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Willow Flats

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Today went so much better with Annie! Yesterday I was painting an arbor we just finished building to create shade for grooming and hitching and all the while I was thinking about things to work on with the horses and Annie's new rushing back to the barn. I don't know if you guys watch Barry Hook's You Tube videos, but I so admire the way he trains driving horses. He's a big but gentle guy and always calling them darling or baby while in training. Probably easier than to remember all the clients horses names! But one thing he always says is; "the horse needs to do what I've asked him to do, because I've asked him to do it." And I was thinking of all the special times with my horses when they didn't want to do something like cross a bridge or a puddle or whatever and that feeling you get when you encourage them to overcome it, or when they are frustrated learning something new like pivoting and you help them with it and they get it. Then I remembered watching a Barry Hook video of him schooling a horse that wanted to get back inside the barn with his buddy and knew this was something I needed to help her with too. It took a lot of half haltling and circling around the barn but she eventually walked up relaxed and we quit on a good note. I was so proud of her!
 

Cayuse

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My husband watches Barry Hook alot. The one thing I noticed about him is those horses are WORKED. This is not a criticism, just an observation. When I was having a hard time with Peanut "standing still" I watched Barry and when he worked on standing still, those horses were tired. So much easier to get them to stand when they are tired! So I revised my training and only asked Peanut to "stand" at the end of the drive instead of at the start of my drive and viola! Thank you Mr. Hook :) !
The traffic that guy drives in makes me o_O I'd like a Barry Hook desensitized driving horse of my own.
 

charlottein

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Hello everyone! I have been enjoying reading your adventures. I just had my first driving lesson, with the trainer who is training Chaos this month for me. We had a lot of fun with her experienced mare this afternoon, and are excited for our little man to come home and to drive!
 

Willow Flats

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Yep, he is all about training a safe driving horse!

Rocko did really well today! I had a friend picking blackberries at the back part of my property. They are so high and dense that she was obsured from view and her head suddenly popped up when I drove Rocko out there. He stopped and took a good look and I asked him to walk and he kept his eyes on her for a bit, but just soldiered on. My little buddy was here too, so I let her drive him for a bit too and she got to canter him, so now she's in love. She wanted to ride in the cart with me, but I'm going to wait on that until he gets fit. He is just plain squishy!!!!
 

charlottein

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We have had him 8 years, leadlined with my daughter when she was little, and since she grew out of years ago, we have been meaning to train him to cart. Instead we just enjoyed him instead! The trainer said he is really doing well, so that is good! Our lessons will just be this month while he is training, though I am sure we will want an occasional one after that.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I finally took Midnight out this morning before it got too hot. The first weird thing, was all the straps on the breeching were unbuckled! What the heck? Surely the grandchildren didn't do such a thing?? She stood patiently while I tried to figure out where the straps went.
We headed out and she walked so nicely. She was actually almost brilliant today. Just a couple of teeny shies at scary bushes and objects. There were a lot of big yellow grasshoppers, jumping on her head and shoulders. She just shook her head and didn't get upset.
On the way home, the neighbor flagged me down and needed help, so I had to hurry her home and end the drive. I had planned to do some poles and rock maneuvers at the end of our drive, but we'll save that for another day. Things are a little sere right now; a nice rain would be good.
july driving midnight.jpg
 

Cayuse

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She looks nice with the natural wood cart shafts.
I don't think mine would tolerate grasshoppers very well. Peanut MIGHT, but Cappy'd have a fit :)
 

Marsha Cassada

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She looks nice with the natural wood cart shafts.
I don't think mine would tolerate grasshoppers very well. Peanut MIGHT, but Cappy'd have a fit :)
I was a little concerned about the big grasshoppers, but she just shook her head and kept going. I hate those crawly feet and I thought she'd object, but she didn't seem bothered. What a good girl!
I was hoping the cows would be by the fence today, but I guess they were all in the shade somewhere.
Can you figure out why children would undo buckled straps on a harness hanging in the horse barn?? There is no other explanation; they were in the barn over the Fourth, playing with Midnight. That strap that hooks to the footman's loop is a dilly to figure out when it's removed. I'll have to have a talk with them when they come to visit next time.
 

