Saturday, March 30, 2013

the drive

Did I ever mention I have some awesome people in my life?

After yesterdays big fiasco, I had someone to pull me out of my pity party and another person offer to help me. So I drove myself down to Ohio and got some drive time with Beth and Art.
Art is a punk rocker! And Beth rocks!!
The first thing you must know about Ohio (and I really apologize), is that people from Ohio cannot drive a car. They are terrible drivers! Since I live pretty close to the Ohio border, I see a lot of drivers form Ohio. They will be the people going 50 mph in the fast lane (where everyone knows you go at least 80 mph in that lane). The second thing about Ohio that you must know is that it is boring. That being said, most of my experience with Ohio has been driving through it on I-75 to get to Florida or somewhere. 

I totally take back the second thing about Ohio! Sorry, Ohio-ans are still slow drivers, but Ohio is actually really nice! Just not on I-75. I first noticed Ohio being pretty is when we started going to Harry Hughes. They had some really beautiful "up north" trees. But my trip today really solidified how nice Ohio actually is. 

Beth's place was amazing! She had a pond, trails through the woods, and four funny Haflingers. I mentioned to her how I would never get anything done with four Haflingers on my property and she pointed to her house. The front window faces the paddock where the Haffies are and Bath said her chair was positioned so she could watch them! How awesome!

Beth got Art out and put his harness on him to drive. Funny how Art was the only one that did not mob us as we entered the paddock. The other three wanted lots of love! Watching Beth hook and set Art up made me realize that me and Shy still have some things to work on. Art cam move completely sideways, which turns the cart on its wheels, without moving forward. Shy always wants to move forward when doing this. And Art can stand perfectly still when he is all hooked up. 

We both got in the cart and Beth started driving Art all over the property. Art was forward and wanted to go, but he listened great and had an amazing stop. What a good pony! If you have never ridden in a cart before, it is a different feeling. Sometimes the first step is more of a lurch forward. . .this is where my body tightens up, which can be transferred through the lines to the horse. Because I do not have a lot of experience driving in carts, my body is still not accustomed to that feeling, so I tense. It is kind of like the first couple times riding a bike or rollerblading, or doing anything new where your body is moving in ways it is not used to moving. . .make sense? I am sure after a few  drives, I will loosen up from the get-go and be fine. Plus, driving with the big horses is different from the Haflingers.

After a while (and after I had loosened up and relaxed), Beth handed me the lines. Art seemed to know there was a transfer there and was very kind to me when I was driving him. He did not pick up speed when heading in the direction of the barn. He was so good. So good. I walked him all around the property. Then, Beth told me to ask Art for the trot. And I did. And Art was a super star! I really wish I got some photos, but I was so busy learning. And I learned a ton. 

I am so very grateful for Beth taking her Saturday to give me some instruction and let me drive Art. I needed that. And its cool that Art has a poofy, short forelock like Shyloh.

Friday, March 29, 2013

cause and effect

The Cause:
A regular garden hose
The Effect:
Can you find the damage?
Today was absolutely beautiful! Half day of work, awesome lunch with coworkers and a coworker who went to work in Pennsylvania and came back to visit. Sun, nice weather. . . what a perfect day to work with the pony, right?


I took my time grooming Shyloh and trying to get as much hair out of her as possible, while eating as little hair as possible. Then I hooked her up to her cart. I stood at her head to turn her around when the shaft brushed the hose. Shy felt it and lurched forward. The hose got caught and off Shy ran. And ran. And ran. And ran. She ran a million miles an hour with the cart behind her. She ran and bucked and was just wild. 

But Shy finally stopped herself and some other people at the barn caught her. I was shaking I was so upset. I didn't know if Shy was hurt, if the cart was totaled, if anyone else was hurt. . .all I knew was that the whole winter I spent working with Shy was gone. Gone. Damn, I could have spent all winter warm in my house and not freezing my ass off with Shy. And the cart needs to be welded and needs two new wheels.

After me and two other people checked Shy up and down, we concluded that she amazingly did not get hurt. No cuts, no scratches, no heat, no swelling. She will probably be a little sore, so I gave her some bute (the first time I ever had to use it with her) and continued to keep and eye on her. 

