We got to go driving on Monday, before the snow arrived. It was a great day, NO WIND, temps up about 36F, felt warmer. Most of the snow had melted away from the week before, roads were dry.
So we got out horses, had to do some head clipping to get bridles to fit correctly. Just haven't done any manes since last fall, been slowly letting halters out a hole here and there! Bad Horse Servant!!
Anyway, found some neck under the messy hair and got short bridlepaths cut, then shaved off the goat hair on sides of head, under the jaws and they DO have nice heads again!
Decided we had enough time to do both Pairs, just short distances. The one gelding came in already warm from sunshine, damp at the skin. So no long drives or any speed. Walked them two miles, which seemed to be just right for them being eager to go and not sweating them up because they mostly still are longer haired.
Was REALLY nice to be outside behind the horses, going down the road again. Got lots of smiles and waving from the passers-by, guess we are a sign of Spring!
We are getting some driving in, but it's indoors. For the past few years we've been moving from the farm to the indoor spa for Jan-March. Helps the farm owner who vacations in the winter months and since the indoor owner is a driver as well, we are allowed to use the ring through the winter. Having moved everything over, it's kind of hard to find excuses why it's too cold or whatever, so we actually get a fair amount of drive time in.
Last winter was Cooper's year to stretch himself and grow. This year Alex has discovered self carriage and has a lovely springy trot to enjoy.
Nope, not much going on here. I think I've driven 4x since Thanksgiving. Work, weather, I really don't wake from my winter coma until about now.
Have just started long lining my driving horse though. Now that my horse and I have logged enough miles and experience to be (mostly) safe and sane and no longer a menace to society, I have the freedom to think about other things finally Stepping up our long lining skills and learning how to develop better self carriage (both of us), and learning how to better control my horse's shoulders, are the goals for this year.
Other goals this year are to really learn to how use the whip properly and drive one handed.
I also finally plan to use him for a little light farm work in a few weeks, lightly dragging the paddocks. I think we'll both get a kick out of it, he's a very 'helpful' horse that likes to be a part of things.
I have not been driving as much as I would like. I don't have an indoor arena, and we had a rough start to winter (not very cold and very little snow until a month or so ago). I did drive my pair to a cutter just before Christmas as we had some snow. It did melt and we had a big storm a month ago so I was able to hook them to the cutter again. But I think I only drove about 4 times....I have been doing some riding though and as soon as some of the heavy snow melts, I want to start to long line my coming 4 year old again. My goals are to hook him to the carriage this year (I was planning on doing it this winter but its either been too windy, too cold, too mild or too much snow!!). I do have some dressage shows planned with him and a few driving shows planned with our older pair. Hopefully this snow melts soon and we are able to use our sand ring again! Can't wait
Not as much driving time as I'd like. We've had GREAT weather, sunshine, warmth, dry footing in the pond arena where I'm allowed to drive my cart. But I just haven't been hooking up. I did drive about 2 weeks ago, but I partly blame my work day, I have time in the afternoon to ride, and it seems easier to just throw the saddle on and go. With driving I have to have a process of harnessing up, taking my horse over to the arena, putting him on the hitching post while I uncover the cart, pull it into position in the arena, get the horse, hook up and drive. And then unhitching is the opposite steps.
Seems to take a little more time there, and I still have to muck and feed. So... riding time has taken precedence on the weekdays.
I was going to drive this last weekend, but dilly dallied on Saturday, and went riding with someone on Sunday. I have had a few barn buddies ask me if I have been driving, but nope.
Maybe this weekend. Sunday's my birthday, the pony would have just turned 14 on Saturday. We could celebrate by going for a drive.
Last edited by dreamswept; Mar. 2, 2013 at 12:23 AM.
Reason: Typos, ewwww ... durned mobile autocorrect.
I've been pretty lucky this winter--I've been able to get my pony out on the road at least once a week most of the time, and sometimes we've been able to go both weekend days. This weekend, we're in the perfect situation of a good size snow a few days ago, but it's gone from the road. So the road is still a bit softer than usual but not mushy. My pony loves these conditions.
I can't clip him at all because he lives outside with a shed that he can choose to use but hardly ever does (my mare, on the other hand, is queen of the shed). We still seem to do OK with him not getting too sweaty since it's usually pretty cold when we go out.
Heaps! Summer time here - and its been long and hot. Too hard to jump the big horses so the driving ponies are getting a good work out. My little pony is getting keener and keener about his work. Dressage is better every time and he loves the cones. He's worked out that he needs to go between the cones and can canter most of the course now.
Talking of clipping - even with the summer, I end up clipping him every couple of months. He's got a very dense coat.
I am suffering from Driving Withdrawal hardcore. I looked back at 2012's log-calendar, and Chewbacca and Luke got their first drives on February 5!!! They were working consistently right from then on, and I was driving the tandem just a week later, too.
Here it is early March and there is no ETA in sight as to when my boys are going to see the shafts again.
I have been wanting to take advantage of some decent days and get out for a 2 mile walk myself with them, but I always spend about 2 weeks ground driving before I hitch up the first time. I missed a beautiful day last weekend, just because they haven't done any ground driving. They probably would have been fine, maybe with a little run around in the round pen, but the barn /work areas are snow covered, potentially slippery, and I just didn't want their first hitch to be without any pre-work.
So, now I am just watching the weather like a hawk! Can't wait until I get them up and running, although, normally it isn't until Mid April that they are driving.
