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Ourpairofminicolts

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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!
Butterfly arch is next on the list is the half cheek arch mouth bit doesn't help, lol! I also agree very much that the right bit can make all the difference. I've seen it myself, the night and day difference once you find the right one 👍
 

Abby P

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I actually got a leather bit for Rowan after having used a mullen mouth on him for a while. He too chews and chews the bit....but so far it's a lot better with the leather bit. He did chew the first couple of times, to the point I thought we might not have a bit any more (!), but it tapered off. I'm not sure it's entirely due to the new bit, in his case it seems partly to do with both me providing him with a steady, reliable contact, and him learning to accept that contact. The leather bit does seem to be comfortable for him though.

I'm just about to order this:


I already have the leather O-ring bit with the rounded mouthpiece. She said she can make me the bridleless one with a rounded mouthpiece in mini size so I'm excited about trying that! I'll most likely only use it for ground-driving.

The next thing I would have tried if the leather bit didn't work out would be a single-jointed regular snaffle that I already have (because I already have it), and then something with a port, and then something double-jointed.

Bits are just one of those "horse things" like finding a saddle that works! The process is a pain but once you get the right one you'll know it.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I asked my horsey neighbor to drive with me for the first time today. She had never driven, but rides so she knows a few things. I just don't feel comfortable taking Midnight out by myself right now. She did very well with Dapper Dan along; she was mostly in front but she knew he was there. We had a delightful drive; leisurely, and talking horse stuff the whole time. I ground drove Midnight for about 15 minutes before the neighbor arrived, walking behind the cart. We went around the boulders and obstacles in the pasture. She was a little tense at first, but relaxed pretty quickly and then was fine. She is such a good girl; I hope I can do right by her, health-wise.
 

charlottein

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Finally a day it is not raining, and I have off work to drive today! Chaos was doing great, actually had some energy today. Until.... the neighbors new minis neighed at him. Then we had to stop dead and spent about 10 minutes neighing back and trying to go forward, steps at a time. He never minded to big horses, but we will have to work this out for sure!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Butterfly arch is next on the list is the half cheek arch mouth bit doesn't help, lol! I also agree very much that the right bit can make all the difference. I've seen it myself, the night and day difference once you find the right one 👍
I started out with the least pressure ring on the butterfly, but moved to the more pressure ring. Adjusted the chain. I had never used a bit like that before and I'm glad I had some driving experience first, so I was better able to understand how bits work. She seems very comfortable with it, carries it nicely, and never chews or gets it over her tongue like she did with the french link.
We are so fortunate, now, that there are lots of tools for miniatures to choose among! When I first started driving good tools were less available.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I decided to try to drive Midnight today and pony Dapper Dan. I thought she might be happier if she knew he was along. I have never ponied DD before--he has always been the pony-er. I was feeling more confident in Midnight, as going crazy with a ponied horse behind is never good. I did have to think about uncurling my toes a couple of times, and keeping my elbows and wrists loose. Overall, we did fine. I will probably do that again.
ps Do you think Midnight knew he was behind her??
 

MajorClementine

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I wonder if I need to try the butterfly arch...? I really like the butterfly cheeks and I think the french-link I'm using on Clementine has too much movement for her. Blue goes in it fairly well but Clementine shakes her head a lot. I spend more time equipment shopping rather than driving. I can shop while the baby naps. Driving? Not so much.

We did have fun taking the birthday kids driving a few weeks ago and apparently the mom of the birthday girl has been asked by several people how they hire me. I'm too chicken to do it. I only did this one party because we are great friends with the family and I was pretty sure they wouldn't sue me. We have a lot of people with a LOT of money that have moved into the area and I'm really afraid of getting sued if anyone gets hurt. I'd have to go legit and get insurance and all that before I hired out.

Sorry I've been MIA. Poodle puppies were born two weeks ago. Combine that with school getting out for the summer and my baby becoming a toddler (and still destroying everything he can get his hands on :p ) I've been running circles.
 

Willow Flats

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Hi Clem! Good to hear what you are up to. Annie also goes happily in the butterfly arch. Ah toddlers!!!! Went to see the grandkids and the toddler drug the hose to the back door and opened fire with the spray nozzle in the family room! I bet your little guy loves those puppies.

I wish I lived near you. I'd babysit so you could get out there and drive!
 

charlottein

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Chaos was a very good boy today, and we worked longer and harder than usual and he didn’t work up much sweat at all. I guess we have just been going way too easy! However my roller bolt adapters for my darn single tree are stretched now and one popped off. He stopped and didn’t freak thank goodness. Now I finally have the money to buy a new single tree and am gonna try to order one tonight cause those adapters just are not safe anymore.
 

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Willow Flats

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I got out there really early this morning to hitch Rocko before it got too hot. I'm loving this cart. There is zero weight on his back, but the cart is a lot heavier than his old cart so today we did a lot of walking to make him use his hind end, which he has figured out is harder than trotting. It's making him more forward so his walk is getting really nice as he sees that when he moves out things get easier.
Afterwards I found us a shady spot where there is still some green grass and just hung out with him. He chose to be smack dab next to me the whole time which was really sweet.
 

