Wednesday, January 29, 2014

haflinger hump day series #4

Wendy Kilgore grew up showing Appaloosas and Quarter Horses. After college, she took a break from horses (not by choice) before she got back into them with the purchase of an appendix Quarter Horse. Then one day, she went to a Hunter Pace and saw this horse she just knew she had to have. It was a Haflinger (of course!!). A few years later, the lady that owned him was willing to sell him and Wendy scooped him up. She describes her Haflinger as the best purchase she has ever made. 
Haflinger:  Awesome Willy BHF or Will
Sire and Dam:  All American NTF and he has A and M lines on his dam's side
Age: 9 year old gelding
Height: 15.1 hh
Personality: Will is the sweetest, most loving boy. 
Likes: driving
Discipline: Combined Driving Events or CDEs, but has also done Dressage, Eventing, Hunter Paces, and Trail. 

CDEs are like eventing, but with driving. They are similar to Arena Driving Trials, but held outside. CDEs have three parts: Driven Dressage, Cones Obstacle, and Cross Country Marathon. It can be driven with one, two, three, or four horses in any number of different configurations such as unicorn, three abreast, and tandem. The most common are one horse, a pair (side by side), and four in hand (two pairs). 

The Dressage section is graded on turn out or presentation (safety, cleanliness, tack, vehicle, matching of horses, dress of driver and groom, fit of harness, and how the harness, vehicle, and horses go together). Next is the driven dressage, which is nearly the same as ridden dressage with the judge looking for all the same things; impulsion from behind, responsiveness, suppleness. Some movements are the walk, working trot, collected trot, extended trotcanter, a halt, and rein back in circles, figure eights, and diagonals. Verbal aids are permitted.

The Cones section tests accuracy and speed as the horse and driver navigates a course of cones with balls on top. Missing the cones or knocking a ball off results in a point deduction. Circling before an obstacle or refusing also gets points deductions. This section is timed.

The Marathon section is a test of fitness and endurance for the horse. There are sections within the Marathon course that designate a gait that must be driven. There is a maximum and a minimum allowed time that the course can be completed. The marathon phase often includes a vet check and natural as well as man made obstacles or hazards that must be completed. The groom is an important part of this as they make sure the timing is on track for the course as well as throw their weight in the carriage to navigate sharp turns and hazards. 
I think Haflingers love to leap!
CDEs are an expensive sport to partake. It requires a four wheel vehicle, which can cost upwards of $10,000! The higher levels have different vehicles for each section of the CDE. The vehicle is only part of the expense; turnout, harnesses, travel, and show costs are also pricey.

Awards(for CDE last year only):
  • First place in Single horse in every competition this past year
  • First in Dressage, Cones, and Overall Champion
Prior to owning Will, Wendy had never driven a horse before! She took six months of lessons and was soon ready to show. Her experience with ridden Dressage and Eventing has really helped with driving. 
Because Will is really good at winning ribbons, Wendy allowed him to be used by the University of Louisville Equestrian Team for their collegiate hunter shows. 

Shyloh will be happy to know that she is not the only Haflinger on the planet that gets tortured with a grazing muzzle. Will is also an easy keeper and has to wear a grazing muzzle in the summer or he too, will blow up like a balloon. Wendy works to keep his weight managed and Will fit, especially since he was a very overweight when she got him. 

Wendy is looking forward to  trying competitive trail riding through ACTHA with Will this year. Will seems like a great horse that is up for anything!


  1. Wow, another 15'1 haflinger. How cool! Fun!!

  2. Another lovely Halflinger. I am really enjoying your series.

  3. So awesome! You're making me want one of these horses more and more and more. I showed photos of them to Mike the other day and he thought they looked pretty cool, too. Haha.

  4. Very interesting. I thought Haflingers that tall were rare. I knew they were versatile though!

    1. They are not that common, but in this series, I am running into a few of the taller ones.

  5. Beautiful boy, really enjoying your series. Camryn wanted me to add that come spring she'd like the title changed to "Hump Haflinger Day"!!! Yeah it's for when she comes in season ;)

  6. That's so cool...CDEs scare me, but that pony must be one cool dude!

  7. Another lovely haffie! This is a great series!


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