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Abby P

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Not really driving but I just wanted to proudly say that today I got a sneak trip to the barn and I was so happy with how Rowan did! First off, we were having 50mph winds today. The other horses were all running around, his buddy was screaming for him from before I even took him out, the barn owner was running the tractor and using a series of loud power tools (even the goats and elderly mini donks were spooking), and I haven't done anything with him except scratch his itches in two weeks. I put on his rope halter and my long line and took him into the large grass arena. And I got w/t/c in both directions, with NOT ONE buck, AND he was able to take my small reminder of bending and not falling into the circle and maintain a left lead canter for an entire circle without leaning on the rope which is something we've been working on for a while. Lots of breathing and snorting. I was thrilled! He really soaks on things for a long time and remembers everything - good and bad - but it's a huge help given my severely limited time these days. Yay! :)
 

Willow Flats

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It has been so dry and windy here! Yesterday I stayed inside because my allergies were so bad I could barely see out of my itching eyes.

Rocko and I had a lesson scheduled today and I just decided to go for it because it is going to be windy all week anyway.

He started out spooking a little at first at the stronger gusts and all the movement and noises it was creating, but did settle. The trainer set up some really challenging small cone patterns and timed us at a forward trot and kept narrowing and rearranging the cones making it more difficult. She said a month ago I would have asked if I could just walk it a few times first and is happy with my current "bring it on attitude." We had a good day despite the wind. It was hard to keep my whip in position at times when turning into the wind!
 

Willow Flats

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I'm not driving today because I just got home and it is 95 degrees! Just too hot for me this early in the season. I haven't adjusted yet! But here is the good part. I went to Kingston Saddlery today with my friend to pick up a cart for her shetland pony. One of my converts I had come and drive Annie. Their training is going well so they are ready for the next step!
 

Willow Flats

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We went longer in both time and distance and did a lot of trotting today and he wasn't sweaty or tired. He is getting more fit cardio wise but still needs to build more muscle in his hind end. I gave him a nice break from his schooling today though.
I haven't been driving him as much as I'd like because of all the wind and the pollen is sky high.

Not sure if I made mention of this already but my treasured husband got himself a fishing boat.

Me: I thought our hobby was driving horses together.

Husband: I put some sardines in the freezer. That's what the stripped bass are biting.

We used to fish a lot together and it was nice but he needs to retire so we can have time to do both.☺
 

Cayuse

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30 minutes ground driving Peanut, I finally put on his new harness I bought right before the pandemic locked down everything. It fit well and he liked it. I might sell it as I bought it to show with and it's just going to sit another year (or forever 🤣 ) in it's box.
 
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Ourpairofminicolts

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I just wanted to make an update about our training, and hopefully keep up tracking better from here on out.

I realized today that my phone has been logging my steps, and in the last month I've really started working with both our horses every day.

I brush them every day, sometimes twice a day because of the weather, and we've been averaging 2-3 miles a day on the long line! This is between both horses, but it's still more than I anticipated, lol!

Our 2 year old, Baron, just got gelded last Monday, so he got a break from exercise until today, besides hand walking him. We just did a short long line session, and he was pretty good. Especially considering he's had a week off!

We just got our 3 year old, Monty's, harness, (thanks Mindy!) It looks great, so we'll be moving on to ground driving with the full harness, and cart training with him now. So excited! 😆
 

Willow Flats

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I had a lesson with Rocko today. It has been windy every day and today was no exception. I was driving out to our training area with my trainer walking behind us when Rocko's head popped up with ears forward and then I could see that there was some huge piece of plastic stuck to the fence that runs along side our training area billowing in the wind.

Me: Just what we need. Can you go grab that?
Trainer: Um no, what a great training opportunity!!!

I had to drive through the spooks with him keeping him busy, and trying to keep his focus on me, and not that blasted huge bag! I can't say that was the most fun I have ever had but by the end he was a lot better. When we were finished with our lesson she grabbed the bag and shook it a little as she followed behind us back to the barn. He wasn't crazy about that but held it together.

On closer inspection this was some kind of home made hot air balloon. It had a hoop and the wire was charred where a candle had been in the home made holder and a little burn hole in the side of the thing near the ring. Seriously, with all this wind they could have started a fire! I had my husband hold it up so I could take a picture because I just had to show it to you so you could believe it!


Bag.jpg
 

Willow Flats

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We had an awesome lesson today! My trainer did a clinic with her horse this week, and so she set up some new exercises that she learned at the clinic for us to work on bending. After our lesson was over we drove down to the end of our road past the neighbors crazy dogs lunging at the fence and there were new big silver strips blowing in the wind all over their fruit trees, cars blowing by us as we stood by the main road and Rocko was so relaxed taking everything in stride. By the time we finished our lesson the other day he was completely over the plastic bag so that was a good thing.
 

Marsha Cassada

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There is a parade this weekend. I really want to take Midnight as she is more showy, but I don't feel confident with her in a crowd. I will probably take Dapper Dan if I go. If I could get someone to drive Dapper Dan so Midnight wouldn't be alone, it might work. But I don't know anyone I'd trust to drive DD who isn't already working at the event.
 

