Got to drive!!

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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2009
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Cameron, NC
Soooo, should have done some more maintenance. But just said no... and fitted Koalah with a harness she hadn't worn in months. NO, she's not pregnant - just has that huge and "pendulous" belly going on, LOL.This was her harness before it was re-sized to fit much smaller and narrower Cassie whom I sold over Christmas.

Julie was up here and we managed to get the pair ground driving together - I was hot and tired already. Wasn't thinking completely - both these mares do better if they are reversed in position, but HEY, they need to learn to work in any place. Bit is now completely blind in her left eye, but she was doing OK. Koalah is not real happy about having to work and is jumpy. I didn't do a lot of single work with her - but some. Then out we go to ground drive... At least they are holding their heads high and resistant - together - at first, LOL...

The pics were taken before I did some harness adjustments on both mares that made them calm down and work better once hitched.





So made harness adjustments again, then drove a little more right here. then Julie got in the passenger seat in back, and we went down the road. It is a 1/4 mile down to the intersection and then another along the area where there is a lot of space between planted corps and the road. So we did that, too. In all maybe a little over a mile and about 45 minutes out. We did work at trot, a short bit at a canter and then lots of walk and stops/stand. Nice little drive.

Didn't drive yesterday.

Today, after feeding & setting up feeds for tonight, the farrier trimmed 8 ponies, moved the 1 month old chickies in their pen, I went ahead and harnessed the pair by myself. This time I put Koalah on the left and Bit on the right. Took a little work to get them hitched - Koalah was jumpy and every time I touched her she'd "skitter" around. So, I spent about 1/2 hour just driving back and forth over the tongue and stopping and touching her w/o actually hitching. When they both finally lined up and stayed put, I hitched them. There weren't any problems! They stood quietly while I mounted the wagon and sat. I was able to put my phone in a bucket at my feet along w/ the 2 bottles of water I had with me and put my gloves on. THEN, I asked them to walk on. What a difference from 2 days ago!! I did better at asking and they started out much better. I circled the horse trailers two times and turned and headed out the drive and down the road the same as yesterday. They were driving better together but full of spit and vinegar - so I asked for and held them at an extended trot (at first it was just fast and high headed, then their heads came down and they started really driving up under themselves and wow - felt like we were flying). Had to remember that it was almost 100* (higher w/ heatindex/humidity) and asked them to walk. Was able to get into same field - but worked a bit longer. Here's a pic from my phone...


A much happier pair! AHHHH, and I got the "fix" I've so desperately needed lately.

Tried to load a video from my phone, but that didn't work. I'm off to get ready for our 26th Anniversary dinner out so.. TTFN.
They are doing so great! I'm still too afraid to drive the pairs on my own yet but this weekend i will have help hopefully
Trust me, I so totally understand now. Just a few short years ago, I did not...

There is NOTHING wrong with being safe and most venues do require a "groom" anytime you have more than one horse in harness and multiple grooms(s)/handlers if you hitch more.

Saying that - it will be a while before I hitch the "mini" pair. Not only is Cupid still doing his "shenanigans" but they just need more ground driving time, mileage and experience. Went by a place with a ton of tires out there - thought about getting some, drilling holes in them to make a 2 or 3 across row and then connect a 2nd maybe a 3rd row. Then put a "tow bar" on the front that would allow a double tree to be hooked to it. Then go drive my LITTLE WILD hooligans. Will give them some weight/work and will also help spread some of the compost that's in the back where it's been dumped after mowing the pastures... and yet not a chain harrow...(some reason the thought of hooking them to a chain harrow is scary).
i am looking so forward to having a pair. I have the horses, and the wagon, but only one harness and no help. it will come though, my son is coming to visit and he will help me.

anyhow, i started out to say that you really inspire me. i am happy you are doing well with your girls.
Unfortunaly I have done all my training completely by my self. Everything is harder to do, and takes longer but it can be done. so hang in there and stick with it. Take your time, and most importantly BE CAREFULL.
Diamond C - when I started out learning to drive pairs in 2010 - I usually wasn't alone for major "new" things - such as hitching to new items - from the "surf board" to the drag, the red wagon, the new pioneer wagon, the forecart, even pulling the bales of hay. BUT in between those first hitches, as we practiced, we often didn't have a 2nd or 3rd person around. I can now ground drive and hitch a 3 abreast of the ponies myself but the 4 abreast - I need help running the lines. I haven't hitched the 4 abreast yet...and have since sold one of the ponies I was practicing with last year. I will be able to put the dam of one of the ponies in the hitch and still have a complete 4 abreast again - just haven't done it yet.

Yes, it can be done. I do it a lot. BUT it is more enjoyable and safer when you can have another person to be there and to share the experience... Plus I get pictures when I have a 2nd or 3rd person around, LOL.

Thanx for your support - I like that little pair you have, too!
I'm totally impressed, having enough challenge learning to drive one who is very experienced already.
Driving a pair is twice the fun but yes, having another able horse person on the ground is a smart plan. Also, don't be afraid to switch sides as some horses go better on the left than right and vise versa. If their heads are up and fussing, it may be time to have their teeth checked. You will be surprised at the difference after a good quality float done by a qualified vet or equine dentist! I drive my pair (and singles) in open bridles, no blinders, so they can see what's coming from behind them and they can also see each other better, that's just my preference. Good luck and enjoy!

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