The third driving clinic we presented in Alaska this year was in Fairbanks. New territory for us and I know the drive there would have been beautiful if the clouds had not hidden the mountains. The view of Mt McKinley I hear is spectacular.
We occasionally were rewarded with a little open scenery.
But we only stopped this once for me to take a few quick photos.
Alex’s talk before action, was well received with a bit of humor.
The location for the clinic was at Moving Free Equestrian Center. They had an indoor arena which we didn’t need, and an outdoor arena which we used a little and a wide open field which we used a lot!
Most of the people taking the clinic were beginning drivers and eager to learn. Even people who had driving experience learned something from Alex. Adjusting harness is a good place to start. As with the other two clinics in Alaska, not everyone had a trained horse to drive, so we were grateful to the people who brought their great driving horses, and for allowing everyone else the chance to drive them.
Laurie’s horse Bill was a very sweet and patient horse.
Aldona’s horse Suki was also well trained and willing to let everyone drive. Alex always checks out a horse first before he puts anyone on board with him.
After the clinic we had a great pot luck meal on grounds. Not everyone could stay but those of us who were there had a great meal and told lots of stories.
We had a special request from one of the students for a private lessons at her home to help start her reindeer in driving.
Alex is game for most anything once – so we fought the mosquitoes and went to Running Reindeer Ranch. It was an interesting experience and the reindeer had a good start.
The next day we worked the same horses again and put a few more to the test.
We didn’t even ask Kelly to let anyone else driver her mini, Jack. He did very well for her and we didn’t want to put anyone else on the cart.
Melissa, (AKA as Antsy and – well, I won’t mention her other nickname Alex gave her) she brought her mare who had been started in driving but the previous experience was not a good one. So, Alex did an evaluation and thought she would be fine for driving. We didn’t have a vehicle to fit, and since this was not a training clinic Alex didn’t hitch her.
Alex gave Melissa some tips on what to do with her horse and since she is also a nice ridding horse he encourage her to ride a lot and then get some of the other people to help her with the driving.
Melissa did get to drive other horses.
Alex set up a simple and easy cones course and had everyone follow him through the course. Looks like the pied piper doesn’t it. But with great results.
Everyone had fun running the course.
“Bill” seemed to enjoy it too.
“Antsy” was a little less antsy about it but she had fun after she allowed herself to breathe again.
As a special treat, since we had such few horses for everyone to drive, Dr. Dee brought her pair of Friesians.
Harness had to be fitted and adjusted first.
Then Alex took them through the cones.
Everyone got the chance to drive them with Alex giving instructions.
Aldona was not sure she wanted to try this but after I assured her Alex would be there with her and would keep her from getting into trouble, she agreed and was so glad she did!
Even Kelly, who had the mini – drove this nice big pair of horses.
So thanks Dr. Dee for bringing everything over. It was an experience most of the students will never forget!
We had to leave Fairbanks after the clinic and drive the seven hours back to Anchorage for an early morning flight home. We saw a few more mountains since it stopped raining.
This quick shot was taken from the truck – we didn’t make any extra stops going home. Ann a friend of Angelia’s who picked us up at the airport when we arrived in AK, had her mother, who lives in Fairbanks, pack us a picnic basket of food for our drive back to Anchorage. Bless her heart! There was a lot of food and we sure enjoyed it! Thanks so much Ann’s mom!
I think everyone enjoyed the clinic and most of them said they wanted us back next year. Our daughter Dee, said she wants to go next year, too! Save your pennies dear.