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YKate

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It's getting hot here and I would like to either drive in the morning or evening. The other morning, I drove my pony on the long lines and he was fine for about 5 min. then got testy. I want to work with him a little in the morning and evening ground driving to get him used to going out at those times.
Any suggestions?
 

Marsha Cassada

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I got out there really early this morning to hitch Rocko before it got too hot. I'm loving this cart. There is zero weight on his back, but the cart is a lot heavier than his old cart so today we did a lot of walking to make him use his hind end, which he has figured out is harder than trotting. It's making him more forward so his walk is getting really nice as he sees that when he moves out things get easier.
Afterwards I found us a shady spot where there is still some green grass and just hung out with him. He chose to be smack dab next to me the whole time which was really sweet.
You two have come a long way in a short time.
 

Marsha Cassada

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It's getting hot here and I would like to either drive in the morning or evening. The other morning, I drove my pony on the long lines and he was fine for about 5 min. then got testy. I want to work with him a little in the morning and evening ground driving to get him used to going out at those times.
Any suggestions?
Was he taken away from his pasture mates? My mare gets difficult about 5 minutes out also. It takes a little while to work through it before she goes forward. Her mind is still on her pasture mate, though, I can tell. It's difficult, especially this time of year when our driving times are limited by weather.
 

MajorClementine

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Chaos was a very good boy today, and we worked longer and harder than usual and he didn’t work up much sweat at all. I guess we have just been going way too easy! However my roller bolt adapters for my darn single tree are stretched now and one popped off. He stopped and didn’t freak thank goodness. Now I finally have the money to buy a new single tree and am gonna try to order one tonight cause those adapters just are not safe anymore.
I watched your video and loved it. Can I make one suggestion? See how the seat of the cart is angled down? The shafts need raised up to make the seat level to get the weight off his back. With a little driver it won't matter but with an adult in the cart it could become an issue.

Beautiful little guy you have!
 

Willow Flats

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I started working on the canter with Rocko again today, now that he has his other gaits down.

I plan to start trailering him to some new places to drive in the future. The girl that comes out once a week might bring her full size leased lesson horse here on Friday to ride while I drive which would give both her horse and Rocko something new.
I've only trailered Rocko to drive in a new environment twice, but I think we are ready to do more together.
 

Marsha Cassada

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My horsey neighbor came over this gorgeous morning to drive with me. Last time she drove Dapper Dan. This time she drove Midnight. We did paved, dirt, gravel, and some off-road in a pasture with a mown path. One pasture had some cows and one of the little dogies was out on the road. We didn't know what the horses would do as we came up to him. He flipped his little tail and ran back to his own pasture, wiggling through the wire. Midnight did perfectly. She made no attempt to snatch grass as we drove in the pasture and was not in any way startled by the calf. I wish I'd had my phone with me to get a picture of that little black dogie.) A pickup and trailer passed us and it was a non-event. My neighbor was very comfortable driving her. Dapper Dan was his usual ornery self: snatching grass, leaping in feigned surprise at the calf, and thinking every fly that landed on him was a vampire bat. We drove 3 miles, almost all walking. It was wonderful for me to see Midnight driven; I saw some tweaking that needs to be done to the harness. She is so beautiful driving.
We had a very nice drive indeed.
 

Willow Flats

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Had so much fun today! My friend brought the full size lesson horse over and my young friend and her sister came. They have been learning to jump on this horse and want to take it trail riding, but the horse hasn't left the ranch where it is boarded for at least 5 years. So this was it's first outing in quite a while. She did good, just had to get used to a few things like the bridge and pool noodle car wash.

Annie my mare went crazy as she is the boss around here and wanted to know who this giant mare thought she was! Rocko took it all in stride and Kriss decided to hide out in one of the shelters till it was over. Lol

My neighbor's cattle all came running to the fence to check out the new horse and in general everyone's spirits were lifted by this visitor!

Rocko drove like a dream. He was forward AND listening. We drove around with Annie for a while after my friend took the horse home and she was still wound up. Lots of excitement around here today. So much fun! ☺

Rocko looks so tiny!!!💕
 

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Willow Flats

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We had a lesson today and had success cantering in both directions! When going clockwise he still gets off on the wrong lead but is starting to correct himself.

After the lesson we went out on the main road and my friend walked with us. All the garbage bins were out and he shied a little at one that was overflowing with branches and we had to deal with some cars but he did really great.
Someone started up a loud engine and he started forward but caught himself quickly perceiving it wasn't really a threat. I like the way he handles things. He starts to react but quickly checks in with me. This is due to his personality I think. He's not going to get all worked up and run if he doesn't have to! 😉

I want to take him places but it has just been too hot. We got up to 110 yesterday! Today is cooler but you can just squeeze in a short time in the morning. For the last two days all I could do was hose them off so I really enjoyed our time this morning. He earned himself some good scratches and cookies!!!
 
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