Today I got Chewbacca out for a second day of ground driving with the harness. He did great!
For now, I am working him in his regular English bridle, so he doesn’t have to worry about learning something new with the ground driving while being half blind!!!
So of course, that means he has to adapt to seeing 30 foot lines fluttering around next to and behind him. Today I let the lines out nearly all the way. We walked and walked and walked and walked and I would sidle in behind him at the end of the lines and he could see me behind him holding them. He did very well with that. We did circles, we changed directions and he got to see the reins switch over his back. He got a little worried about that the first time, but the second and third times he was fine.
We probably did about 1/2 hour of walking. He walked out in circles just fine, too.
I did try a little trot and that didn’t go so well, as I expected. He spun around and ended up facing me while I was holding the lines, which means they ended up wrapped behind his neck. But once we regrouped, I shortened up on the lines a bit and got 5 or 6 calm and gentle little trotting strides, which is all I wanted. For his second day, I’d say he did fantastic.
I hope to ground drive him every time I’m at the barn, which should be 3-4 days a week weather dependent. I’ll try trotting again a little bit here and there over the next week. I think at that rate, he should be able to trot a full circle probably next weekend.
And, as a plus, with all the walking I’m doing around the arena with him, I’ll get even more exercise!
As difficult as it has been to accept that I really no longer belong riding (it’s been since Feb 19th that I rode last), I’m doing OK and starting into ground driving training with Chewbacca has given me something to focus on. I know I have a lot of horse driving books I got for my husband when he first started, I have to dig them out and read back through them. Plus, there’s several driving vendors and a driving clinician at the Midwest Horse Fair in 2 weeks. I found a local driving club although I am still awaiting email back from them. I’m not sure how active they are. They do have a long list of events for this year, many of them around 5+ hours away, though. But I did find out about a place 30 minutes away and I am trying to find out more info.
I’d like to volunteer at a major CDE that’s an hour away from me, so we’ll see. It’s called Iron Horse CDE and I went one year just to watch – it was amazing. I think as a volunteer, I’d be able to experience a national level CDE and learn more about it. That could be a great chance to gain extra knowledge.
I am serious about wanting to someday do a marathon. Chewbacca’s theme color is lime green. I haven’t been able to find any horse-size lime green harness so I’ve been making my own. They look OK and I’m happy with them. I’ll get pictures of that soon I hope. But in the mean time, I found this marathon cart. …
Yes, I know I’m YEARS away from even thinking about doing a marathon, but it is a good goal, right?! Oh that and this cart is just over $11,000…. yeah. Pocket change. LOL. <<cough,cough>>
Need to win lotto………………………………..