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Getting harnessed up !
Click here for her follow up story
Well, we went to pick up Rosie on Thursday. We got there and Scott already had her up from the pasture and waiting on us. She looked wonderful. We started hitching her up and Scott was very thorough on answering all my questions that came along. She was a little antsy at first but I still realize that she is only two and this is all new to her.
Once we stepped off, we started up the lane and took a right turn around the edges several fields separated by patches of woods. The first being a part of a strip farm, farming vegetables with planted rows covered in black plastic with some edges flapping in the slight breeze. She did not bat an eye. So we continued at a slow leisurely walk entering a soybean field, there we moved into a slow trot and trotted her out a little, she was so responsive and was very attentive. I definitely was in heaven.
I was amazed at the massive size of her rear from my viewpoint. The rhythmic swinging back a forth. The reins in my hands, my horse listening to me and the quietness of the area made for such a wonderful drive.
At one point, we stirred a large buck from munching in the bean fields, his head popped up and he bounded out to our right with great springing leaps. Rosie just kept a nice pace and seemed to go her way with ears pricked in the buck's direction.
I backed it down to a walk and we came upon an area that is normally a creek bed but is dry for this year. It did have a steel culvert partially exposed but mostly covered with dirt and gravel. It made a huge racket as Rosie's shoes clunk, clunked (for those of you Rosie is a draft and would not go clip, clop) upon it as we crossed, she stayed her pace not rattled.
We got to an area that we could choose to go one of three ways, at this place Scott had me practice several tight turns. I was a little light on asking, not exactly sure what was expected and thru instruction I started to realize that we were expected to turn a figure eight basically keeping the cart within a specific area. His point was that the shafts make full contact with her and that she did not panic nor complain but to be obedient to the commands. From that point we headed back to the farm and I was just enjoying every minute of it.
Now that we have her home, the work really begins. I am planning on purchasing harness and cart when I can but until then I will just spend my summer merely and safely walking behind my girl, her getting used to me and vice versa. I have bridles both open and with blinders, surcingle and reins. We also have a set of false shafts as well as a skid and tree to work with so I guess we will spend the summer teaching each other where our strengths and weaknesses are. By the time we get all the equipment, we will probably be old hat at a lot of it.
I'm happy, can't you tell, pics are on the shots page. I have been ground driving her ever since, I'm exhausted but in the best way, finally sat down to let you all know.
Click here for her follow up story (latest update as of 2/29/12)
Meadow Acres Farm
14488 Weeping Willow Lane
Brandy Station, Virginia 22714-2344