Without any showing on the horizon, shit has quickly gone off the rails.
|you are now a driving horse.|
|and a western horse.|
|and a professional |
This was the first year ever where I A) set out a schedule all the way through to the end of the year, B) was able to have a sound, sane horse for that entire schedule, and C) didn't get distracted and jump into another discipline halfway through that schedule.
Clearly I'm making up for it now!
|has no idea what's going on. |
feels more cookies should be involved.
I've had this idea in my head for a good long time that Opie would make the cutest pleasure driving horse. I envision him in swanky brown and classy navy, though quite frankly he looks like a donkey in brown leather. Still. It's my imaginary vision. We'll work with it.
But I had a real, grown up show season to push through so while I kept the idea in the back of my head, I didn't so much as browse harnesses online. Then show season ended. And Hubby and I went to the fair and watched a bunch of driving horses, and Hubby--who has always wanted a horse that could pull logs (Yeah, I don't know.)--was like, "When are you going to teach Opie to pull?"
"Pull" in my head meaning a cart, not logs. I didn't bother clarifying that to Hubby and instead began the harness search in earnest feeling he was giving me his blessing. And by "in earnest" I mean I google searched harnesses for maybe half a second before going on craigslist, clicking on the first and only ad that popped up, and sent an email. The next day, for $25, I picked up a cheapo nylon pleasure harness with all the parts.
|way too ugly and janky to do anything real with, |
but for $25 and no cart, it serves its purpose.
I took my goodies to the the barn, spread everything out on a jump to make sure I remembered what went where (I taught Bobby how to drive as well for those newer to blog and wondering where the fuck all of this is coming from.), and then plopped Dopie in front of said jump and started getting him dressed. With a constant stream of cookies as I tugged and adjusted and flung lines around his body, Opie was perfectly happy to just hang out. Then I put the blinders on him and he was very confused. He raced in blinkers, and I've found in my vast experience (Read: literally one other horse) that that helps ease the way, and in no time he was like, whatevski.
I've also found that OTTBs have a head start in the driving world. That is, if they're well started. Also they're just better in general. #suckit A well started baby racehorse should know what ground driving and/or what long lining is. Was your OTTB started well? Try ground driving. Chances are they pick it back up in two seconds.
As was the case for Opie. He needed BM to get him walking for a step and then we were off with zero issues.
before the pole was attached he was steering all over
On Saturday I brought Hubby out. Hubby had made Opie his very own single tree despite me trying to explain that he will literally never need a single tree for a pleasure harness or cart. Maybe Hubby was faking ignorance because you do need a single tree to pull logs.
Spoiler alert: Opie is never going to pull logs, Hubby.
|safety first: don't be like hubby.|
|also did not care.|
It was really the most anticlimactic adventure ever. I would have attached him to a cart the next day if I had one.
WHICH BRINGS US TO.....
....no, I still don't have a cart.
I'm constantly going back and forth on the idea if I want to buy one before winter or not. Part of me is like, "YASSS!!! Finish what you started!!!" While the sane part of me knows that there's nowhere to drive on this property except the outdoor and during the winter even that option will be gone. So a month or two of driving in the outdoor, or having to trailer out to the park and then repeat the teaching process there. And I hate driving so the chances of that happening often enough to justify the cost of even a cheap cart--and you can get them for a couple hundred bucks around here--are pretty slim.
But I still kind of want one before spring anyway.
|opie says, is retirement an option?|
In conclusion, never take any training advice from me ever. My experience comes from getting an idea in my head and just doing it. There's a lot to be said for that mindset, but, uh, some of it probably isn't that nice. #worksforme #mightnotforyou