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Marsha Cassada

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Yes my husband drives Annie on the weekends and my little buddy has been driving her once a week while I drive Rocko. She likes Rocko more but I'm not letting anyone drive him until he has more training and miles.

My other gelding will fight back and its not pretty when that happens. Rocko is docile like midnight.
Rocko must have been caught in the middle.
I cannot tolerate another dominant equine being with Dapper Dan. He will have to rule the roost. He is older and my Number One horse, so no upstart is going to be allowed to injure him. It does annoy me when he bosses Midnight, and I have to get onto him sometimes. But she just moves away. I think the worst bossy times are when I am around and he wants to keep her away from me. I've watched them when they don't see me and they eat together out of his feed tub.
 

Willow Flats

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That's sweet! Annie has never shared but the two geldings are in a paddock that has two separate shelters and they switch back and forth which is kind of nice because they are moving around.

When I first brought Rocko home I kept him separate and had Annie and Kriss together knowing she was a fast eater but was thinking since she was getting exercised a lot and was larger than Kriss who was no longer driving that it would balance out. Boy was I wrong. He lost a lot of weight before I knew it!
 
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Willow Flats

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First day I have been able to do anything with my horses! I think I mentioned we had some bad wind and rain storms. One of our huge trees went down and we have been cutting it up to stack and dry out. The weather turned really nice but the neighbor burned (smoked) us out for two days burning all the green stuff in her pasture in 3 separate burn piles and piling garbage on top which is a big "no no" here (both burning any wet material and trash.) The wind blows in our direction so we were just covered! You could not even see our training area, and I had to cancel my lesson. She went to bed and let the piles smoke all night. We live in the "country" but really our properties are only 2 1/2-3 acres each in a row on this side of the street and the lots are more long and narrow in shape so everything you do affects your neighbors.

The AQI here was in the red; unhealthy (164) today and every other town around was 40-50 today because of a low pressure system. I never paid attention to the AQI (air quality index) before we had all those fires this last summer. I had put an app on my phone at that time to check when it was safe to work the horses. But yesterday I had the worst sinus headache ever and today it felt hard to breathe while I was stacking the wood so I checked the AQI and there was my answer! I thought maybe I was just getting out of shape ;) So I thought we better not put Annie and Rocko to the cart today so I just ground drove Rocko around at a walk. People around here say to stick to 100 or less AQI for driving or riding. Hoping it will be better tomorrow.
 

Willow Flats

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Was beautiful here today and my husband had half a day off so he drove Annie with us.

Here is the best news though. I have made another driving convert! I had invited my horse friend out to try driving a few months back. She has a beautiful Morgan she rides, but has a 40" pony she was using to leadline the grandkids on. Next thing you know she bought a harness and has started ground driving him.
This morning I brought Annie's cart to her place to walk around with him and also to make sure that was the size Kingston she should order for him for a first cart.
Her pony who I have always loved has such a great mind and temperment! He took everything in stride. Was even able to put him in between the shafts.
He isn't going to take much time to train!
So, two people I invited over to drive have been converted! (And then my husband if we are counting) Just saying, if you are a lone ranger out there wishing you had a driving friend anything is possible!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Finally got to take Dapper Dan out with the snow saucer. I was going to take Midnight but I wasn't sure what she would do if she got the rope tangled. I hope to try her tomorrow if the snow holds. Dapper Dan spent a few minutes refusing to go, tangling himself, and generally being his ornery self. We finally got going and it was lots of fun! I was surprised how noisy it is going over the snow.snow saucer 2.jpgsnow saucer.jpgsnow saucer3.jpg
 

Marsha Cassada

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I took midnight out today with the saucer. She was amazing, much better than my ornery Dapper. Rope got on her legs once and she just stepped over it calmly. Not quite as much fun as there were bare areas on the roads. I didn't want to go off-road as snow was too deep and hid terrain. I need an otter sled! Midnight is a natural driving horse.
 

