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Willow Flats

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Yesterday afternoon a lady down the street flagged me over. She said she has been seeing me drive my horse by and wanted her disabled daughter to see it but they could never make it outside in time. I got her number and said I'd call her.

This morning we drove Rocko and Annie down there. Rocko was a little scared of the chair and didn't want to get near it at first so we stood a ways away. They had a circle drive so we could circle in closer and closer til he was comfortable with it. Was a great training for the horses and they really enjoyed it so I promised to do it again.
 

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Abby P

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Another drive in the ring today for Rowan. It seems to be coming together. The cart is better balanced now but still not perfect so I'll keep fiddling with it. We did a LOT of trotting today and some circles and figure eights. He still insists on one protest buck on each drive but so far he's keeping it to one and it's not a very determined one. 🤣
 

Willow Flats

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This morning my friend brought her two horses out. She has a 5 year old stallion that she drives about 5 days a week and an almost 3 year old she is training. She wanted to expose her little one to some new things and I drove her 5 year old. She takes 1st place with him in the CDEs in prelim and boy, he was an absolute dream to drive!!! So much fun at the canter, I barely needed to do anything and he was just flying around the cones. He can really bend around them! I used to have a little Triumph Spitfire sports car and that's pretty much what it felt like to drive this guy.

He is a lot like Rocko in nature; he naturally likes to walk slow, but does move out when asked. She thinks if I keep working with Rocko he will be just as good. His canter was so fluid and flawless at the change in directions. Sigh.
 

Willow Flats

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The riding friend that I talked into getting her pony trained to drive brought him over today and had a lesson in my training area. He is a shetland about 40" and built solid. He has a ways to go with his training, but is going to make a great trail driving horse! He went over the bridge. His head was up in the air, but he did it! He's got a good mind and is an older pony.
My husband got an unexpected day off so he hitched Annie. We had a blast driving together and we cantered quite a ways. Annie was in the lead as she is taller and has a big stride but Rocko was going all out chasing her!!!! I tell you, his new boots are magic. Lol
 

Cayuse

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Drove Peanut today. First time in a year. Fitted his new harness that I bought well over a year ago to him and he seemed comfortable with it. Harness had been sitting in it's shipping box all this time, lol. It should be perfect when the leather does it thing and relaxes. Had to shorten the back strap about an inch and the breast plate strap is on the loosest setting, but I'm pretty sure the leather is going to give enough to take it up a hole or even more. He always seems happier in leather, biothane seems to irritate him somehow. It was a nice day.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Drove Peanut today. First time in a year. Fitted his new harness that I bought well over a year ago to him and he seemed comfortable with it. Harness had been sitting in it's shipping box all this time, lol. It should be perfect when the leather does it thing and relaxes. Had to shorten the back strap about an inch and the breast plate strap is on the loosest setting, but I'm pretty sure the leather is going to give enough to take it up a hole or even more. He always seems happier in leather, biothane seems to irritate him somehow. It was a nice day.
Did you just get your confidence up? What motivated you to drive him?
 

Cayuse

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I'm not sure what motivated me, probably a bunch of things. I just hadn't felt like driving for the longest time. Last year I was supposed to show him in harness (thus the new harness) and then covid came along and the shows were cancelled. I had worked so hard to get to that point, we had showed in harness two years ago and got our feet wet and last year was supposed to be "the year" and it fizzled out. So I spent all last summer doing agility with them and competing online and that took up quite a bit of spare time. I went to a couple of shows this summer and showed in-hand and being around my friends sort of got me going again. I probably just needed a break.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Drove Midnight today. We are planning to do a parade on Saturday so I wanted to get her out before that. I did pony Dapper Dan; Midnight neighed once when we got started so I wasn't sure if she knew he was back there.
We did transitions, backing on a slight incline, and stand. She is very good at crossing over in the turns. Weather has been delightful and few bugs. She let me flick a fly or two off with the whip without getting too reactive.
I usually dress in patriotic for parades, but Midnight does not like "stuff" on her or around her. I think I will go pioneer with my costume and leave her bare. This will be her first parade so I don't want her to stress. My sister will be driving Midnight's friend Jackie O, and the other miniature owner will be walking with Munchkin. So Midnight will be among friends.
 

