stopped at the camp on his way home for the summer. Jada Neubauer, another BITS member, drove Droste, a Hackney pony, to the third double clear cones run, which helped her place sixth overall in the event. Gene Rhinehart and I participated in the event as preliminary competitors. We both posted reasonable dressage scores: 42.42 for me, 49.59 for Gene. Neither of us had clean cones runs: one ball down for me, two down for Gene. Gene and his navigator did not have their marathon times straight, and so walked in . . . only to receive overall time penalties in the marathon. So… I won the prelim competition, but not by much! All in all, a great camp. The most participants, some of the best weather. And may it be another 7 years before we have another accident! LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 Many Thanks From Eleanor Many THANKS to all the brave folks who unharnessed my pony after the cart catching on the door opening haltered her. My apologies to Kathy Palmer, my volunteer navigator. She was ejected out of the cart in the tip over. Sorry for being the cause of her many days of very uncomfortable bruises and stiffness. The tip over resulted from a misjudgment of clearance on the loop of the trail past the cedars (the part the trucks couldn't navigate the previous day.) Some part of the cart hit a tree. There was a millisecond pause and then the cart tipped and catapulted occupants. When my helmeted head smacked with force on tree on the opposite side of the trail my arms sort of flailed and I think that is when my hands opened and released reins. I could hear the styrofoam of the helmet compacting. That Troxel Lorado-Duratec helmet did its job of protecting skull. I could see a very terrified pony galloping off. I turned and asked Kathy how she was, her color was good; she assured me she was OK and that I should go after the pony. Fortunately no other people damage or property damage except for the barn door's sliding track. Door Prize Donations Welcome We are looking for donations for the up-coming drives sponsored by BITS. Donations can be for door prizes, gift cards, or cash to purchase needed prizes. Please contact Jada Neubauer or Katy Rhinehart if you can help in any way. Donations will be recognized in the programs if you wish. Please make sure that we know which program you want your donation to go to. We are accepting things for the Distance Drive and the Skunk River HDT. If monetary donations are given they will be recognized in the program as follows Road Cart Sponsor $1-$10. Meadowbrook Sponsor $11-$50 Marathon Cart Sponsor $51-$100 Parke Drag Sponsor $101 plus Be sure to let us know which program you want to be listed in! We thank you in advance for your support! Cookbooks Available Cookbooks are on sale. Cost of "Recipes from the Carriage Seat" is $15.00. Make the check to BITS and you can see any officer or committee member to get one. They are going fast. Only 200 were ordered. Don't miss out on these great recipes and a book that showcases our members and their beautiful equine. LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 Hazard Sponsors Needed If you would like to a way to show support for the BITS Skunk River HDT you can sponsor a hazard or the cones course or the dressage area. Each of these sponsorships cost $25.00. Indicate which hazard you would like to sponsor and send these to Jada Neubauer or Katy Rhinehart. Make checks out to BITS. Signs will be posted by your purchased area and your name or company will be in the program. This is a super way to show support of driving in Iowa. Oaks _______ Hilltop barrels______ Dressage Ring_______ Cones Course______ Orchard_____ Cedars_______ Poles_______ New hazard in lower field______ Support your Favorite Team at Skunk River Would you like a little help from a friend? Well, sponsor a message in the Skunk River HDT and you will have everyone excited to see how well you do! You can add a message in the program for anyone in BITS or who is entered into the competition or maybe your favorite volunteer. Cost for the first 10 words is $5.00. Each word over 10 will be and additional 25 cents. Examples are: "Go team Pony Boy!" or "Eagle Farms salutes the best pony, Champ!" or "Go Grandpa and Grandma-- be safe and have fun! Love, Jamie and John" or "Thanks to my favorite volunteer, Sam." Let your imagination go wild!! All messages need to be sent to: Katy Rhinehart at email@example.com or Box 104 Ferguson, IA, 50078, by June 15 to be in the program for the Skunk River HDT. This is a fun way to show support and we love seeing the positive messages! Make checks to BITS. Sunrise Ridge-The Tale of the Runaway Pony By Katy Rhinehart We started our trip early Wednesday, March 30 (5:30 a.m.) from 3 G Farms near Ames. We traveled with Earl and Mary so we had safety in numbers, so to speak. They had 3 carts and 3 horses with them and we had 2 carts, a golf cart and a pony. We stopped that evening near Stillwater, OK and stayed with Pat and Neil Wertz, who had moved there last year. They had room for all the horses and we set up a portable pen for Keeper, the pony. Neil raises buffalo and was a very good tour guide on the care and feeding of his 5 female buffalo. He fed one out of his hand--and I was surprised that buffalo have very long black tongues. He raises them for the meat and will be buying a bull this summer. We will be back at Stillwater this fall--so may get to see his new purchase. That evening we went to Eskimo Jo's. What a great place to eat!! Neil ordered the chili cheese fries and we could have made a meal, just on them!! On Thursday a.m. we got up and headed for Paradise, Texas. Just as we started to load up the critters, it started to rain. Now this is significant--RAIN it did (more on this later). LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 We got to the Sunrise Ridge and unloaded the horses and found they had great big