Willow Flats

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We had some rain and then it was cold and windy, so Rocko had some time off. I think the break did him good because we had an awesome time today. He backed perfectly straight through a narrow line of cones, pivoted perfectly in each direction and moved out really nicely at the trot. All his downward transitions are really good. Still needs work on the canter but he is really listening and following cues much faster now. I forgot to put his side check on and so we also did a little work on the stand on the lush green grass. Poor Guy. So tempted!

I am going to have a little casual play day here on Saturday! We are going to set up a cones course and time each other just for fun. Four minis are coming, two of them are young and will be ground driven around, but there will be four of us driving. Hoping the weather is good!
 

Marsha Cassada

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We had some rain and then it was cold and windy, so Rocko had some time off. I think the break did him good because we had an awesome time today. He backed perfectly straight through a narrow line of cones, pivoted perfectly in each direction and moved out really nicely at the trot. All his downward transitions are really good. Still needs work on the canter but he is really listening and following cues much faster now. I forgot to put his side check on and so we also did a little work on the stand on the lush green grass. Poor Guy. So tempted!

I am going to have a little casual play day here on Saturday! We are going to set up a cones course and time each other just for fun. Four minis are coming, two of them are young and will be ground driven around, but there will be four of us driving. Hoping the weather is good!
Wish I could go! How fun that you are organizing this for other miniature owners.
 

Willow Flats

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I was thinking the same thing! I'm incorporating the bridge and the cowboy car wash (pool noodles) in the course. I was thinking for the future I want to set a post and put an old mailbox I have on it so we have to stop and put something in it.
 

MajorClementine

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Marsha I can't wait until my new house is built and I have 4 acres to play on with my minis in the winter. You always have the most fun pictures in the snow. I've been reluctant to keep my minis here through the winter because there isn't much driving close to home when the snow hits. But when I have some room to play you bet I'm going to give it a try.

Willow how great of you to do a play day! We have a little driving group here in Utah that gets together at an arena now and then. They started last year and I had a newborn plus this pandemic mess so I didn't go. It's about a 2 hour drive from me but I'm willing to make the drive to spend time with other drivers. Plus my little one is old enough to not be a burden when I'm driving.
 

Willow Flats

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I had so much fun today! We had good weather for it too. Rocko was pretty excited with all the horses here so during warm up he was really flying! He did settle down and let's just say we weren't the fastest but we bettered our time each time we did the course. He was the only green driving horse and I'm really proud of him. We didn't knock down any cones either. Everyone wants to do it again.😊
 

Pritanio

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Today was lesson day. It was a step forward for us both. Missy started on up & down transitions between working trot & strong trot.
Considering a week ago I didn't know the difference it felt quite miraculous!
For the first time since we started back into driving in October Missy actually put in enough effort to break a sweat on her chest. I was surprised but happy to hand walk her until she dried out.
Only disappointment was that I botched the settings on my Pivo and turned it off before we started the lesson.
 

Willow Flats

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Today was lesson day. It was a step forward for us both. Missy started on up & down transitions between working trot & strong trot.
Considering a week ago I didn't know the difference it felt quite miraculous!
For the first time since we started back into driving in October Missy actually put in enough effort to break a sweat on her chest. I was surprised but happy to hand walk her until she dried out.
Only disappointment was that I botched the settings on my Pivo and turned it off before we started the lesson.
Yay for you two! I'm working on that extended trot with my green horse. So rewarding when he does it, but he needs work, still having to ask twice. He's got the downward transitions nailed.

Keep us posted on your progress. Happy for you.
 

Willow Flats

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We had a lesson today and he did a lot better on his upward transitions. I think I was forgetting sometimes to do a half halt before asking for an upward transition. I always do it before a downward transition. It's good to get their attention, like "hey you I'm going to ask for something." Makes a big difference. We used the cones course as markers and it really helped to measure the timing of how we are doing.

My friend is encouraging me to do dressage and cones with Rocko in the next HDT which is at the end of April. Let's just say I'm thinking about it.
 

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