Yesterday I started line driving Shyloh again. I want to get her really solid at it so the kids can line drive her at the Plow Days event in November.
Given our past experiences (line driving has never been an issue, just things with wheels), I opted for an open bridle. I had also discussed this with Beth in the past as a possible option for Shy.
So, I grabbed a bridle, a surcingle, and a pair of long lines and got to work. I wanted to use her French link snaffle bit instead of the driving bit to start and I didn't want to change bits out on the bridles I currently use. I had a hunt bridle that I picked up at a tack swap a while ago for no particular reason, so I cleaned it up (I had a spray bottle of Absorbine One Step Spray Leather Cleaner and Conditioner, which I do not recommend, by the way) and used that.
Shy was ready to go! It was like we never even stopped any driving practice for a year. She remembered gee and haw, she responded nicely to my cues, and she was calm. I think the open bridle concept may have been a part of the calmness. I did have the ever present issue of her not wanted to stand still, but she had improved on that.
There was one spook, but it was a justified spook. We were going down a pathway between a barn and a pasture. Someone just turned a hose on and Shy was right on top of it when it sputtered with water. She did a small jump. Then it sputtered again and she completely turned around. Not my favorite reaction, but better than bolting. The lady apologized and turned it off, but I told her to keep it on. We would get over this. Once Shy realized it was just water coming out of a hose and not a cobra on the attack, we kept moving and Shy never gave it another thought.
|Pony likes this bit, we got a foamy mouth!|
We had one more sticky situation, and that is when we walked past the tacking area and Shy wanted to be done because they were feeding. I had to tell her, "If you put one hoof on that cement. . ." Luckily she didn't and we were able to walk past that area a few times without a fight.
Overall, I am very pleased with my pony! I plan on getting a couple more good lines drives with her then having the kids practice. Maybe I will be able to drive her. . .maybe.