EnterHomeAbout Us & Safety Membership ArticlesClassifiedsPhoto Album
Club StoreLinks2014 Events2013201220112010

Introduction to Carriage Driving & Practice Day!
NEW DATE: Sunday, Oct. 3rd - 10AM - 4PM (12:30 lunch break)
Sun Country Ranch - Bandera, TX
Hosted by Debra & Steve Bohnsack
Email for directions

FLASH:  "Buy and Sell" has been added to this event!  Bring your horse items along to sell! Also added, Debbie and Reggie Price will give a "CDE Tips" talk during the lunch break.

This event is open to mini horses, Shetlands, mini donkeys and ponies 46" or less! 
(that is a maximum of 46" at the withers....they need not be registered)

Introduction to Carriage Driving Day. There will be an ADS mini sized dressage arena set up in a field with printed dressage tests, a fun cones course set up with map handouts, and a short marathon through trails with two hazards and printed map. This is intended to be a fun practice day along with an introduction to carriage driving and an introduction to three phases of a CDE.(Combined Driving Event) The courses will not be timed. (unless requested) The Dressage tests will not be scored. You can choose to practice the various courses & dressage tests, have fun just driving the property, or come and learn the basics of what driving is all about and meet new friends! If you have never driven before and would like to learn more about it, this is the time to check it out. If you already drive and have friends who have shown an interest in driving, now is the time to bring them along with you! 

Carriage driving is a "style" of driving you'd use whether you are driving down the road, entering a parade, driving the trails or competing in an American Driving Society event such as a CDE. Informative handouts covering the basics of carriage driving will be provided to everyone! This covers proper harnessing, cart balancing, what the different types of carriage driving show classes are, safety guidelines and frequently asked questions. (There may be a small fee to cover all the printed materials) Lillian Blackwell, club member and AMHR steward has offeredto measure your horse with an "official" stick if you'd like to know your horses size. Thanks Lillian!

You do not need to bring a horse to attend. Feel free to sit and watch the drivers, or ask questions and learn.If you choose to bring a horse, you'll need to have a current coggins and healthy horse. (no runny noses, coughs, etc) Please make sure all horses have manners to behave safely for the other drivers . For those who have not been here before, the entire 23 acre property is fenced with easy parking. In addition to the dressage arena, trails and cones course, I have opened up the front 10 acre pasture for driving as well. I will need to know how many are coming in order to have enough handouts and good parking space, so you must RSVP to attend! 

Please plan to bring a chair and lunch/beverages with you. If you have any questions and to RSVP, please email me at suncountryranch@hotmail.com  Suggestions are always welcomed. Thanks and hope to see you here!
Debra Bohnsack  suncountryranch@hotmail.com  830-688-6703

October event report:  We had perfect weather for the first Alamo Mini Harness Club event!

A wonderful group of 35 members signed in for the Introduction to Carriage Driving with 13+ drivers having fun practicing the cones course, dressage test and marathon course through the woods...and having a great day of recreational driving. Most people were here by 11am and Debbie Price and Reggie were kind enough to give an introduction talk about CDE and a “walk through” of all three phases.They both showed us how to zip through the cones, with Debbie driving Clyde (the horse on roller skates) and Reggie with Dancer, a very pretty mover that he handles beautifully. Heather Hey signed everyone in and made sure we all had our name tags on and received  the handouts. Lillian Blackwell had brought her official  measuring stick and was kept busy measuring horses for drivers who were curious about their height. 

Elizabeth Pannill, Carol Isensee and Robyne Rebman had stayed here overnighton Saturday, and all helped with setting up the courses and getting ready for drivers and spectators on Sunday. A big thanks to those who helped...these events take a group effort to put together! 

Thank you to all Alamo Mini Harness Club members who came out and enjoyed the wonderful day! 
There were so many beautiful horses! 

I have included some of the pictures taken by Debi Curtsinger and Steve Bohnsack (click thumbnails at left)
They had to use my camera, so not the best photo quality! We did not get pictures of all
the driving horses, (sorry) but quite a few nice pictures.


Alamo Mini Harness Club

Driving and Meetup Day!
Farrier Talk by John Belcher
Sunday, November 14, 2010  11am - 4pm
Hondo, TX
Hosted by Debi & Jerry Curtsinger
Come out to Hondo, Texas for a Driving and Meet-up day and learn about farrier work for the driving horse.
Debi will have her famous Cowboy Cookies to share, and everyone can drive in her oval arena and large pasture with trails. There will also be a separate cones course set up! I'll be bringing the printed driving information handouts again for anyone that would like them.
During the lunch break at 12:30, John Belcher will talk about foot care and trimming for the driving horse. Have all your questions ready for an expert's answer. John has been a farrier most of his life and has specialized in small equines since 1991. 
November Event Report:
What a beautiful day we had for driving, visiting... and learning proper hoof care from John Belcher! The weather once again cooperated and the skies were sunny and blue. It became warm enough that everyone was able to enjoy T-shirt weather in November! Debi made a healthy fruit salad, chips and dip and of course had deliscious Cowboy Cookies on hand. Heather Hay, Laurey Rowley and Debi each contributed wonderful door prizes to a total of 9 gifts! We had nice driving space in an arena and on two large fields all mowed just for us. A large easy cones course was
set up in the first field and a barrel racing pattern in the back field. All the drivers enjoyed themselves and had
a great time. There must have been something in the water that day, because everyone (especially Heather and Laurey!) was on a comedy streak! I think our laughter was heard by all the neighbors. Jerry was our 
photographer and several pictures are shown at right. We missed pics of several drivers, but had 7 people driving. Our
newest member, Debbie White drove her Donkey, Eddie. He was a well behaved and handsome gelding who
let us know he heard our laughter too with some loud braying of his own. Debbie White has also volunteered to host
the Tom O'Carroll clinic for 2011. Thanks to all who came and special thanks to John Belcher for his hoof care presentation and Debi and Jerry Curtsinger for hosting!