Then I had my meltdown. I cried. And anyone who knows me knows I am not a crier. I can't even remember the last time I shed a tear. I was beyond upset. I was going to have to start all over. At the beginning. After we had come so far. I sat on the ground crying while the people at my barn got my cart, brought my horse over, gave her some hay, and were just awesome. I love the people at my barn. 

With the meltdown, came the doubts. Doubts that Shy could be a cart horse or even a riding horse. Doubts that she can do this with me teaching her. Doubts that she will ever be a safe horse for me.  While I was wallowing in my pit of doubts, my crazy horse seemed to sense I needed cheering up and started doing this:
Silly. So hard to stay mad at her!
But I pulled myself together and my Shy work. I put her harness back on and took her line driving. I took her line driving everywhere she ran. She had no reaction. She was walking with her head down, stopping and standing when I asked, no problem steering. She was a little clenchy with her butt and when I dragged my feet she scooted a bit, but other than that it was like nothing happened. 
Pretty tail
Maybe there is some light at the end of the accident tunnel. Maybe we won't be put back quite as far as I thought. I have some great friends in Ohio, here in Michigan, and at the barn that are all willing to help. We might just get to that place we are searching for yet!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

shy's whorls

I may have a problem with obsessing over things. Lately that obsession is whorls. Funny thing. . .I am not sure why. I think they are interesting, but I am not sure if I believe all that they are supposed to mean. But I like to read and I have been reading about whorls.

Remember Shyloh's forehead whorl? Well there are many types of whorls. Her whorl is a simple whorl, I think. The hair doesn't swirl in a different direction, her whorl just seems to be the starting point for all her hair to come out of.

One very interesting thing I read in several different articles is how the forehead whorl is the first hair to develop and grow on the horse in utero, which could be why they are linked to behaviors.

Another fascinating tidbit if information was that whorls have been used for centuries to predict horses' behaviors and/or personalities. Ancient people had all sorts of meanings for different types of whorls on different parts of the body. This article (long, but quick to sort through to what you want to read) has a ton of whorl information.

In my search to find whorls on Shy today, I found this:
Large chunk of hair. . .gone!
What the what?? I never would have noticed if I wasn't searching for whorls behind her ears, her hair is so thick it covers it right up! I am guessing this is a few days old, hair is already starting to grow back in. Needless to say, I did not find whorls there. One area had no hair and the other was so thick with hair I can't tell if it is going in any opposite pattern or not. 

There are the whorls on her flanks. . .

I didn't seem to find too much on Shy's type of whorl. It seems to be longer than most and straight. Most flank whorls are curved in a "S" shape. A whorl that ends high signifies a lazy hind end and possible problems with tracking up.  It is hard to see in this photo, but the whorl does tip forward, which may mean that the horse will have to be pushed to use their hind end correctly. Interesting. . .

Shy has a big whorl under her mane on the crest of her neck. . .

Shy's mane covers this whorl. The article states that large crest whorls slow energy and contribute to a cresty neck. Hmmm. . . She does not have a whorl on the other side, which could cause her to be out of balance or not pick up that lead. The whorl on this side only could also incline her to turn or bend in that direction over the other. I will have to pay attention and see if this is true in Shy's case. 

And this one going up her windpipe. . .
Probably would have been easier if my horse wasn't a shaggy beast

This is a crested whorl. Folklore says that this type of whorl up the windpipe is a sign of good fortune and prosperity. Yay!

Right were Shy's legs come out of her body, she has whorls on both sides. 

The research I found did not have any information on whorls in this location. Unless these may be considered chest whorls, which they say are a good sign.

And I am pretty sure there is a whorl on her belly, right on the very bottom. This indicates she may have a bigger belly (ha!) and a lazy back. Shy may also have a swirl on her throat latch, which they say makes for high head carriage. . .but she does not carry her head high at all. 

There are lots of other places that whorls can occur on the horse's body, but Shy doesn't have whorls in those locations. There is actually a ton of information on whorls, from which side of the body they are on to how tight or splayed the whorl is to which direction the whorl is going in. Linda Tellington-Jones puts a lot of stock in horse whorls and wrote about it in a book (which I have not read). Temple Grandin has even studied whorls in relationship to horse and cow behaviors. 

Anyone have any unusual whorls on your equine? Or do you find that your horse's whorls correlate with what the article has found? I am really interested to hear about it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #81

Allie has been reading again. She reads this stuff on the inter web and then comes to tell me all about it. I try to tell her that if it doesn't have to do with hay or carrots, I am not really interested. But she just babbles on and on. . .