Willow Flats

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There is a parade this weekend. I really want to take Midnight as she is more showy, but I don't feel confident with her in a crowd. I will probably take Dapper Dan if I go. If I could get someone to drive Dapper Dan so Midnight wouldn't be alone, it might work. But I don't know anyone I'd trust to drive DD who isn't already working at the event.
Another idea would be to have someone walk Midnight on a lead with you driving DD. Just a thought to get her exposure.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I took Dapper Dan to the parade. Didn't trust Midnight to behave herself. She has been downright uppity lately. Gave them both a bath--that warm water system sure makes a difference. I think they actually enjoy it. I wish I could have seen the parade: they drove longhorns down the street; the Army caissons were there; two bands; classic cars; the Kiowa tribe in regalia. We are posed in front of a float advertising events in a small town nearby (smaller than our town).parade.jpg
 

Willow Flats

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It continues to be really windy here. I don't want to complain when other states are experiencing flooding! During our drive today I was wearing one of those DaBrims on my helmet for shade and it usually stays on, but today it blew off and hit Rocko on the back surprising him before skittering past his feet and the little man just did the tiniest hop! So proud of him. 😊

Almost didn't post this because a lot of peeps here don't wear helmets, but it would be a lie for me to say my hat blew off. ;) So just laying down my pride so I could report on how good Rocko is doing with his training.
 

MajorClementine

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Almost didn't post this because a lot of peeps here don't wear helmets, but it would be a lie for me to say my hat blew off. ;) So just laying down my pride so I could report on how good Rocko is doing with his training.
I never wore a helmet until recently. I started wearing one when riding and now wear one when driving alone. Never be ashamed of safety equipment!👍👍
 

Cayuse

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Willow, I always wear a helmet too, never get in the cart without it. I never rode without one either.
Marsha, Glad to see you got to the parade, you both look wonderful!
 

Ourpairofminicolts

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I did 2½ miles of walking, by exercising both horses every day this past week, except for 1 day off, and 1 day I got in over 5 miles working the horses!

I ground drove Monty in his new bridle (with open cheeks) for about 10 minutes on Saturday, and for about 10 minutes the Wednesday before that, when it got delivered. We're waiting for a more appropriate bit for him, but he's learning well! He did a pretty good job.

Gonna have to get him used to the blinders. He really doesn't like not being able to see me behind him, that's why we got him a set of the open cheeks to use for now.

20210507_102845.jpg
 

Marsha Cassada

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I did 2½ miles of walking, by exercising both horses every day this past week, except for 1 day off, and 1 day I got in over 5 miles working the horses!

I ground drove Monty in his new bridle (with open cheeks) for about 10 minutes on Saturday, and for about 10 minutes the Wednesday before that, when it got delivered. We're waiting for a more appropriate bit for him, but he's learning well! He did a pretty good job.

Gonna have to get him used to the blinders. He really doesn't like not being able to see me behind him, that's why we got him a set of the open cheeks to use for now.

View attachment 43614
What a handsome driving boy he will be! You might try moving the wires of the blinders out a little in case they are too close to his eyes and eye lashes. What kind of bit did you decide upon?
 

Ourpairofminicolts

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What a handsome driving boy he will be! You might try moving the wires of the blinders out a little in case they are too close to his eyes and eye lashes. What kind of bit did you decide upon?
Thanks for the blinder suggestions! I've never used them either, so I will need to make sure they're adjusted properly when we start using them. 👍

This picture was from just trying everything on the day we got his harness, to make sure it would all fit. I didn't spend much time adjusting anything.

And thank you! I think he's going to make a gorgeous cart horse myself. He moves so beautifully! 😍 and of course he looks good in his harness! 🐎

He chews on his bits constantly, we've tried 3 different kinds already. After talking with Mindy, we decided on the Bowman Arch Mouth Half Cheek bit, because we think he's looking for tongue relief. Hopefully it works, and he doesn't mind it! He's so good at ground driving otherwise, it's just down to getting him the right bit now, I think!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Thanks for the blinder suggestions! I've never used them either, so I will need to make sure they're adjusted properly when we start using them. 👍

This picture was from just trying everything on the day we got his harness, to make sure it would all fit. I didn't spend much time adjusting anything.

And thank you! I think he's going to make a gorgeous cart horse myself. He moves so beautifully! 😍 and of course he looks good in his harness! 🐎

He chews on his bits constantly, we've tried 3 different kinds already. After talking with Mindy, we decided on the Bowman Arch Mouth Half Cheek bit, because we think he's looking for tongue relief. Hopefully it works, and he doesn't mind it! He's so good at ground driving otherwise, it's just down to getting him the right bit now, I think!
I had to experiment with Midnight. Finally got a butterfly arch. It was suggested that the french link I was using had too much movement. She has done very well with the butterfly arch. Makes a big difference getting the correct bit!
 

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