Plum Creek Swap Drive by The Plum Creek Carriage Society
Saturday, October 16th, 2010
Agarita Ranch, Lockhart, TX (www.agaritaranch.com)
This is NOT an event put on by the Alamo Mini Harness Club. However, it is a great learning opportunity to check out what we've practiced in Sept. during the Intro to Carriage Driving! This is a one day Driving Trial where the entries are divided into two groups. Each group drives 1/2 the day, and volunteers the other 1/2 day. For more info, please see the Agarita Ranch website calendar.
December 2010
Trail Drive & Christmas Picnic  
Agarita Ranch, Lockhart, TX
Saturday, December 11th, 2010
Hosted by Elizabeth Pannill DVM

Join us at beautiful Agarita Ranch in Lockhart for a wonderful day spent driving through miles
of well groomed driving trails! The trails are made for carriage driving and encompass over 130
acres that wind through woods and have optional obstacles set up since this facility is made for
CDE competition! There is an old western town feeling and it's complete with stalls for keeping
your horse during the day or overnight. The Agarita Ranch charges $20 per driver for entire day, with an additional charge if you would like to use their stalls. You may keep your horses at your trailer. 
Remember you must have a negative coggins for each horse to attend.

Our club will start the day with a brief meeting at 10 am, then please be harnessed up by 10:30 and ready to start the Trail Drive led by Liz Pannill. After the trail drive you may drive and explore the trails on your own, as long as you stay in the designated areas.  At 3 pm we will meet in the Pavilion for the Alamo Club Christmas Picnic! The pavilion has a kitchen with microwave and fridge for any food that needs cooling/heating.We need everyone who is planning to attend to bring a dish to share. Please bring your own paper plates, cups and beverages. We'll keep a list of food items so there are no duplicates. What better way to celebrate than with a group of driving friends in this beautiful setting! I'll bring carrots for the horses. ;o)

December Event Report:
What a wonderful weekend of driving we had at our Alamo Christmas Drive and Picnic.
There were 18 drivers who took part in the fun! The pavilion was beautifully decorated with
strings of twinkling lights, garland, bows and two beautiful Christmas trees. The food was 
delicious with plenty left over for Sunday’s brunch too. Everyone did a super job of
cooking and baking. No matter what food you were craving...there was something on hand to

Robin Bailey’s son-in-law Chris Granger was our official photographer for the day, and took 83 wonderful pictures to share with everyone. I know many members would like a copy of the photo taken in the dressage arena with all 16 of us lined up and ready for the trail drive! I can email members a link to the Snapfish group page where they can download or order full resolution prints and gifts with any photo on them!

The weather on Saturday was perfect and the drive through tree 
lined trails was really pretty. After the trail drive, we all went driving on our own to explore the ranch trails 
that were groomed and cleared just for us. The late afternoon picture above shows a small section of the wooded trail. 
Sunday brought a chilly, windy morning that eventually turned into a nice day. A group of us stayed
to enjoy driving the trails again on Sunday. Our first Christmas Drive and Picnic was enjoyed by all who came.
I think this event is destined to become an annual one! A few pictures are below...more to come....

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Swap Drive report:
The swap drive at Agarita ranch was a great learning experience and lots of fun!
Preparing for any event like this takes lots of hard work and effort from everyone
who volunteers. Thank you to the wonderful crew who gave their time and effort
to bring it all together on this beautiful Fall day. Sunny skies, nice cool weather
and friendly people made this event a great success. There were plenty of pros on hand to help people new to CDE, like me. This was a good experience for those wishing to learn more about the inner workings of a CDE. The Friday night pot luck dinner provided a chance to meet the other drivers and ask questions. I believe there were eight Alamo members who participated on Saturday. (I drove in the morning, so only got pictures of the afternoon drivers at the water hazard.) If you have not been to Agarita, take the time to visit and drive the trails....they are groomed and just made for carriage driving. The Plum Creek Carriage Society based at the ranch offers day and overnight options for drivers who may pay by the day. 
Our club Christmas Party and Drive will be there in December!! See below!
Visit the 2011 Events page for:
Reinsmanship and Harness Fitting Clinic
Saturday, January 15th - Bandera, TX

We have many activities suggested for next year!

Pairs Clinic
Harnessing and Dressage Driving clinic
Beginning Driving Clinic
Driving Fun Days

....and more!

Group Event Planners

  Debra Bohnsack - Coordinator

  Debi Curtsinger  

  Elizabeth Pannill 

  Robyne Rebman 

 Click names above to email. 
If you would like to host or help plan an event, please feel free to email anyone above. Your ideas are welcomed!
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Photo by Chris Granger