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MTCC Carriage Driving Clinic


Marianna Padgett driving Sybil, with owner Ardeth Obenauf riding along to get the details of what Marianna was doing.

Jeanette Haislip was pleased with her gelding Henning’s response to Jason’s suggestions.

Marianna working with Jane Hoffman and her Gypsy horse Gator.

Jason conferring with Claire Root about her Morgan mare Sara

Earl Burkett found some magic formulas in the instructions from Marianna and Jason. His gelding Easton made big progress.

Claire Root watching Marianna work

Jason coaching Jane Hoffman
Article & photos by Kate Bushman

Jason Stronks and Marianna Padgett, of Stronks Training, traveled from Paris, Kentucky to work with Middle Tennessee Carriage Club (MTCC) members the weekend of August 10-11, 2019 at Lazy AO Farm in Shelbyville, Tenn.  Everyone was raving about it and said it was a fantastic weekend of lessons!

Jason Stronks Training Stables and Bridge the Gap Horsemanship combined to teach “Three-Phase Dressage” to five local carriage drivers and an audience of auditors.  Two days of private lessons were provided to participants by both Marianna Padgett and Jason Stronks.

The clinic focused on how to use your dressage more effectively for all three phases of driving competition. Participants honed their techniques for asking their horses for straightness and then proper bending, hindquarter engagement, impulsion, and as a result, natural collection.

After watching each horse warm up, Jason and Marianna spent the early portions of the lessons driving the participants’ horses to clearly understand where the horses were in their training. Then they switched places with the participant drivers and coached them through (literally hands-on-hands at times) the mechanics of correcting the counter-bends, asking for the impulsion, and getting the feel of the natural collection that resulted. 

Universally, the horses in the clinic looked wonderfully improved and their drivers stated how excited they were to have made some breakthroughs in their schooling.   Big thanks to Ardeth and Ron Obenauf for hosting the clinic at their farm Lazy AO Farm in Shelbyville, TN.

Next on the agenda for MTCC is the Driving Derby on September 28, 2019 at Whip Hand Farm in Benhill, Tenn., near Franklin.  Find more information about MTCC at:

Carriage drivers from all around will come to Germantown, Tenn. to the “Charity Arena” September 18-21, 2019 for the Carriage Association of America Conference: Southern Charm, Carriages, and BBQ.” Just a few of the weekend’s offerings include lectures, driving lessons, demonstrations, carriage showcase, trade fair, and a carriage cavalcade.
Photo cutlines:
All photos by Kate Bushman

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