Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week of harness work - 'sitting' to the RAC trot

This week, I have been organizing my driving equipment. I built some new harness racks so I can keep track of my stuff better. This busy-ness was generated by the fact that I have been fitting loads of different horses and ponies to harness this week - in addition to updating their training and hitching quite a few for the first time.
I will add as an addendum to my 'RAC healing' post.. if you recall ... I mentioned a catapulting exit from my easy entry (easy exit ? ) cart a few years back. Leading up to that for some reason I experienced a couple of scarey incidents.. some injurious, some just scarey, the worst of which was a pretty well smashed up collarbone. That made me much more skeptical of driving - which in turn I knew translated through the lines to the horse. I was finding excuses not to drive. Where once a little mishap made me laugh and giggle.. it got so it was making Denise's PIT seem SMALL !!!
I can't tell you how many people I meet who want to start driving because of their age or aches and pains... I never want to dissauade or frighten.. but driving is not safer than riding. This was a big year for me in terms of driving though.. along with my hours in the saddle.. I did a lot of driving and I am back to being addicted to it !! Now I can never decide ride or drive ... yikes ! :)

This is OYY HummingBird - a 12.1 hand pony mare who is so smart -- I just love her ! She gets a lot of that natural intelligence from her dad and mom.. both of them ride and drive. Her first time pulling the cart.. what an adorable pony.

Here's a photo of Dad (Chip.. aka the Big Man) from late fall 2009... he was instrumental in getting me back in the cart with joy and confidence. As you know from a recent post about our logging hours - this man will pull anything.

And OYY Niue also -- with her steady patience.. has helped me back to my love -- I have been trotting up a storm all over the countryside with this sweetheart -- you may remember the sleighing post featuring this mare- she's another who loves to pull and her joy is so infectious :) She could teach anyone to love driving !

From this past week - OYY Fiona.. one of my best loved mares sired by Chip. She pulled the cart once or twice a few years back. This is her first time back between the shafts and she did great..but she was born to drive, again with her genes. She's wearing her Mom's harness - which she shares with her maternal sister.

OYY Beowulf was fitted with a harness this week. He becomes a yearling next week... but he's not too young to start pulling something light. He went down the road, saw some traffic.. what a curious intelligent young man.

We stopped and chatted with a neighbor or two while we were out and about.

Now - take a look at this adorable fancy little harness I picked up used. I knew someday someone could wear it !! I don't have a collar yet.. but we tried it on for size anyway. It's covered in shiny studs, has heel chains on the tugs - so we can pull a log.. or maybe a stick anyway. :)

HummingBird showing off some of her very beginner turns -- what a good girl ! She went down the road - what a delight.

And here's handsome Beowulf.. down the road - doing this and that. He'll be pulling in no time.

I hope I did not frighten anyone with my stories.. because there are more good times than bad with driving. When you have a good horse in harness you will LOVE it ! So try logging some of your RAC hours behind the horse as opposed on top for a change of scenery :)

Enjoy ~


  1. As a fellow driver, but one with MUCH less experience than my friend Betsy, I must say that I totally agree with her that driving is NOT safer than riding. And I also definitely agree, IT'S A BLAST! I like my horse to trot while driving. It is really exciting to "fly" down the road behind your horse's tail!

  2. You inspire me Betsy! I wish I lived near you so I could watch you train your ponies to drive! I have a medium size pony that I really want to get driving too (she is two this year). I see you work your youngsters as well - how much time would you put on that yearling for instance?
    Keep up the stories - I love em!


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