Driving Discussion 2024

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I think Tammy sounds like a real jewel! A little pony with that attitude gives your friend lots of choices as far as activities with her, plus she is cute as a button! 😍

Your previous show photos were terrific and it was great to see each little one decorated with their winning ribbons! 😊 Phillippe, however, needs a longer neck 😂
@MaryFlora Poor little fellow despises when it's ribbon time at the end of the day. He is not fond of them flapping in his face. He would NOT stand still for me to take pictures. And asking for ears up was simply unreasonable! After the show, I give all the ribbons back, but I'm keeping the belt buckles.
Saturday I hauled Falcor and my "little guy" Uri (the 2-year-old colt) out for some exposure. I wanted to kind of do a restart on Falcor with driving. We've been working so hard on getting him to relax through his body and be more comfortable driving, and having a nice, quiet, indoor space to work on that was just the ticket. Since I was hauling one, I might as well haul the little dude for some exposure.
Falcor again had a big expression and bucking on the lunge line, but only to the right. Working to the left was way more comfortable for him. It's odd. Anyways, we worked back and forth on the lunge until I could turn him to the right and he could go out and walk and relax. Then I long lined him and dragged a tarp and then empty jugs behind us to make noise. Then the cart. No issues there. Finally I hitched and climbed in and he was just lovely. He trotted and is really beginning to work through his body and a forward and relaxed manner. I just love that!

My little half arab, on the other hand... The facility we go to specializes in colt starting so there's almost always a round pen set up in the arena. That's fine. Ali got to work on a bunch of desensitization with Falcor. He was great. We did get to measure him too. He turned two on June 11. I sticked him at 16 hh on the bubble. Pray for me a little...

After we got home, I hitched Phillippe up and used my "track my ride" app to keep distance and speed. We did 6.3 km in 60 minutes and I felt that drive was pretty accurately representative of what we would do comfortably. That gives me a great place to start for our pace event next weekend.
We're getting organized for a big event in July. The Alberta Donkey and Mule Club has been invited back to the Westerner in Red Deer (where we were in April for the big horse trade show) to provide entertainment and be part of an agricultural demo area for the public. So Phillippe will be going but Jasmine has also been invited to come, not just because she's Phillippe's best friend and emotional support animal, but because they'd really like to feature mini horses as well. I'm thinking about bringing her Therapy Animal gear and doing a bit of visiting around the grounds with her as well. Time's going to fly by!

