Wednesday, September 25, 2013

over the hills and through the soybeans. . .

I missed my pony while I have been working, schooling, and interning. I think Shyloh may have missed me, too. Just a little bit. She was super sweet to me, but at the same time, it felt like we were starting over. She was a little jumpy but got over that pretty quickly.
Back to smiling!
I planned to take her fatness out in the fields with the sled and some weight. Just like last time. Jaime was going to bring her new sled and Notch. Sleds. . .we are so ready for snow!
We are true Michi-billies!
I harnessed Shy up and saw just how dirty my harness was. Yuck. . .and with a show the next day, yeah, it needs to be cleaned. I also added some bells because I guess it is hunting season? We had been hearing guns go off.  I hooked up the sled and led Shy away by her head. Hmmm. . .she felt like being quick today. I walked her all around, including on the driveway to get her used to everything. 

Then it was time to go out back to the fields. I took the lines, stood behind her, told Shy to walk on, and she turned around and faced me. We had a mess of horse legs and traces. I fixed Shy up and repeat. Okay. . .I went back to Shy's head and walked her down the path that leads over the creek. Once we got to the path around the soybeans, I tried it again. And again, I ended up with a turned around horse and a tangle of traces and horse legs. Well. . .it appeared that Shy felt she needed me at her head. 
Is that crazy to think like that? That perhaps she feels more comfortable with someone at her head? Like she needs the reassurance?
Notch and Jaime are waiting for us. . .
We walked down the path, Shy pulling the sled with the bags of bedding for weight and me reassuring her. As we walked, I fell further and further back, took the lines, and started line driving her. Success!
Go Shyloh!
We had a blast! And we even trotted some. Shy was really good. She was listening well and I barely had to even use the lines. Good pony!
The field
Once we made it out of the field, I was tired from running behind Shy. I am way way way out of shape. And since she was being so good, I thought it would be okay to sit in the sled and have Shy pull me. Shy didn't mind, but the sled did and it broke. So much for a cheap $10 sled. Shy handled that fine, too. 

Then Jaime suggested we hook Shy to her sled and give it a try, Notch was tired anyway. Sure, why not? I took all the precautionary measures (tapping the sled for Shy to get used to the noise was most of what I did), sat in the sled, and asked Shy to walk on. Well, she quickly realized she was not pulling as much weight as she was used to pulling, took a hard right into the soybeans (Notch was blocking her path), and tried to run. I was not about to let her. I stepped off of the sled, planted my feet, and pulled back. Shy pulled harder and I went flying through the soybeans. But then she stopped. She actually did not go far.
We flattened the bean. . .oops.
I unraveled her from the traces, once again, and line drove her out of the beans and back to the sled. As soon as she saw it, so refused to go near it or even look at it. So I had to walk her up to it and by it until her feet slowed down. She was not truly scared of it, she was just being a jerk and trying to get out of working. I can totally tell the difference. 
I got mad and frustrated, but since we ended on a good note, apples for everyone!
So even if she did not do exactly what I wanted her to do, I made her do something that she did not want to do. We pulled that sled, but I compromised and walked next to her. I wanted her to do something, but I didn't want to push her past her limit. It worked. We will get there. It just may take forever. 


  1. Maybe have Notch pull his sled full of hay with Shy following behind? Rather like the proverbial carrot in front of the horse? Just kidding really! What fun to have friends into the same thing as you. Shy is bound to improve by leaps and bounds I'm sure.

    1. Notch was in front of us. . .that's why Shy detoured into the bean field. I am really hoping this winter will be a good one as far as working a sled and pulling weight.

  2. I like your idea of hitching her to a plow and doing some real work. There is nothing like a wet collar to really work the bugs out:)

    1. I think Shy would do really well with farm work and in a team. I would love to get another Haflinger and work them together, but that is not int he cards for me at this point.

  3. Oh Shy ! Well when you are doing it right you do look beautiful ~ what can I say lol

    1. She really does. We will get there. . . or somewhere. . .sooner or later!

  4. Like the dancing donkey said! Load that sled up with bricks and stone and make her pull that sucker! Ha! Bet she won't take off with that lot!

    1. I have discovered Quikcrete, the stuff you mix with water to make concrete. Bags are small and weigh 80 lbs each!

  5. This makes me miss riding around the soy fields with Ozzy back in the day...


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