No blood or adrenaline required!
|September 12, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Today I want to tell you how it came to be that I hooked Farley up a cart solo and went driving all by myself. Which happened to be Farley’s second drive ever, 8 months after she completed her first drive ever.
It’s been awhile since Farley was last hooked to a cart. January to be exact. It just hasn’t worked out and for your sake I deleted 3 whiney paragraphs of how clinics were a time suck, and I didn’t have a second pair of hands, and I tried solo but it was obvious she wasn’t ready, and then there was that 50 miler, and pasture rest…You are welcome.
Even though I wasn’t driving, I wouldn’t say that time was wasted. In those 8 months I learned that tolerance is different from acceptance. Farley’s extremely high tolerance level is something I’ve taken advantage of without knowing it. So, I decided to give it another shot by myself since I could grow grey and old waiting for help on this project, and really pay attention to tolerance/acceptance and see how far I got. The answer? Actually quite far.
AMAZING. From start (harnessing) to finish (finishing up our successful drive and calling it a day) was only about 30 min, and she stayed soft and accepting the *ENTIRE time.
*(well, ignore the head toss at the start and at the halt. The first was flies, and the second is the bit I’m using. First solved through better fly spray, the second I talk about later)
Also, I’m not sure what new synapses in her brain developed in the 8 months or where she got them…but she magically “gets” how to move and push between the shafts in order to turn now.
And so I started noticing things.
Like how she wasn’t traveling straight and was over-flexed to the left. And even though she’s in a single jointed driving bit and she prefers a double jointed, she really doesn’t have to toss her head for the itty bit of contact I’m asking for.
So we actually WORKED on stuff.
We did serpentines and 20 meter circles and I asked her to travel straight. And it went well and she didn’t fuss or put a foot wrong.
I really really <3 this horse.
Next steps – I’ve GOT to get someone to check out how I’m harnessing to the cart before taking it out of the arena, or starting trot work (and Farley’s getting bored, I’m going to need to change it up soon). I’m experienced with pairs, but not a single and there’s some details that I’m unsure about. I also need to find a double jointed driving bit. The only one I have is single jointed, which causes her to be more fussy about bit contact.