Monday, July 28, 2014

Get To It

O continues to be endlessly impressive when it comes to her driving training. This girl is just the coolest cucumber on the planet. Nothing has phased her yet!

After two deserved days off (I was working long hours and it was over 100 degrees every day anyway), we got back to work on Saturday with a long lining session. O has worked in her blinders several times, but I wanted her to start to get used to the idea of going out down the road with them on. She has been down the road a million times, but she is a very visual horse and she likes to be able to see what is going on around her. I thought she might be a bit looky and confused, but I needn't have worried. She, as usual, was completely perfect.

The donkeys were extremely confused by a riderless horse, and they all ran around braying their heads off. She was quite unfazed by this, although at the first bray (which was literally about 15 feet from her, and LOUD), she quickened her steps a little. Aside from that, she was happy to walk, trot, halt and stand for as long as I wanted, and had a nice goobery mouth and a good walking stretch going by the end. 

On Sunday, I eyeballed her growing layer of flub overtop her muscles (I cut both girls back recently, as they're both looking quite round), and opted for a lunge workout to actually get her moving and sweating. She was unimpressed by this idea, and opted to poke along lazily. I actually had to encourage her to move forward... I hardly ever have to do that!

Afterwards, I let her have a nice roll in the sand. She stayed down for a little while rolling, and then looked at me with that "it's nice and cool and soft in this sand, do I REALLY have to get up?" look on her face.

"Ok fine if I have to."

Today we broke the tire back out for another drag session, only this time we did it with the blinders on. This is the first time she has dragged something while wearing them, so it was a big deal! I long lined her at the walk and trot for a little while, and then hooked her to the tire. She has gotten over her initial "wait, I can't walk, I am stuck to something", and now marches off with confidence. Goaded on by S, I put a little of my own weight on the tire, and let her pull that around as well. She didn't mind that either! There's not exactly a safe way to ride around on a tire, so that's about as far as I'm willing to go with that, but I think she's not going to have any problems when we actually put her to for the first time. She's just... easy. And easy is not usually the term I would choose for this mare!

And we of course can't forget old Pmare... the poor thing is miserable now that summer is in full swing. She roasts in the heat, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it. She is miserable in a stall, so I can't put her inside under a fan, and there isn't much in the way of shade in her pen. She can go into her shed and under her one tree to escape the sun, but she usually chooses not to. Instead, she just sweats. And sweats. And sweats. She is bleaching out all over, and there's not much to be done. I rinse her off at least once every day, if not twice, but generally by the time I turn her back out she is already sweating again. The sweat makes her itchy, so if I don't rinse her, she is itching her body all over everything. She gets elytes and has access to loose salt, she gets rinsed, and if she has any itches those areas get treated with my favorite herbal anti-itch spray, but beyond that there isn't a whole lot I can do. She also gets a good grooming every day, even though it is probably her least favorite part of the day (she likes to be a feral dirty animal). She's also rocking the bad scissor cut - she has all her whiskers and there's no point in pulling her mane, but I at least keep it trimmed with scissors to an acceptable length. I keep her tail properly banged too. She might be retired but I refuse to let her look like a scraggly wild animal!


  1. She's gonna make an awesome 3-day driving horse!

  2. I know nothing or less about driving, but it sure sounds like O is really taking to it. :-) Can't wait to see where you go with that.

  3. Once they get used to them the blinders can help focus a "looky" horse. Out of sight, out of mind.

    It sounds like she's doing awesome. Just be sure not to take too much advantage of it, holes can cause a lot of issues in harness.

    1. Don't worry, I won't! I'm too terrified of making this excellent attitude of hers sour, so I have no intention of going any faster than she is capable of. I'm all too aware of how ugly she can be when she has a bad association with something and I am keen to avoid that at all costs!

  4. Hey at least sitting on the tire if she did freak you could just roll off of it and you're already close to the ground LOL!! I'm glad she's doing so well. I agree with taking things slow but I'm so impatient to see how far you guys can go with this. It's all so exciting! I feel for poor Pmare. Chrome is the same way. I'm ready for summer to be over!

  5. I'm just loving reading about all the fun training you're doing with O. I know nothing about driving, so it's very cool to learn!