Cayuse

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That particular strap is always a stinker! I always get the thing backwards. Same with the wrap straps. They LOOK so easy until you take them off. Your story reminds me of when I was a kid and cleaned a double bridle for the first time. Straps and bits and curb chains and reins everywhere. Thankfully Mom came to the rescue.
 

Marsha Cassada

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That particular strap is always a stinker! I always get the thing backwards. Same with the wrap straps. They LOOK so easy until you take them off. Your story reminds me of when I was a kid and cleaned a double bridle for the first time. Straps and bits and curb chains and reins everywhere. Thankfully Mom came to the rescue.
At least you had permission and learned something from the experience.
But it reminds me of when the harness arrives in a box, all mysterious straps and buckles!
No harm done, and it gave me a chance to brag on Midnight standing so patiently.
 

Dragon Hill

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Drove Que Paso for the first time this year. We were kind of miserable with the heat/humidity and the knats so we just walked around for about 30 minutes or so. I used my new crossties under the metal carport for the fist time. It was wonderful. She stood still while harnessing and hitching and for me to get in the cart for the first time ever. She enjoyed the carport, too. We worked on backing, pivots, turns, and whoa/stand. Her whoa/stand were crappy but her pivots and turning were great. We ran into an obstacle with a shaft end (at a walk) and I had to back and pivot her to get off it and she did all this without getting flustered.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Drove Que Paso for the first time this year. We were kind of miserable with the heat/humidity and the knats so we just walked around for about 30 minutes or so. I used my new crossties under the metal carport for the fist time. It was wonderful. She stood still while harnessing and hitching and for me to get in the cart for the first time ever. She enjoyed the carport, too. We worked on backing, pivots, turns, and whoa/stand. Her whoa/stand were crappy but her pivots and turning were great. We ran into an obstacle with a shaft end (at a walk) and I had to back and pivot her to get off it and she did all this without getting flustered.
What a good girl to deal with the obstacle so well!
 

Willow Flats

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I didn't drive today because I went to watch an HDT. I think I mentioned that the guy that brought all the minis to the HDTs in the past moved out of state, so there was only one mini competing today!

It was encouraging to see some really good driving and also how people handled it when things went haywire. I always like to watch the water hazard in the marathon portion. Some plow right in, others take their time and some outright refuse! One horse reared up and all 4 feet left the ground! She was not having it. With a full size horse the navigator can help you out when trouble comes and you get hung up on something, but when you are driving a mini you're on your own.😯
 

Marsha Cassada

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Drove Dapper Dan in a different area today, a neighbor's pasture. Pretty rough trail up to the pasture but he isn't bothered by that. We saw an old homestead with cellar and well.
He hasn't been his feisty self lately. Could be the weather, or his 24th birthday coming up. He seems fine, so it is probably just summer heat. Nice and cool this morning, though; perfect driving weather. No bugs (except grasshoppers.) We ponied Midnight so she wouldn't be left home alone.stan's pasture.jpg
 

Marsha Cassada

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Hard believe he'll be 24, he looks great Marsha. Have you done a mid summer clip yet? I just did my welsh pony yesterday. I was pretty hot and itchy afterwards, but he was cool as a cucumber.
No, usually I have to clip him in August but this year he isn't hairing up as bad. I'm keeping his head and legs tidy. I might still have to later, but so far he's okay.
I'm really trying hard to work on the weight on both of them; I hate to think what they'd look like if I WEREN'T trying...
 
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Willow

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I didn't drive today because a friend of mine called me for some help. She got a mini from a rescue and doesn't know anything about her background, but was told she is about 6 years old. Cute, sweet little black mare. My friend just found a mini harness at a garage sale, so I went over and tried the harness on her. She is missing a couple of pieces but I have an old harness here, so I think we can work it all out for training. Anyway, I put the saddle on her and fastened the crupper and she just stood there. So we attached the reins to her halter and I just started ground driving her. No issues whatsoever! My friend had some pool noodles laying there and I asked her to stuff one in the tug and she just marched on! I think she has had some training. This is a big time score for my friend and for me to possibly be getting another driving buddy!!!! I had invited her over a year or so ago to try driving. You just never know who you are going to convert!
 

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