I'm slowly very, slowly getting better at harnessing on my own. Remembering the sequence, which buckles to slide home, which not to as some you want to double check once in the shafts, making adjustments if another horse had been used in this harness, tying the hold backs to the cart...I do tend to remember something I'd forgotten last lesson but, then reverse & forget something I'd previously remembered!!!
Once in the cart Fred & I warm up both directions at a walk, just like riding. This time there was a line of cones in the center & we were joined by another student with pony Inca.
We were to drive the cones weaving in and out. I told myself "just like weave poles in dog agility. It of course isn't but, telling myself we've done this hundreds of times already was just the ticket! I was totally relaxed as we'd travel down & back, do a lap, down & back another direction rinse & repeat.
I'm figuring out how to ask Fred while remaining soft for turns, nothing like all the yanking, pulling & yee hawing you see in the movies. You'd think (I thought) the distance between you & the bit would mean some loss in communication, while the opposite is actually true. The slightest wiggle of a finger is all that's needed! I do still attempt leg cues on occasion! Still doesn't work though lol
As we're doing this, cones are being set up along the walls, off to the side of cones we were weaving...Now we're weaving & driving thru cones AND giving one another plenty of room to work in the arena at the same time. After several repetitions, I mention "this is so much fun, I can't imagine doing this at speed!"
Instructors laughed saying "oh, you'll be doing more than imagining it!" She disappeared, returned with a helmet, hopped on behind me saying "ask Fred to trot!" OMG, WHAT FUN! A few reminders to look the direction I want to go, look at the outside cone when taking a corner, she talked me thru the first set, then let me do the decision making on our course. We were weaving, going thru cones, making turns to give other driver & his pony room, changing direction! I didn't even hit a single cone. I was so intent, I didn't realize Instructor had jumped off. She & her Mother were standing together watching & talking while Fred & I raced about. I should mention that Fred loved it, he was ready to have some fun.
We slowed to a walk to cool down, I simply couldn't wipe the grin off my face. Both Daughter & Mom instructors then came over. They said how they're both amazed at the progress I've made in such a short time. I told them Fred made it easy. They said I can use Fred one more time if I'd like but, both felt I'd graduated to driving another level horse! I hadn't realized when I'd changed horses I was actually moving up. I'd just assumed the previous lessons horse was out in the field! LOL