6 month mark

Well, really I suppose the official 6 month mark would be June 31, when 6 full months have passed from New Year’s Day.  But this is close enough.  Every year I set myself resolutions.  Every June 1, I take a look and see where I’m at with those resolutions.  Usually, I’m disappointed, and continue to add old resolutions back on to the list for each new year.  So let’s see where 2011 has brought me so far:

Resolution:  I’d like to show Chewbacca at least once.

6 months later:  Yeah… like that’s going to happen…. right now, it’s more like, I just hope I can get him driving.  I still just can’t help but feel that if I bought a lighter cart to start, he’d be pulling.  I’m almost half tempted to buy a cheap metal EZ entry cart instead of taking him to training.  Here I go again with the “always fails me ‘I think I can do it myself’ attitude.  I need to stop with that.

Resolution: I’d like to take a Photography course.

6 months later….. ummmm…….

Resolution: I’d like to take a Photoshop course.

6 months:  ummm… again.  Maybe I need to stop dumping my money in failing on horses, and then I’d have money to fail in something else.  Ha.

Resolution:  I’d like to take a writing course.

6 months later:  It’s good that I want to educate myself.  But, again… haven’t done this one either.  Wow, 4 resolutions, 4 strikes.

Resolution:  I am going to try to get my fictional horse novel published.

6 months later… I’ve dropped this whole idea.  The book is written, but it is hardly worthy of publishing.  It was fun to keep my occupied for  a year writing it, though.

Resolution: I will do more practice photography!

6 months: Gee, I slacked on this one, too.

Resolution: I will try to purchase that new lens I’ve been wanting to get….

6 months: Guessed again.. I haven’t done this either.  Again with the whole, look where I spend my money thing.

Resolution: I’d like to learn how to invest in stocks.

6 months: Well, at least I’m on a consistent streak of not doing the things I’d like to do.

Resolution: I would finally like to see the Kentucky Derby

6 months:  Don’t even get me started on this one. 

Heck, the only thing I didn’t resolve to do (lose weight) is the one thing I am doing!  I am happily down 28 pounds and slowwwwwllly continuing to creep down.  At first, the pounds came flying off, and then I hit about a month long hiatus, and now I’m ticking back down little by little.  My husband has lost 20 pounds so far.  He’s still got a good 10 months to go before he gets anywhere near his goal weight, and I imagine by then, I’ll be well at mine.  Right now, all of my pants are no longer fitting, which is great.  I’ve got to safety pin the waists to make them smaller, or roll the waist.  Some of them I have to pin and roll, lol!  Time for new clothes?  Not until I get down to where I want to be.

Anyway…. on to the horses….

Since last week when the trainer came out, I’ve been working Chewie on ground driving as much as I can.  He is doing *VERY* well in my opinion.  I know this is like the worst, one-handed, holding reins, whip, and on the move cell phone picture possible and it doesn’t even show what I’m really trying to show , but you get the idea.  Chewbacca is working forward, walking like he’s going somewhere, trotting like he’s got places to go, and dropping his head onto the bit.  It’s a sight to behold, and if I can ever get my husband to come take pictures, I’ll get some better ones.  He looks simply perfect.  He’s had 5 ground driving sessions in the last week alone, almost double what I normally do, which puts him, if I’m keeping count correctly up to 26 ground driving sessions and 5 failed sessions with the cart, so a total of 31 sessions in some form or another.

Now after a good long warm up, I have begun adding the wood and tire….

This little set up weighs all of maybe 40 pounds.  It’s really nothing.  It’s a good place to start.  I’ve had Chewie dragging the tire alone, and then, per the trainer, added the wood.  After a week or so, I’ll add a second tire, and after another week, I’ll add a bale of hay for more weight.  Or If I can get my husband to ground drive, maybe I’ll just sit on the tires. 