Cayuse

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Marsha, that is my new harness, minus the headstall. I'm pretty happy with it. I was debating on whether I should lower the shaft carriers down a tad as they are a wee bit high, and the seat is not quite level (almost though) but he really seemed happy with the set-up so I'm going to leave it alone. I also bought a new fangled harness pad that is two separate pads that connect together with velcro so a space is left over the withers. I don't use a treed harness as they don't fit his type so I thought this might be an alternative. It seems to work pretty well. Hope to drive him again this weekend.

Willow, that hump I'm driving in front of with all the lovely grass is my new septic system that ruined my driving field. It is smack dab in the middle with no way to go around one end of it. What you see is about 3/4 of it and it's wide. At least the grass like it, lol. That @$%! hump is another reason I stopped driving. It made me mad every time I went near it 🤣
 

Willow Flats

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Cayuse - They mounded it up over the septic, or is that the dirt they moved when they dug the new septic? I'd be mad too. Would be cool if it could be graded to be a nice moderate slope that you could drive over.
 

Willow Flats

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Training update : I am getting a lot better driving one handed. I practiced it driving my cones exercises at a forward trot today and didn't knock any down. Although I came close to it a couple of times! It is so much easier for me to maintain good contact driving this way so I can hold my whip in the other hand. I have carpal tunnel and holding the rein and the whip in one hand is tricky. So now I am switching back and forth while driving. Before when Rocko was trotting at his nice easy pace and I would ask him to" trot up" and he ignored me, I would give him a tap with the whip, but at the same time I would "give" with that hand and that made him think canter. This way I can hold steady contact with one hand and use the whip with the other if necessary.
I notice a lot of drivers ask for trot and then when they want their horse to move out they do a sheee sheee sound. I have been asking for a "trot" and then a half halt and "trot up!" and then a kiss and "canter!" He is figuring it all out. Doing well except for the wrong lead going clockwise on the canter still.
We got to drive a little longer today which was nice. No smoke and was a little cooler. My friend is coming out to drive tomorrow so Annie can get some exercise too.
 

Cayuse

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Willow, the mound could not be graded :-(. We spent big bucks ($22,000) having that thing put in because we live on a granite ledge and they could only dig so deep. That was the only place they could put it :-(. It severely slowed my roll 🤣.
When you ask Rocko to canter do you touch him on the opposite side of the lead you want with the whip to try and get him to step off into canter onto that opposite side (right side for left lead, left for right) Just curious if that might help. You'd might end up all counter bent and crooked though. It's awesome you can drive one handed, I gave it a go and failed. It hurt my arthritis in my hands and neck.
 

Willow Flats

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Willow, the mound could not be graded :-(. We spent big bucks ($22,000) having that thing put in because we live on a granite ledge and they could only dig so deep. That was the only place they could put it :-(. It severely slowed my roll 🤣.
When you ask Rocko to canter do you touch him on the opposite side of the lead you want with the whip to try and get him to step off into canter onto that opposite side (right side for left lead, left for right) Just curious if that might help. You'd might end up all counter bent and crooked though. It's awesome you can drive one handed, I gave it a go and failed. It hurt my arthritis in my hands and neck.
Cayuse- I'll give that a try. Thanks! 😊
 

MajorClementine

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Agreed that at least the septic hump grows nice green grass. We have "pot rock" here and in some places the shelf is only 4-6" down. Then there is the ground water... We're going to have a bit of a tricky time as well.

Willow, you are a driving maniac! I can't believe how much you accomplish each time I get caught up on here.

We hitched Wally and Blue up as a pair for the first time tonight. They did amazing! They drive perfectly together. This photo is not flattering at all but they really do look good together. That have matched strides and pull evenly. I was going to sell these guys separately but now I'm thinking I'll sell them as a team. Which I hate because they are so nice to drive. But I just have too many send these guys are the newest additions. I hate these hard decisions!IMG_20210805_225547~2.jpg
 

Cayuse

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They look great! Blue is so cute 😍. You don't need a new septic do you 😵? I hope not!
 

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