Wednesday, February 1, 2017

1st driving lesson...

Last week I went to find/see trainers barn & horses, today was my first official lesson. I've never ground driven before, so that's what we started with. The instructors are Mother & daughter, they also have a facility in Florida they train out of as well. They rotate back & forth during winter, trainer daughter was my instructor today, Moms enjoying some sunshine. 
As we went out to pull today's pony from the field we talked about what I knew & wanted. Of course said pony was at furthest point in field, I got some excerise which is a good thing, the ground was pretty rutted from the horses, I only fell once lol. Lucky my knee hit snow rather than a water mud filled pocket!
Soooooo much to learn, she's a very experienced trainer and easy to work with. I mentioned my having ADHD, rather than the chuckle I normally hear when I feel it's a good thing to inform someone...her response was "that's perfect!"  Turns out she's a Special Education teacher so understands exactly how to work with ADHD!  Awesome!
We first went over each piece of the harness, what its called, what its job is...along with a few tricks. As I'll be driving Mini's who have itty bitty ears she also showed one  that comes in handy when driving trails or any open area...

She braided a bit of mane, tied a string in then tied it to the throat latch so should Mini manage to get the crown over their ear, it's still attached. My only picture sorry, I wanted to remember it. She also suggested I write about the lesson in a journal to help recall what I learned and possibly discover questions I may have. Soooo, that's what I'm doing right now lol
One thing that stuck with me is that one the bridle is on, I'm actually the horses eyes, basically a seeing eye dog. While I realized this to a degree, I'd never understood just how reliant & trusting they must be of their driver. 
Suzy, the pony was a bit over eager at first, they'd just had their first turnout after several days of bad weather so she was quite fresh. Somehow I kept sliding my hands down the rein/lines and ending up to far behind, so I learned how to slide back where I needed to be without twiddling the lines to much confusing Suzy my fumbling with my asking for something. Need practice on that. 
I really need to work on keeping my elbows softer, something that will be easier from a cart I imagine. My timing on when to ask then release is very good. about 15 minutes into the lesson, I could feel myself relaxing into it, of course Suzy appreciated this big time. After making multiple rounds in both directions in the arena, she decided to set up a line of cones for us to weave thru. I kind of fell apart there, I said "ADHD, kicking in!"  Trainer said, she'd thrown a lot at me for a first day as I'd been doing so well, so wasn't concerned about it. 
Bummed I'll not be doing another till end of the month. This could prove addictive!


  1. Curious, why doesn't the throat latch prevent a bridle coming forward?

    1. Good question! Perhaps she's seen it happen? She did specifically mention doing it when driving on trails, along with Mini's ears being so tiny. Maybe someone had the throat latch to loose?