Her latest read had been on whorls. A whorl is the bit of hair on my face that grows out in a circular fashion. Every horse has their own whorl pattern and placement, some even have more than one whorl! According to the recent things Allie has been reading, the placement of the whorl may indicate horse temperament. Allie said she doesn't put much stock into that, but she is interested none the less. Here is what she has been reading:

Here is me:
I am a sexxy beast!
I am sporting my 80s hair do. I just need to rock some neon and have a Poison song as my theme and I am good to go!
See the resemblance?
Talk dirty to me. . .
Anyway, see my whorl? Higher whorls or more than one whorl may mean a more nervous animal and lower whorls generally mean a calmer animal. To test whorl placement you draw a line from the top of the eyes like so:
You wanted to see my poof forelock again
My whorl is pretty even with my eyes, starting like a centimeter below the line. According to the articles  I should be a "more even tempered animal with just enough spirit"  but my whorl is placed a teeny tiny bit lower, so I may appear lazy. 

Allie says that this is mostly true. When Allie is next to me on the ground, I am fine. It is when she rides or drives that I get a bit more high strung. Allie really needs to prove herself to me, then I will relax and let her have more control. 

So, horses, donkeys, and mules of the inter web. . .I am interested to hear what your whorl patterns say about you. Do these articles have any truth to them? Where is your whorl and how does it reflect on your temperament?
Tell me all about your whorl!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

horsey high

I am having a horsey high! Why? Because. . .

I drove Shyloh!! I had Ed there for support, just in case something happened and I didn't feel that I could handle it. But I did! And Shy was great. 

When I started out with Shy(line driving with the cart),  it was going bad. Now that we seem to have the stand working just fine, Shy has moved on to a new behavior. Typical. I had hooked her to the cart and she wanted to zoom backwards. What? I had to force her to move forward. Ugh. After we got moving Shy was tense and uptight. But eventually she blew out and relaxed. 

Ed had wanted to drive Shy again. He said she was a lot of fun. He saw her zooming backwards behaviors, so I looked at him like he was crazy, but agreed. Only I got in the cart, too. And I took the lines. 
Me, sitting in the cart!
Shy has a tendency to want to start out a little faster than I am comfortable with, but she slows down to a walk after a few strides. I had to relax my body and give Shy the lines a little bit. . .I have a tendency to hold on too tight. Ed had said that if she is given her head, she will keep a nice pace and there is no need to keep the lines tight unless she starts picking up pace or acting up. But she didn't, she was great!
The cat wanted to go for a ride, too
Ed also said one of the reasons that she acts up, besides being a mare, is because we walk a lot and she is bored. Which I figured. Shy does like a challenge. Trot is her gait. And with the cart, she does have a nice little trot/jog. 

I plan on spending the rest of the evening reveling in my horsey high! I am looking forward to many more drives with Shy!
Pony shedding

Friday, March 22, 2013

like a charm

I had sent Shyloh back to basics last week to get this whoa and stand down. For me, it needs to be perfect (or as close to perfect as can be) before I brave the cart. We spent the week line driving and just working on cues. 

Someone put these tires up and we used them as cones, weaving back and forth. Shy can turn a sharp corner. Her steering is not the issue, but it is fun to give her other stuff to do than walk aimlessly through the property. 
We had snow earlier in the week
The whoas are good. That is not the issue. It is the stand. The stand. . . After one particularly frustrating session of Shy absolutely refusing to stand still past one second, I was ready to give up, throw a fit, cry, or do something drastic. It was blow through the bit, side step left, side step right, pull forward, anything but stand still. All this from the horse whose favorite thing is to stand still!

Sometimes it is the simplest thing, the most obvious thing, that when you feel overwhelmed and in over your head that you just need someone to tell you to do. And Becky from the Ohio driving shows, owner of three Haflingers, two who are mares, was just the person to give it to me straight. 

