Tuesday, December 18, 2012

got shafts?

I went to the barn in order to get everything ready for our big debut tomorrow. I can't leave work as early as I would like, so I don't want to be in a time crunch. Eh. . .I am having anxiety, but Shyloh proves every time I get all worked up about stuff that it is no big deal to her. 

I got everything ready and I still had some daylight left. What to do. . .what to do. . . Work on line driving, of course! I decided to be brave because Shy has been extra awesome lately and got the shafts out. I was going to put them on her before a practice line drive. 

Shy got her harness and blinders on and I showed her the shafts. I got the usual white eyes, but I am starting to think that is all for show. . .like a few of Shy's behaviors. She set herself up to not move an inch as I touched her sides with the shafts and let her know what I was doing. She did not care at all. I put the shafts in the tugs (which is a bit difficult by myself) and Shy stood there like a champ. Then I realized I forgot the bungee cords to hold the shafts up in the back. Crap. . . I improvised with the lead rope. It worked just fine. 

I grabbed the lines and off we went! The shafts were a little too far up and way more bouncy than they will ever be with a cart attached, but Shy just kept trucking along. She was unfazed. I proceeded to do a happy dance in my head. Shyloh is coming along so well! As we were walking along, people at the barn kept saying when are you getting a cart? and you need a cart for that horse! All in due time. . .plus they have never seen her step off with a cart attached! Yikes!

As we were coming from alongside one of the barns, a feeding bowl came flying over the fence where the pasture boarded horses live. Shy spooked! Her scare spooked some horses being ridden in the outdoor arena. It scared me! I thought one of the horses kicked it over or something. But someone had threw it over. Shy's spook could not have been more perfect, as far as spooks go. She jumped about two feet sideways then froze. She didn't bolt or even try to, my lines never tightened! 

After that we kept going. Shy must have known it was close to feeding time because she kept trying to point herself back in the direction of her pasture gate. When I tried to move her away, she went into statue mode. So I backed her up and tried again. And backed her up and tried again. And backed her up and tried again. I told her she better give up because she was not about to win this fight. And she did. We set off in the opposite direction from the gate she wanted. 

Once more, I decided to be brave again. I asked for a trot. This was the first time I asked for a trot with the shafts on. And once more to my surprise, Shy trotted without a problem. She didn't keep the trot at first, but once I got her into a nice trot I asked her to walk then whoa. Perfect!

I gave her a ton of praise, then let her go eat with her herd. I am so happy with how good Shy is doing! I have been doing the happy dance in my head all the way home from the barn and will probably continue into tomorrow! I didn't get any photos today, but here is Shy with her troll hair.


  1. I imagine Shy is just as proud of you. I can just hear her telling her friends "it took awhile but, the two legger is beginning to work it out"!!

  2. "LIKE"

    It sounds like Shy's doing nicely, although I don't think you've documented her step off with a cart so I'll have to take your word for it. She's still learning though, everyone can't all be child prodigies like Mitch. (I kid, it took lots and lots of training for the Mitchster and I'm glad it wasn't me doin' it) Shy'll get it, just you wait and see.

    Heh, I hear ya on the barn buddies asking about carts, although for me it's more along the lines of "when do I get a ride"

  3. Big debut tomorrow? Have I missed something?
    Just caught up with you for the last week. Apart from your work woes, it sounds like everything is going great!

  4. Great controlled spooking Shy (sure there's an ounce of mule in there somewhere?!!), and trotting with the shafts - definitely worth big praise :-)

  5. Doc used to show the whites of his eyes at everything. Randy (you'll meet him in today's post) does the same thing. I almost think their eyeballs are just set in their heads differently, or something!

    It's great when a horse reacts that way. Yay, Shy!

  6. Where's the love button? This is huge progress! It makes me want to go out and line drive Dickie right now. Maybe after I go to sleep for the day.....

    1. It's fun! Something different. I am the only one I've seen at my barn line driving. And people are always interested!


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