Donika has been one of our students for many years. Her father Nick, took driving lessons from us in 2002, as did her wonderful, other mother, Betty. They had so much fun and realized how much there is to learn about driving, they decided to buy a few hours of lessons for Donika’s Christmas present the same year.  Donika is a great horsewoman – having many years experience riding horses – she took to driving very well and came back often for more lessons. She has been with us so long now, we decided we may as well adopt her since we couldn’t get rid of her –  she would come on weekends to help us with the horses we were working just to get more experience. I did a post about Donika’s Tandem a couple months ago.

Now here comes the bragging part. She competed with a Tandem at one of the most prestigious driving competitions in the country, the Shady Oaks CDE in California. And she got First Place in Prelim Tandem Pony with Cruz and Corvette. Way to go Donika!  We are very proud of you.


These photos were taken by a friend of hers while she was driving the Cones Course.


Driving a tandem is not easy. In fact it is one of the more difficult hitches to drive. That lead horse can go anywhere it wants with no shafts, pole or other horse to keep it lined out. It takes a lot of training to get the lead horse to stay in front of the other one, without pulling the load. Only the skill of the driver and the training of the horse will make this work.

This is the Marathon Phase. “Over the river and through the woods..” (sing along) is typical for this part of the competition. The Marathon requires the horse to go through many obstacles, hazards and varying types of terrain with grace, speed and precision.  There is a narrow margin of time allowed to complete the course – not too slow and not too fast.

You can see more photos of Donika at this event by going to the Official show Photographer’s web site – Cbristie’s Photography – you can also look up other competitors and even order prints.I was waiting for more photos to post this but I’ll not wait any longer – otherwise I’ll forget…. gotta go hide those eggs now. hehehehe

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