First, I got the reminder that Shy is a mare. Yes. . .the "m" word. Which pretty much means that at every step of the way, every opportunity afforded, Shy is going to test me. I just have to come to terms with that and be prepared for it. Even though I know all about the sassyness of mares, I wouldn't trade it for the world!
Sass. . .never. . .
Second, use the whip! Always use the whip! The driving whip is used to act as legs. Well. . .since my whip got torn up by some unknown rowdy horses, I had no whip. The plan was to use my lunge whip and tie up the excess until I get a new driving whip. But, another boarder had found a driving whip that had been abandoned all winter in our tack room. I'll borrow that for now. 
whip it. . .whip it good
Whip in hand, I headed out with Shy. . . and ooh did we fight! Shy started her pulling forward then side to side movement. I tapped her on the side to straighten her out and Shy wanted to go forward. We dealt with a little bit of whip miscommunication before Shy realized that touch of the whip did not mean shoot forward. After we got that down, my pony was perfect! 

I could tell her whoa, then stop and talk to people without constantly pulling on my horse. It was wonderful! It was everything I hoped it would be. A whip will be my constant companion when we work. Shy got a ton of hugs, a carrot or two, then a quick shave of a heart on her butt. 
Shy loves this heart

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

good bye winter

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The first day of spring. . .
The shedding has begun
But where is it?

It is cold. It is snowy. It is rainy. It is muddy. But nice weather will be here soon enough. Right?

Looking back over the winter season, Shyloh's first time (with me) outside all winter in a herd, I would have to say that she did quite well. She did not lose any weight. She had no injuries. . .in fact, she actually had more cuts, scraps, and chunks taken out of her when she was stalled! She fits in well with the herd. And, Shy had this amazing ability to stay clean through the snow and rain and mud! Don't be jealous, those of you with mud rollers, but this was the dirtiest she has gotten so far.

And that was because I got her when she was still laying down. I think she normally gets a little wet and muddy, but then waits until the sandy ground dries and rolls (giving herself a sand bath like a chinchilla). I am grateful that I didn't have to deal with this, like my blog friend Martine!

Over the winter we have suffered through the cold to get Shy ready for the cart. We have had a lot of success and some drawbacks. I still don't feel confident enough with her to get in the cart myself.  I am considering finding someone in my area (if such a person even exists) to take a lesson or two and get some feedback and advice. We had to go back to some basic line driving because Shy decided she wanted to boot, scoot, and boogy with the cart. Her steering is solid, her whoa is pretty spot on, but her stand is awful. The only time she actually wants to stand is when we are near the grooming/finish area. All other times she wants to go go go!

The herd also has made some changes. A white Arab joined the herd, he stands firmly at the bottom. Jesse, Shy's good horsey friend/protector/assurance of food also left. I have noticed Shy seems to pick out one horse in the bunch who is near the top and hang out with that horse. Since Jesse left, Shy has got her sights on Lukas. I even caught them together on the other side of the shelter, where they could not be seen (ooh, la la). They are always together now and Lukas seems to have excepted her since he no longer runs her off food and I have seen them sharing.
I am not a fan of the fence. . .but what can I do?
Two other mares that I have seen Shy hang around have also left the herd. One went to another barn and one went to another pasture to be a buddy for a horse that was by himself. The herd is much smaller now. But even when it was bigger, Shy seems comfortable in the herd.

Spring goals include: driving the cart, a bareback ride (or two), attend the spring draft clinic, and continue working on trust and our bond. 

Spring wants (but most likely will not happen) are: a saddle and a work harness (so I can show draft instead of pleasure).

Oh, and 22 days until Equine Affaire!! Who is going?
What is everyone else's spring goals?
Happy Spring!

Monday, March 18, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #80

More torture. 


I hate pokes!

I thought perhaps something special was going on. Allie got me before my breakfast and took me to my own little pasture. I got to eat my hay in peace and not have to run any other horses from my food. Then the weekend feeder lady brought me a big bowl of my own hay and pellets! Yum! I was being treated like a princess. 
Of course it snows right after I begin my shedding
But then Allie took me out of the little pasture. And the vet man came up to me. I had to give him the once over/evil eye. I didn't like the way he was looking at me. 

He took this sharp pointy needle and stuck it in my neck. Ouch! I backed up at lightening speed, needle hanging out of my neck. He was trying to get blood, but I was not letting my blood come out. I don't think he got the needle through all my thick, needle protecting hair. He had to try poking me all over again. I was not pleased.

