Saturday, December 13, 2014

Second Drive

Don't tell anyone I make him stand unattended while hitched!

On Thursday I managed to wrangle half a day off work - coupling Doctor appointments (for me) and Veterinary appointments (for Ty), I opted to work for only the morning and leave at noon. I had a few hours to kill be productive before Ty's appointment so I ran out to the ponies, cleaned up the run-in shed (FIVE wheelbarrows of poop mixed with hay.... yum), repositioned their water tub, and did a bunch of chores before hooking up Spud to the cart and going for a quick jaunt.

As I cleaned up the shed I allowed Spud and Suzie to run around in the back pasture, which Spud took full advantage of and riled himself and Suzie up to the point of bucking and galloping. Needless to say, much hilarity ensued at the expense of one certain fluffy, fat mini. He must be keeping Suzie young because she bucked like a bronco and flipped her tail over her back like an Arabian. If you have never had the chance to watch a miniature horse gallop or a Quarter Horse execute an Arabian impression, you are in for a surprise once it uploads to Youtube. Keep your eyes peeled!

Despite the freshness Spud felt in the field, he stood quietly for tacking up. I attempted to rig on the breeching but did a very awful, horrible job. I have also noticed that the way I rig up the the belly-band is incorrect. So, after I had taken photos and compared them to others, I felt pretty discouraged and defeated. The plan is to head out Sunday evening and re-rig everything and see if I can get it right. Practice makes perfect, right? I am also going to be ordering "Breaking and Training the Driving Horse" by Doris Ganton, as I've heard that it has some pretty good diagrams and explains things at a beginner level. It is unfortunate I have no access to an instructor, trainer, or otherwise. Spud's trainer has been helping me out as best as she can, but unfortunately, I am left to my own devices. If anyone has some suggestions or helpful hints based off of my photos, please do not hesitate to educate me!

Breeching isn't quite right, but Spud didn't care.
After hitching Spud to the harness he stood pretty solidly and quietly. He was itching to get going and kept insisting to walk off, but after a minor argument he settled. We ended up driving for about 30 minutes and did quite a bit of trotting. I found he gets quite deep in the bridle and overflexes - he responds pretty well to half-halts but starts to ignore them once he figures he should speed up. We spent some time just still trying to figure out the cart, harness, and his abilities. Every once in a while he'd just completely stop and stand there and I'd have to get him going again - will be introducing him to the whip in the coming weeks to reinforce the "go" button if this continues.

Other than that, he spooked at a few puddles on the ground but did everything I asked of him. We did some turn on the haunches and he caught on pretty well. I found that he still wiggles around and we can't walk a straight line still - I am certain most of that is my fault, as I am still learning too. On the way home he kept breaking to a trot when I asked him to walk faster - this is something that will take time and patience to break him of. His "nonchalant" walk is pretty slow and I need to figure out how fast he normally walks before he breaks into a trot so I can stop asking/be prepared for when he gets to that point.

Video still from trotting down the gravel road.

What a pair we are. A green driving horse with a very, very green driver. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?


  1. Aw, so cute! That looks like so much fun.

    1. Thank you - he certainly is proving to be a lot of fun!

  2. i just love his little nose!! and you'll figure out the rest in time. starting a new discipline is hard, but you just gotta keep powering through it!

    1. His nose is very smoochable :)

      And yes, power on!