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Willow Flats

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I am battling the cow issue here too! There are cattle behind my property which are on a rotational grazing system so they are not always present, which has made it harder for my mare to get used to them. She has started to bolt a couple of times when driving by. Their land is elevated above ours and when they gather at the fence line they do look huge! I walked her out there just on the lead a couple of weeks ago because the neighbor had just moved them on her quad and Annie spooked and tried to run so we circled around and around and I got her to stand and relax there near them for about 10 mins. If they were there regularly we'd probably be able to get over this sooner. Thankfully gelding could care less about the cows. He has another issue now which I'll share in another post.
 

MajorClementine

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Cows...what is it? They must indeed be the Devil in Disguise (and why in the world is there a "g" in the word "disguise"??)

Drove Candace and Blue Jeans as a team yesterday. They did awesome. Had to hitch Blue a little closer to the cart because, while he is the stronger horse, he tends to be lazy and would let Candace pull the cart herself if he could. Luckily he is very responsive to voice commands so a "Blue, get up" usually gets him back into the game. We did a quick ground drive with them to make sure they were going to go okay (they've both driven double just not together) then we hitched them to my Frontier Wagonette. They very quickly figured out how to match gaits and their "Walk-on" "Get-Up" and "Whoa" were on point. This may end up being my dream team. Blue is a little bigger than Candace but only about 1.5" so with all their gear on and hitched it's not super noticeable. They are both pintos which is fun too. Blue and sorrel pinto...so not matched but at least it's not a solid and a pinto ;) I was hoping to start ground driving Clementine and Peanut but we've got rain for the next two days so the arena is a swimming pool... yuck!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
 

Minidreamz0581

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Cows are definitely horse eating monsters disguised as herbivores. I was out on a trail ride (trying to battle my fear of my horse bolting in an open field...) when my TWH Outlaw decided that the field of cows meant his death...even though he had lived with one for the first two years of his life. Some rearing, spooking, attempted bolting and slipping and falling on his butt ensued and I leaped off at the first safe opportunity in a full blown panic attack (which was extremely embarrassing in front of my friends who were thankfully very understanding). Needless to say any confidence that I had out on the trail is gone. I think my riding days are going to come to a close sooner than I thought. I’m happier working with minis. I’m more confident working with minis, even after what happened with Coady. I do adore Fjords though and would probably snatch one up if I had the opportunity ;)

MajorClem, I’m glad your bovine bonanza ended well, though I can’t imagine how terrifying it was in the moment! Congrats that Candace and Blue are making such a nice team! They look adorable together!
 

MindySchroder

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It's funny to me how scary cows are. The worst I've come across are dairy cows. Must be something about the black and white... We have a BIG ranch right across the road so we have to get used to 100's of Angus cows that roam around. In the winter sometimes we meet them on the road when they walk across the cattle guards that are filled with snow, to come looking for better grass. So we have to get used to them. Luckily both Zorro and Sky are fine with them! But I do worry about the mean cows, the ones that like to lower their heads and come after you. Sitting the Hyperbike (or any miniature horse cart) I'm at just the right height for them to clobber me right in the head! Eeeek!
 

MindySchroder

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Ground drove Sky and Zorro 4 miles today. They were both full of it! I had Sky's bridle on because she pulls less when ground driving in the bridle and I wish I had had Zorro's on as well! He was dragging me all over the place. And he would pull really hard to the right which resulted in his halter being pulled crooked.

It was so ironic because I'm reading Mark Rashid's A Journey to Softness in which he talks about NOT pulling on a horse because that will encourage them to pull on you. So I would soften my hands and my belly and Zorro would swerve hard to the ditch and end up out in the Sage Bushes. So that didn't work. And I have no idea why he was so adamant about doing that today.

So I took one of Sky's 18' long lines off her bridle and tied it to Zorro's halter. I tied the other end of her long line to the buckle on her bit and then I used Zorro's lead rope to tie the two of them together. LOL!

They did pretty well like that! Zorro was still leaning on the rope and the long lines and trying to veer right so I switched the two ponies, putting Zorro on the left and Sky on the right. This fixed everything. He quit pulling so hard to the right and started walking straight.
IMG_4329(1).jpg


They literally drug me all over, walking super fast and trotting some. Sky did her little jigging trot (which I am so GLAD I don't have to ride! I've ridden plenty of big horses over the years that did that. They are not fun.) and Zorro walked his super long striding walk. His hind foot way over reaches his front hoof print. It's so cool to watch him stride out. It's just like a long striding big horse!
IMG_4334(1).jpg

I wish I could be as energetic as those two fat ponies are!! We are all fat together but I am always always the slow one. LOL!
IMG_4341(1).jpg
And as usual this mare has the cutest face! She can be so hard to deal with and then she will look at me like this. THIS is why I just keep on trying! LOL!
 