But first! This weekend's Pace. The weather looks great for it and I'm excited to go have some fun with the littles and Falcor and visit a bunch of awesome people.
The Harry Haroldson Pace Event - the first time I've participated in this format of driving. Not quite CDE, but with CDE elements. No Dressage, just a pre-measured course with hazards. So, this one was 4 km, a lovely tour around the property, with a cones course and 4 hazards to navigate. The cool thing about a pace event format is that you guess your total time before you go out on course and the closest to that time wins! I'd used the Ridelab app and found Phillippe has an average speed of 6.3 km/h. I averaged that out to 4 km and gave myself an extra minute to be safe - 39 minutes. We went out and did the water hazard, had a lovely tour around the property, took a walk break, did a nice little cones course, completed the next 2 obstacles without issue and I made one wee mistake on the last obstacle I needed to correct (got to go through all the gates in the correct direction!) and we came in at 38 minutes 35 seconds, only 25 seconds under my prediction and good enough for third place!
Jasmine went out with my friend Karin who is an experienced and skilled driver but has sadly been without a driving pony for a while. Ali didn't want to take her pony to this show, so she was happy to share with Karin. I loved being able to share the pony and have her out and used. Jazzy did the water obstacle with Karin without issue, and I was really proud of them!
Falcor had come with on Saturday, which was just a fun, practice day. I'd like to eventually be able to do CDE with him, but he's not there yet. I wanted to drive him in the dressage field and do a cones course with him because he seems to like the cones. Saturday I brought him with the littles and led him around everywhere. He was fairly excited and looked at everything. I did a Bemer treatment on him, then lunged him in harness - where he was far more relaxed than I'd expected. After that I ground drove him all around, past the sheep and scary stuff, through the cones course and some hazards. After lunch, I put him to and had my good friend walk with us to the dressage field where I felt like I had the best quality drive with him that I've experienced so far! Just lovely! Then we went to the cones course and had a lovely little navigation through there, not fast, but relaxed. Then we dabbled through one of the hazards, past the sheep and called it a huge win for the day! He didn't once spook or get silly on me! A major confidence boost we both needed. In the fall, there is another competition that I think I'll try with him. It's a triple-drive format. So, it's dressage first, then straight into cones and into a derby-style marathon from there. I want to take Falcor in dressage and cones, but I don't want to blow his mind with the pressure of marathon and too many obstacles yet. I'll talk with the organizers and see about registering just for that and scratch the derby. Anyways, I'll post some pictures when I'm able to get there.
Super proud mom over here! Saturday my daughter went to put fly sheets on ponies after a rain storm. Falcor wasn't really interested in coming to her for blanketing, so she got a bit upset and that stayed with him. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning both took a while for me to catch him, but we did. Sunday we packed up him and Phillippe and headed south to a friend's place to drive with him and another of our good driving friends. She brought her mini who hadn't been hitched in a while.
We started with my guys. Falcor got his walk around, Bemer session, lunge, ground drive and then hitch. No one judged, everyone just observed what I found worked for my pony. And he did have a lovely drive! So much so that everyone popped in and took the lines for a trip around the arena. The industrial calking on the joints of his cart has made a huge difference in sound reduction!
Phillippe took our timid friend around like the pro he is. Such a good boy. Then we went to put the third mini to and found that the shafts on his cart were really wide! So much so that the loops were pulled quite a ways out and I wondered if that would cause some saddle and sternal pressure. The vehicle itself is light and well balanced with the driver in, but I would imagine that turning his body might cause some discomfort. So we opted to put him in my K-bike instead. And he drove off like a champ! He seems to have figured out how to get his owner's goat a bit. She had a wreck a good while ago, but it's stuck with her. Now if she feels something shoot forward, she reacts and wants slow. Well, the other two of us drivers have quite a different point of view. If the pony would threaten to bolt forward, we'd push for bigger trot. Pretty quick that pony was happy to just relax and do as he was told - far less work. I sent her home with my K-bike for a couple of weeks until she can get the shafts on her cart bent to a more appropriate shape for her pony. I got a picture of her driving solo yesterday. That was awesome!
I just love your photos and writings! So much going on and such a pleasure to read about people working together and having fun at the same time!

Had no idea what Pace was about and loved the concept of guessing your end time!

I told my husband it must be hot because you were sleeveless at the water (with Phillippe) to which he replied, “It’s probably 40 degrees 🥵😂
Love the photos. And really enjoyed the part about your friend being nervous if her pony sped up, but you two pushed him. Such confidence bred confidence! I feel for your friend, however; once a person gets scared, it isn't easy to recover. I do the same thing with Billy--when I feel as though he is turning into a rocket, my toes curl up and I slow him down (he isn't supposed to be a rocket anyway, but that isn't the point!).
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@MaryFlora I think we hit 24 degrees that day, but the sun was bright. We haven't had the kind of heat Ontario has, yet anyways.
Thanks for your kindness, @Marsha Cassada as well. It's fun to journal and it helps me to keep track of my driving hours for year-end awards (hours on the box seat through the provincial club.) I now have a little regular feature in Saddle Up Magazine (www.saddleup.ca) for Adventures with Phillippe as the owners of the publication are a little enamored with him too. And they're lovely ladies! He's just such a little novelty.
I got a phone call from the radio station that we visited a few months ago, with the littles. They're doing a "make a child's summer dream come true" thing on the radio. So I got connected with a 3-year-old boy who is in love with donkeys... On air, they asked if I'd be interested in setting up a visit with this little dude and my donkey. Naturally the answer is YES!! Now I'm working with mom to set it up. Got the opportunity to promote our donkey and mule club on air too. That was fun.
I got a phone call from the radio station that we visited a few months ago, with the littles. They're doing a "make a child's summer dream come true" thing on the radio. So I got connected with a 3-year-old boy who is in love with donkeys... On air, they asked if I'd be interested in setting up a visit with this little dude and my donkey. Naturally the answer is YES!! Now I'm working with mom to set it up. Got the opportunity to promote our donkey and mule club on air too. That was fun.
Yea!!! I can't wait to hear about that and see pictures 🥰

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