ugh! where does the time go? April and May were not full of driving adventures for me this year. Family responsibilities took front seat for the most part, but I did get some driving in never the less.
On Memorial Day I attending a driving clinic. My Gator "Alice" and I packed up Legacy, all her equipment, all our equipment and headed out. We settled in on Thursday with our first lesson to be on Friday.
Friday lesson did not go well. I could tell when I long linned Legacy that she was not happy. She was not her usual self, relaxed and willing..but instead tense and sensitive....so, we worked her a bit and decided that Sat's lesson would be without the carriage and in the farm arena, instead of the wide open spaces. Saturday's lesson brought to light a few problems I had been having.....there have been a few times Legacy did not willingly move forward....for a driving horse, that is a real problem! so....we went back to the basics and looked for hole in her training and a method to fill those holes. I have to work alone. I have no driving trainer in my area and sometimes I have questions...here Legacy is learning to stand quiet while I sack her out. In many clinics you will see the teacher wanting the horse to move. In driving the horse ONLY moves when asked to do so with your voice...so this is a "hole" we had in our training.
I have never seen a trainer ask a horse to walk and handle a flag flipping around their back at the same time. This is an exercise we did for a long while until Legacy accepted it.
Next...we worked all the previous exercises while she was wearing her driving bridle...as you can see, touching her tail brought a strong reaction...but we eventually worked through it.
I also learned how heavy and unschooled my hands are, so I will be doing lots of practice....both on the off the horse! I plan on building a rein board as soon as I can get to it.