Are you suffering from Live Oak withdrawal? Drive the course and experience marathon from the navigator’s point of view.
Combined driving is one of the wildest equestrian disciplines in existence: it’s essentially eventing on wheels, meaning that all of the nutty things that eventers do while sitting on their horses is done by drivers who are sitting on a carriage, relying on their voice, lines and whip to get the same messages across. I love watching both disciplines, but until I see an eventer literally drifting around a tight corner like some of these marathon carts, I think combined driving might have my vote for most insane thing you can do with a horse, ever.
During the marathon phase, or the “cross country” of combined driving, drivers rely heavily on the navigator to both help pick out the route in the hazards and also to help balance the four-wheeled marathon cart. This navigator for Jada Neubauer brought us along for the trip with a helmet cam:
Go, pony, go! This is GS Thunderboy Henry, competing in the FEI Single Pony Division at the 2011 Live Oak International combined driving event. He was the fastest pony in the marathon phase of the entire show. This guy is clearly a master at his job and remarkably agile; he stops on a dime and rolls back with the cart to make some of the tight turns in the hazards.
Go combined driving!