What a day it was today! It was a long, long, long day. It always seems like weekends are more work than work. What a day at the barn. Whew. After some shopping/errands this morning and some idle looking through the driving supplies at the only tack store in the area that carries them, I headed to the barn.
My husband and I hitched up Luke and Dixie and took them out for a little drive. I snapped a few pictures…
and down the road…
That’s husband and Pookey the super pony. Today we realized just how incredibly super Luke really is after a mind fart on both my and my husband’s part resulted in a failure in the driving harness. I’d rather not go into details because suffice to say, it was a totally stupid thing, although Luke the super pony made us both realize just how tremendously awesome he really is. And we learned from a bad mistake brought on by absent-mindedness that we will never make again. Nothing bad happened, and no one got hurt, and that’s all because we have the most super awesome Hackney Pony in the world.
This is officially the first (and only) picture I’ve got of all of us together driving. Now, when I get Chewbacca hitched, it will be really interested doing a group photo with 3 driving horses and 2 drivers.
And speaking of other super wonderful awesome-best horse ever Chewbacca (I’m not partial or anything am I??)
The driving training continued after we were done with pony play day. The weather shaped up to be absolutely gorgeous.
I had a friend from up the street, who owns a standarbred that she drives, come over and see where I’m at with Chewbacca.
I got Chewie out, ground drove him – and he did exemplary. So, after Thursday’s intro-to-pulling-PVC-poles that had gone so well, I hooked the poles up again, and Chewbacca pulled them on his own – no header- many times around the arena, complete with changes of direction, and TROTTING! Yay!
But! Wait! There’s more! Fun doesn’t end there.
I brainstormed with my friend about how we can jury rig something with weight for Chewbacca to learn to actually pull. So far all these lessons have been about steering, dealing with frequent stopping, and weird noises. But there’s been no weight/actual pulling involved.
We’ve got a few ideas that involve people on sleds and tires, and over the next week or so I’m going to put something together.
But, as we talked, we decided to give something a try and see just how Chewbacca would reeact to weight. We took his tug lines and tied them together with bailing twine. My friend held the tug lines behind Chewbacca and together, as I led him, we all walked. My friend pulled on the tugs, allowing Chewbacca to feel pressure against his chest. He seemed to take to it like a fish to water- the harder she pulled back and really put her weight into it, the harder Chewbacca just plugged away forward. So, then, she sort of set her feet out in front of her like she was water skiing, and as though Chewbacca was a boat, my friend started dragging her feet in the sand and allowed Chewbacca to pull her. It was really fun.
Then we switched. I held the tugs behind him, and my friend led the horse and Chewbacca dragged me around the arena. It was fun!!!! Chewie had no problems. And even though we were about 8″ away from his rump doing all this, he never even thought about doing anything naughty. He wasn’t concerned at all, and in fact, I think he was having just as much fun as we were getting dragged by him.
For the first time in my life, I can say I got dragged by a horse and had fun! I wasn’t clinging to fallen reins inches away from galloping hooves this time. LOL.
It was a real hoot and Chewbacca worked his butt off today. Next session I’ll take him around the driveway and have him drag poles more. I want to get him up onto the road for a few ground driving sessions, too, and then play with the sled idea, and we’ll see. My friend feels Chewbacca could be hitched now and give no problems. I still want to take it slow and wait 3-4 weeks before we try to hitch him. I just want him to be 110% comfy with EVERYTHING I can throw at him no matter how goofy or noisy.
And yes, the fun does not stop there……
My husband’s truck broke down in the barn driveway – 2 weeks after my truck broke down at the barn, too. And for the second time in the last 2 weeks, we had a tow truck come. And then the police came because we got the truck out onto the road to be loaded and ended up running into problems with the truck not being able to get on the tow truck, s the police came by to see what the heck we were all in the road for.
Note in picture, police car, husband’s truck (orange), and tow truck in front.
Ayayayyyaayy… what a day.
whew. I’m beat.