I am SOOOOO lucky to live in California. And my horses are boarded at an amazing facility. Worst case scenario, we get to drive in a huge indoor arena. We have a huge outdoor and lots of trails on almost 200 acres. On the down side, I never have an opportunity to pull a sleigh, which I think must be a lot of fun. Actually, the horses are about 2 hours away from where I live, so I only get to srive 3 days a week, but they go in pasture every day.
I've been driving all winter! Having off the month of January in between semesters helped a lot. Mostly, I moved my pony to a new barn in a much quieter area, and, after five months of ground work, he was ready to hitch! This was in mid-November, so nothing was going to stop me from enjoying my pony. I usually have a passenger with me to huddle against on colder days, and use his heavyweight Rhino for a lap robe. Last Saturday I got in a five mile drive in my new easy-entry road cart. Still, I can't wait for spring.
Saudi, well, I did for a while. I loved it ! It officially got me addicted into the multiple horse world. I did actually retire half my tandem, so I don't do it anymore. But someday I want to get pairs going, or even a 4 up. And I would love to get another tandem together when I get the right set of horses.
I am just now counting the days until I can get the horses back to work. With the longer days now, at least I can get some long lining time in to start.
I haven;t been doing much driving since Nov. Both Looker and Zanzer were driven by friends in a training distance ride/drive of 15 miles. I haven;t been able to get in a cart since the end of Oct. I was on a cane for a couple of months, am now in braces when I walk---both knees blew out on me at once. Long story there, but I able to ride my TWH with no problems but getting in the cart hurts to even think about!!
I need two new knees and will be doing that in the summer , at least one knee. I finally got in the cart with both braces and although I paid for it afterwards, Z was so happy to be out. This was a couple of weeks ago. It has gotten to the point when I walk in my barn, my TWH mare runs and the two arabs run up to the fence and talk as if to say--pick me pick me mom!!! Poor ponies.
Looker is permanently grade 1 lame with a hitch in her step. So her days of competiting are over. But she still will go down the trail happy in her trot.
I have sold off most of my driving gear, my CDE stuff, or it is out on consignment. Sold my presentation wooden road cart just ac ouple of months ago to a gal with a welsh pony and she loves it. Glad it is getting used, it was just gathering dust.
From 4 carts and 1 marathon carriage, I have only my ahonen woods cart now. But that is plenty for me. We are going out on Saturday to drive again. Z is bouncing around already when I told him. Looker has a fan in a friend who likes to take her out and drive her occasionally. She took her for month in the fall to condition her for the training ctr.
So Idon;t drive as much as I used to, but still enjoy it. I get my cde fix from volunteering at the big ones, but I don;t miss the stress. I retired in June and am loving the slowed pace in life.
So glad to hear from you Cartfall, though it sounds like a rough winter. Glad the horses are happy, even if they think they need more work.
Of my friends who got new knees, they love them now that therapy is done. No pain doing stuff they enjoy, including riding and driving. They all say "do your therapy, and do it often!" so healing goes faster and knee settles in. Not easy, but such a big improvement in their daily living.
My one knee is a bit stiff, probably need "a lube job" according to the Orthopedic Surgeon I use. Injecting fluid to get things smoothed out in movement again. Tore the cartlidge and had surgery the old-fashioned way, before they did arthroscopic stuff. Knee has never been painful or able to predict weather, which is what I heard back in those days. I would STILL give it a 10, does everything I want!
Best to get in and get it done, so nothing gets withered and unable to be repaired. Just heard about two ladies who waited too long for getting shoulders fixed, now nothing can be done for improving them. They just kept putting it off. Fixing it back when problem was diagnosed, 4-5 years back was still possible, before tissue pulled back and deteriorated to it's present condition.
So nice to hear from you. Congrats on retiring!! Drop in again soon.
Yay! I finally got to the first drive of the year!! I was out ground driving last week in 22* weather. When I got to the barn Saturday morning, it was around 28 and sunny, plus with no wind, it felt really warm. In fact, I took my jacket off (of course, I had 2 long sleeves including a turtle neck and underarmour and 2 pair pants and gloves and a head cover, ,lol)...
I was "just" going to ground drive, but I decided I wasn't go to freeze if I took them out for a little jaunt, so I hitched them up and off we went.
First out was Chewbacca trying out his new EuroCollar for the very first time hitched. (he long lined in it earlier in the week). I LOVE that collar. Granted, it is designed a little more for a low-draft vehicle (I have a meadowbrook), but Chewie seemed to really move forward a little easier. Maybe it was just early-spring forwardness, or maybe it was that he liked the collar. Either way, I loved how he drove. A nice easy 2 1/2 miles pretty much just walking with only a little trot, made a great (and surprisingly warm) first drive of the spring! And even though he hadn't seem them in 4 months or a little more - he passed the farm down the street with the 3 donkeys, 12 sheep, and 6 goats and 2 annoying barking and jumping boxers pretty darn easily. Not too shabby for the first time out this year!
Next up was Luke, but since I had an engagement a little later in the afternoon, time was running short. Plus, since Luke went into grain stealing mode all winter, he's .... well..... a little rotund (I had to buy a bigger girth!), and not in shape. So with time running short and fitness on the list of things to be desired, Luke got in a good 1 1/2 mile walk. Luke's plan for the next 6 weeks is walking drives until he loses some of his chunk, and goes back to being the slim and fit hackney we know and love
I sure do hope the weather holds out from here! Next week is looking pretty sharp!
Made my day to get back to driving. I ran out of time to drive Jesse, so I'm hoping to start him back during the week, or next weekend.