MajorClementine

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Wow 4 miles behind a team is a lot of work! Love your set-up though. Extra points for creativity! And that overreach that Zorro has is impressive for sure. I don't know how you keep up with those two. Color me impressed. And how are they so clean???
 

Marsha Cassada

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Wow 4 miles behind a team is a lot of work! Love your set-up though. Extra points for creativity! And that overreach that Zorro has is impressive for sure. I don't know how you keep up with those two. Color me impressed. And how are they so clean???
Yes, I wondered how they stay so clean. I'm taking mine to a nursing home next week and will have to use the air compressor and safety glasses.
Midnight has a long stride also. I can hardly wait to feel that movement in the cart when we get comfortable together.
Sky is certainly photogenic!
 

MindySchroder

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The track is still mostly snowy and they will always lay where I put the sawdust :) So I make sure to have a nice bed for them AWAY from the mud. Plus my little track has gravel and sand and not very much mud. It's only muddy where they eat which happens to still be covered in several inches of snow! And I find their winter coats stay so much cleaner than their summer coats. Something about all that fluff. If it gets muddy I let it dry and it just falls right off!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Since we haven't been out much lately, I ground drove Midnight instead of putting her in the cart. She got felt all over to be de-ticked first. I didn't find the big fat one until I took her halter off to put on the bridle and there is was, under the halter strap. Luckily that was the only one. She stands nicely without being tied to harness, not even wiggling to see what's going on with the crupper. We did some light longe work first so she would be mentally ready to listen to cues. She's getting better with whip cues, not so reactive. On our drive, we tried to use all the various terrains along the way: gravel, rocks, grassy ditches, dirt, and pavement. A few birds flew up and startled her, but it was just a dramatic shy, not a bolt. No crying for Dapper Dan today along the way! She is such a fast walker, I have a hard time keeping up with her. I'm not up for trotting very long, either. We zig zagged across the road and did figure 8's to work on reining. She is improving a lot.
Closed up the links on the chin chain of the bridle as I think that is where they need to be. Steel so strong, my husband had to put the links in the vise to close them. If I ever have to remove them, I'll probably need a bolt cutter...
When we got home I introduced her to the jingle bells that she will wear around her legs at the nursing home next week. She was suspicious of that jingle, and when I first put them on her, she said "I'm not taking a single step 'cause it makes too much noise". But she was walking around jingling in just a little while.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I put the bells on Midnight again this evening. She stood perfectly still for a minute, then reached down and untied one of the bows. Then she walked away, picking up her feet carefully. Her legs are so skinny I have the velcro wrapped all the way. The bells are attached to human restraint cuffs that I got in an auction box; they work well to attach the bells to.
 

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Cayuse

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Well, we had a ton of snow so we hitched up Cappy to the sled and I promptly (like within two strides) flipped the thing over and got dumped into the snow. I have no luck with that thing! Cappy took off had had a lovely run until we caught him. Dan got in and walked him around and it almost flipped him out too, but he managed to end it on a positive note. I hope I didn't ruin my horse :-(
On a positive note,. I had a wonderful drive with Cappy the day before. I'll take 25 minutes for that :)
 

MindySchroder

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My sled tips over too! LOL! But I use that as a training practice ;)Zorro has learned to stand quietly when it tips over and I am laying in the snow laughing. He is such a good boy!
 

MajorClementine

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Marsha- Glad to hear Midnight is coming along. She seems like a very smart and patient horse. Like she takes the time to figure things out rather than just reacting to them. My Clementine has a fast walk as well so ground driving isn't my favorite thing to do with her... I'm a bit too lazy for that right now.

Cayuse- Sledding is the only reason I'm sad the horses go south for the winter. I'd love to try it out. Except the flipping over into the snow part...that part sounds cold. Oh, and we have turkeys here too but have yet to come across any while driving. I'm guessing it would end in near disaster.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Two grand daughters here. One drove Dapper Dan and I drove Midnight. The other girl drove the golf cart. We had to pass cows! Luckily they just stood and stared. Midnight did well with the cart crunching gravel behind her, neighbor dogs running out, birds flying up, and the cows. I was so pleased with her. The two girls have played with the horses alot and Midnight really enjoys that. isabella driving DD.jpg
 

Marsha Cassada

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Awww Midnight! You have done a great job with her training. Looks like you got a nice sunshiny day too.
I was thinking my sister would come and help, as I was a little nervous taking Midnight and letting the girls drive Dapper Dan. But he is a furry baby sitter. The girls were wonderful with the horses! Midnight followed them around, and Dapper Dan didn't even hide behind the pond. Both horses lay down to sleep and allowed the girls to come and pet them as they rested. It was just what Midnight needed. She will miss them.
 
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