The good news is he is pulling this set up around the arena like a pro!  He drops his head and pulls into it.  He’s perfectly happy pulling a light load.  He even trots with this whole get up behind him.  It’s lovely.  And there’s no resistance, no head raising, nothing.  He’s great.  And it makes a good amount of noise, which he doesn’t mind either.  I haven’t tried this out on the driveway yet.  The tire alone in the driveway makes a TON of noise, especially on the black top.  I think with the wood, it’s way noisier than a cart would ever be, but eventually, I’ll get him out on the driveway.  Good thing is our driveway has a hill on it, too, so while there’s plenty of flat areas to work, the hill is awesome for working the horses.

He is perfectly happy pulling a lighter load.  Up to about 200 pounds, he’ll pull it just fine.  The cart, though, weighs over 300, and add me into the equation, and it’s just so much weight, he just won’t pull.  I think it’s a lack of fitness more than a lack of training or understanding or willingness.  I really wish I didn’t listen to other trainer who said “don’t you dare get an EZ entry cart – they’re soooo dangerous.  Start out with the meadowbrook and you’ll be much happier.”  Oh yea, I’m really happy. I just looooooove doing ground driving because my horse won’t pull the meadowbrook.  Maybe I’ll have to enter ground driving CDE’s.  I can just run behind Chewbacca.

On one hand I want to get the EZ entry cart.  They’re very cheap used and easily sellable when I’m done.  I wouldn’t mind getting that and using it for the better part of the rest of the year.  He would get the idea of working with a vehicle and it would weigh all of 100 pounds so I expect he’d have zero trouble pulling it.  But I don’t have anywhere to keep a 4th cart at the barn.  I’m at the max with 3.  I also think I’d rather just have the trainer work with Chewie because I really just am not confident I can (or should) actually start him driving.  I’ll just keep bumping up the weight of tires for the next few weeks.

In the mean time, also yesterday, while the weather was simply STUNNING-  just a perfectly warm, breezy, and blue sky serene beauty of  a day, I did get my husband to come to the barn and we took the ponies out for a (short) drive. 

Dixie was so good out on the road it was almost scary.  She didn’t spook at anything, she didn’t try to fight with her head, she didn’t constantly keep breaking whatever gait I was trying to keep her at.  She actually (for what I do believe was the first time in the 5 years I’ve been driving her), flexed her poll, trotted along quietly on the road, and tucked her chin in.  Who is this horse?  Where is my totally naughty mini?  What did the aliens do with her????  LOL 🙂 

Luke was also in a beautiful mood yesterday and trotted along at what I believe was his best park gait I’ve ever seen.  He’s such a wonderful pony.  I wish I got a better picture of Luke.  Oh well.  I did get my husband to take a picture of me driving Dixie, though….

And afterwards, I took a few close ups of Dixie’s super cool new pink harness.  I should have gone through the whole thing of grooming her better and cleaning the harness, but eh, these are fine.  I want to send them to the people I bought the harness from so they can see how cute she looks in her pink… 🙂  Doesn’t she look kkkyoooootttt..???  LOL.

I forgot to put on her pink polo wraps, though.  Oh well.  Next time.  Can you believe Dixie is 16?!  Geesh… old lady.

Have a good day!


About kshai1715

I am a lifelong equestrian, photography enthusiast, sci-fi lover, and sci-fi convention & costuming geek that also loves movies and video games. I am a hard working 30 something woman that survived cancer and am looking forward to a long, healthy, self-empowered life. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my horses (and the rest of my life) as much as I like writing about them.
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3 Responses to 6 month mark

  1. bdale56 says:

    I enjoyed your blog! We had harness racing horses and did ground driving but got them pulling the cart pretty quickly! Good luck with the ponies, looks like fun to me!

  2. silverpony says:

    Dixie looks so freaking cute!!

    And don’t be so hard on yourself!! You’ve done a great job so far with your horses as far as I’m concerned…I’ve considered teaching Luna to at least ground drive but I have no idea where or how to start!

    • kshai1715 says:

      Getting them to ground drive (from what I’ve picked up with teaching 2 horses how to do it) is very easy. Especially if they already lunge, or will lunge with side reins, even better. They pick up on ground driving like nothing. It’s the rest of the driving process that’s got me! lol. Hope you and Luna are doing well?! Really haven’t seen any updates on your blog….

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