Beth was kind enough to invite me back down to Ohio to drive Art again. I am happy to say I made it all the way down there without the use of a navigational device or getting lost. It's about time. . .I am only down there pretty much all the time.
So I made it to Beth's without a problem (and I have to remember to get gas in Ohio, much cheaper than Michigan!) and she got Art out. Art is one smart pony. . .he doesn't come up to the door like Curly, Leah, and Rambo. No. . .he seems to know that we were getting him for work and he keeps his distance.
I got a crash course in putting on the farm harness, since it is still new to me. I love how Beth has everything so organized, makes it so simple. Then we hooked Art up, added Skylar the most lovable dog ever, and away we went.
We were going for a drive on the Wabash Cannonball Trail, which was originally a railroad. It was very cool and very pretty. Most of the way we went had trees lining each side, which was nice at keeping the wind out since it was so pretty. Here is a map of the trails. . .we went from Section 2 to Section 7.
I had set one small goal for myself. . .it was not to jump out of my skin when we started moving. I don't know why, but that initial jolt always startles me. I am pretty proud to stay that I did not jump! Goal met! I also did not hold on to the side of the cart for dear life, either. I really think having Skylar in the cart helped. I can honestly say that this was the most peaceful and calm I have felt in a cart.
And Art was not making it easy. After we got in the cart, Art wanted to go. He almost ran into the trailer! I was actually really surprised at myself for keeping my composure. In fact, I wasn't even scared. Beth was driving and I was just fine.
After a while, I got my turn to drive. I was having a ton of fun! Art is really fun to drive. He did spook at one point when we were switching the lines and dog over, but I was able to control him, even though Beth tried to grab the reins. I trotted Art through an area that had no trees so we could get back to the trees, that wind was cold! Poor Skylar had to go in Beth's jacket. Good thing he is a little guy.
There are a couple spots in the trail that have holes that need to be filled. There was one that was right in the middle so the chances of either Art stepping the the hole (very bad) or the cart wheel going in the hole (not good either) where too great. So We got out to walk Art around the hole.
Well. . .the lines accidentally slipped under poor Art's short tail, he clamped (he clamps worse than Shyloh), then decided he did not like the feeling of the line under his clamped tail. He worked himself into a little fit as he tried to go and tried to turn and just tried anything to get the line from under his tail. Beth was able to calm him and fix it, but that could of been a potential disaster. Whew.
We climbed back into the cart, and I didn't even have a second of hesitation about that. Beth had him trot for a while to get his mind on something else, which worked wonderfully.
Then it was my turn again. We were cruising along nicely, when all of a sudden Art tripped and fell on his knees. He got up and wanted to take off, but I held him back and got him under control. Again, my heart was not beating out of my chest or anything. It was nice to not be scared. I took Art all the way back to Beth's, which included taking him on the road. When we got on the road, Art started calling for his little herd and picked up his speed, but was very good for me.
|Such a good pony!|
That really was the best time driving I had. I think I got some confidence from today's events. Art was awesome and even though there was a few things, I handled it well without being terrified. And I can't thank Beth enough for letting me have the opportunity to drive Art again.
After that, we went to visit Becky at the first Harry Hughes Circuit show. We chatted and watched a bit of a Western class before heading back. What a fun day!!