stalls to stay in. They were happy to be out of the trailers and out where they could see and EAT! Since it was raining, we decided to go and find our motel rooms--about 10 miles away. It was a good thing we had reservations. There was a rodeo in town, a county fair, and a stock car big deal. We ate at a great Mexican restaurant and went back to the horses. Still raining, but we looked at the first hazard and then fed our animals and then back to the motel and off to bed. Friday, it was still raining. When we got to the horses that morning, the show organizer had moved Keeper to an inside stall--she was afraid that he would get hailed on...they were so nice. By this time other horses and people were arriving. Still raining. We walked the cones course and found that about half of it was under water. The ranch raises Longhorn cattle and we all took our critters to see the odd looking critters with long horns. The cattle were located right next to the dressage ring, and we didn't want them to be surprised in the middle of our driven test, when they looked up and saw those horns and wanted to get the heck out of there! Keeper was more interested in the grass, and could have cared less. Celtic was so curious. He came nose to nose with a baby and I'm not sure who was more startled, the calf or Celtic. Celtic was still not sure about them as we walked the "boys" by them, but he finally settled down and figured they were not going to hurt him or eat him, so he didn't need to worry about them. We were hoping to drive a bit to get the feel of the place and let Celtic and Keeper stretch their legs and get some of the excess energy out....well it still was raining and we were not able to. Late in the afternoon we finally got to go out on the marathon section, through the light sprinkle, and see the course and the 5 hazards we were doing. Mary was on the trailer that was being pulled around behind a tractor and Gene, Earl and I took our golf cart. We got through the whole course, but the trailer Mary was on, broke down 3 K from the barn. We got back just as it started to pour down.....Mary and all had to walk back in the pouring rain. Sheets of rain were continuing when she got back and all we could think of was getting into dry clothes. We skipped the "welcome" party and headed back to the motel room. We all changed into dry stuff-- spread out all the wet stuff and ordered pizza and played cards. Mary and I should have known what was coming....the boys trounced us good in cards. Saturday it was clear and beautiful. The rain had left a swamp of the cones course and we were sure they would have to modify the marathon section....but would wait and see for the official word. The judges moved some of the cones out of the pools of water, but you still had to cross water to get from one to another. Mary was first out for her dressage and cones, followed by Gene, Earl and then myself. Mary was over time, but her water fearing pony, Kevyn, crossed the water--a major victory. Earl and his pony, Joe, were clear in cones and Gene dropped one ball. LITTLE BITS Newsletter for Best of Iowa in Traces Society May 2007/Volume 4, Number 2 I was warming up Keeper and he was feisty. I had never driven him in that much water and was pleased that he waded through it without any problems. In some places it was up to his knees! I was just feeling that Keeper was finally getting a bit relaxed, when all heck broke loose. We were going through some mud and he kicked his back left leg up and I think the mud hit the cart and then hit him. Anyway, he started bucking and bucking. I had never seen him buck before (lots of other stuff--but not that). I was kind of laughing at him, when he took a hard right, and out of the cart I bounced, right on my head (good thing it was my head). Well, embarrassed and pissed off, I was laughing at him....there he was bucking and bucking in a circle, with the cart behind...then off he took. Last I saw of him he was running towards the longhorn cattle with someone yelling the dreaded "runaway pony"! Everyone was so nice; people came up and gave me a ride. Gene had taken off with others to catch the critter and we took chase through the marathon course with people pointing the way..."He went that „a way"! We found him out of breath and ok at the far end of the farm. He ran out of steam in an open area. There he stood---looking very sorry and confused about the fuss he had caused. We looked him over and he seemed fine. It was a miracle, especially since he crossed (jumped??!) two cattle crossing panels with a cart behind. Quite a feat for a small Shetland pony. The harness was fine and the cart was ok--just a bent rod on the fender. Gene ponied him back with a golf cart, his little cart was put in the back of a pick-up, I was checked out by an EMT and Keeper got a "good to go" from the vet. But, needless to say, I was done for the day. Emotional wreck and a hormonal puddle of nerves. Since I was out of the competition, I volunteered to work and the organizer was so relieved, because the marathon starter had been unable to come, and was glad someone that knew what they were doing, (ME?!!) was able to help out. Mary had trouble on the marathon; she missed one gate and was eliminated, but was happy her pony crossed the water crossing on the course without any trouble. Earl and Gene both had good times and were happy with how it went. At the awards ceremony, Earl won his class and had the best cones. Gene won his class and Celtic was awarded by the vet (a very big deal to him) the best conditioned horse. Now if he can work on his wife!! We headed home on Sunday and got home on Monday late. We are still tired -- I guess a sign of getting old. Keeper drove on Saturday just fine. He seems to be over WHATEVER happened--but has a kicking strap applied, so he can't buck again. Sunrise Ridge is a fun place for us winter bound Iowan's to test the ponies!