Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MajorClementine

Your Drive Day

Recommended Posts

We moved the horses up to the house last night and everyone settled in really quick. Which is great considering only 2 of the 4 have lived here before. Everyone even got along with the neighbors horses whom they share a fence line with.

I had an hour to kill today so I got Clementine out. I was going to hitch her but we've had so much growth around here over the winter that I thought it better to ground drive her. I live right at the junction of Center and Main Streets here and they are BUSY in the summer. We used to drive on the shoulder of Main Street when we got to that road but now we have to drive in the narrow (single file only) bike path along the road between the parked cars and the moving traffic. I'd hate to have her hitched if she decided to pitch a fit about that new development. She didn't love the bright white lines we had to stay between but settled in. She was hard to get going at one point when she saw all the parked cars in our way. She's used to that shoulder being clear passage. She just stood and looked and looked. Didn't try to turn back just didn't want to go forward. Once I got her moving it was no big deal.

The only problem we had was making the right turn off of Main Street back onto Center Street to go home. We moved out of the bike lane and into the right hand turn lane and cars were still trying to squeeze around us. For crying out loud! We're turning right too. I see them do this to bicycles as well. I always try to stay out of the lane of traffic UNLESS I need to make a turn or go around a large obstacle. Then I move into traffic when it is safe (with my slow moving vehicle sign on my cart or myself) and take my turn just like bicycles do. Luckily for me Clementine is sassy and doesn't let things like a car cutting too close bother her.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Happy to hear you got out and about with Clem. Nice that she has reverted back to her former happy self!

Peanut and I had a lesson yesterday.  We ground drove and then hitched him.  Still working on me (it all begins and ends with me according to the instructor, glad to know I'm so important 😕, she is right though, fix yourself and the horse will follow).  I am getting the hang of keeping my chest open, my elbows down, and steering from the shoulders in a pull back, not sideways or whateverways the old body feels like doing.  When I steer correctly, he is more flexible and stays more "together".

When I used to ride, I had an mare that was very crooked and to teach her to bend and give on a circle, my old instructor had me move the inside hand slightly towards the opposite hip while using inside leg.  Well, the inside hand to the hip didn't translate well to steering while driving, lol.  I was not doing it intentionally, it was just habit.  

I have been doing exercises with his hind legs after he works and is stretched out.  They do seem to be helping his flexibility.

Oh, I harnessed up my welsh pony today and ground drove him.  For the first time in six years.  He was a good man (surprised, but good 😃). 

 

Edited by Cayuse
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read your post with interest, Cayuse, about the trainer.  I had forgotten about the shoulders and elbows.  I will pay attention next time I'm out to see if that lesson is second nature now or if I need to work on it.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Marsha Cassada said:

I read your post with interest, Cayuse, about the trainer.  I had forgotten about the shoulders and elbows.  I will pay attention next time I'm out to see if that lesson is second nature now or if I need to work on it.  

 

This instructor is really big about soft but dropped elbows.  They have to be "just right" like the Three Bears bowl of porridge.  Not dropped and clamped to your side, not loose and floppy, but relaxed at your side.

Peanut is having an slight attitude issue.  He has become a bit more pushy and mouthy.  She noticed it too and we both thought it was a bit of a "push back" from him because his life is now a bit more regimented.  I expected nothing less from him, he questions everything like a kid testing the boundaries.  In fact, I was warned of that when I bought him, his prior owner said "he'll test you every step of the way, that one!"  But  once he has his little "moment" usually all is right with the world.  In the midst of his "moment" I have learned to keep his feet busy and to breathe,  if I breathe deep and let it out he softens. It might  sound weird but I think there is some connection to us breathing out the tension and the horse being in tune to that.    Sometime I can even see him let out a big breath too!  Good boy!

 

 

 

Edited by Cayuse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we are breathing, we are not holding our breath.  I also need to make sure I am not clenching my teeth.  They are so aware of subtle body language.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dapper Dan was very lethargic today.  It might have been the high humidity.  Temperature was mild, but it was very humid.  I am wondering if he might have slipped in the mud and pulled something--we've had rain the last two nights.  When in the cart, his tail hangs perfectly straight down when he is trotting.  When his stifle hurts, his tail moves back and forth.  Today his tail was moving a little.  We did mostly walking.  Once we're a mile from home, we have a mile to get back!  He doesn't have Buckly to frolic with, so hopefully he hasn't hurt himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marsha , I hope that DD is feeling better by now and ready to roll when you get home from the tractor show.  You are right about horses being so sensitive to our body language,  today I had my lesson and Peanut was responding to the slightest shift of my upper body, I lean forward or even think about leaning forward and he slows to a walk. The lesson went pretty good.  He spooked a couple of times at my husband who was rummaging in the shed. Every time we progress, he throws a little more at me so I have to take another step forward in learning.  I flattened the cones twice 😄 but we were coming in at them from tight angles (good excuse, anyways).  We worked on a little of everything, transitions and keeping his walk lively and l learned how to use the whip  on the outside shoulder to correct him when he take a corner and pops a shoulder to the outside.  That will take some getting used to, my dexterity is not the best.  Learning to use a driving whip with a dropped lash is a little challenging.

We were taking a break in the shade for a minute and I noticed while we were talking all three of us (peanut, me and the instructor) let out a big relaxed sigh at the same time. Then we were done! I was pooped.

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×