Then the vet man poked me in my rear! Ouch! I spun around, needle sticking out of my bum.  Then I played keep my bum and needle away from the vet man. This was slightly more fun than being poked numerous times and it was a sight to see. . .Haflinger running around with a needle sticking out of her butt! The day was starting out so good with special food treatment, but now it was ruined by being poked. He had to poke me all over again. As if that weren't enough, he went to the other side of my butt and poked me over there, too! I tried my best to keep my butt away from him and his needles, but Allie seemed to be on his side. Vet man did say one good thing about me. . .he said my body condition looked good and asked Allie what he did. At least afterwards, I was let back in with my food.

As I was angrily eating some grain, I looked up and by big, black, beautiful boyfriend was there. Notch!! I got to hang out with him, and squeal at him, and show my my lovely rump, and eat with him. We trotted around a bit, but mostly hung out standing. I also met Isaac, the baby, for the first time. Notch might have some competition in my love department. Clutch was there, too, but we don't get along that much. The super nice barn ladies gave us all a flake of really delicious green hay. They are so nice at this barn!!
That is Notch's bucket. We can share food, but he got mad if I played with his bucket. Even when nothing was in it!

After my big boys left and Allie went with them, I was running up and down my pasture looking for them. When Allie came back, I was standing, looking like I was not just running around like a nut. But one of the ladies told on me, darn her. I don't like to let on to Allie that I actually care about things. I got put back in my regular pasture with my herd and I plan to be a wild horse for as long as I can!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

stuff on facebook

Not about Shyloh, but I had to share. . .

Does this look like Shy's evil twin?
Other horse. . .
The lady I bought Shy from posted this to my Facebook and holy cow, she looks just like Shy! From the darker color to the poofy forelock! Even the blaze is freakishly similar! I can't stop looking. The description of this mare says she is about 13ish (too old), 14hh (Shy is 13.3), rides and works, seems sound. She has what appears to be an injury to the right eye, but with care may regain sight (??not sure what exactly that means.).

To me, her rear left hoof looks funny. I hope this girl finds a home that will take care of her. Click on the photo to be sent to the Facebook page of the place trying to home her if you are interested.  If my husband wouldn't kill me and if I didn't have more than enough on my plate with Shy, I would consider picking her up! Her and Shy would make a nice team. . .
Shy. . . 
The other thing I really wanted to share was this Exmoor Pony Stallion doing Horse Agility. This is something I would really like to do with Shy (along with the million other things) one day. It looks like fun and I think it would be mentally challenging for her. Enjoy Bear! And if you can't get enough of him, this pair has a ton of YouTube videos.
And I must share this video of a Expoor foal doing agility at liberty! The same woman is working with this baby. Super cute!
Shyloh does have a Facebook page where I post awesome stuff like this on a regular basis. I also post more photos of Shy (of course) and information on things that interest me like nutrition, horse sleeping patterns, herd behaviors, horse care, and things I find funny. Feel free to like it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

back to basics

After Shyloh got her hooves trimmed today, I decided that we needed to get back to basics. Her and me. 

First me. . .I know I let Shy get away with too much stuff. Her ground manners are good, but if she is given an inch she will take a mile! First, there is the diving. I have actually got that pretty much under control. She still dives (I don't think that will ever change) but with a medium-light tug on the lead rope she pops her head back up. Then there is Shy being mouthy. . .I don't mind it, she never uses teeth. But I also know it is not a good behavior. Shy has a habit of licking palms, I don't know why but she licks and licks and licks. Just palms. And she also uses her upper lip to check people and things out. A shove or two usually sets this straight. These are little things, but they add up. 

When we work in an arena, Shy is no dummy. She knows she can't walk through a wall so she will take it in her own hands to turn the corner when she feels necessary. Not when I tell her. I usually let this pass because, eh. . .we had to turn anyway. But I realize that is is part of the problem, Shy thinking too much for herself and not letting me lead her. Not that I don't love that she is a smart, sassy pony, but she needs to give me control and show her I am able to lead her and keep her safe. 

I also need to praise Shy more. She thrives on praise. I think I need to tape a sign to her cart to remind me. Sometimes when I am working with her, I get so involved and internal, I just plain forget. I must remember to praise. But along with the praise, I need to watch how I do it. When working on whoa and stand, I would tell Shy "good", then almost immediately "walk on". Ah-ha! So when I would tell Shy "good" for standing, but then expect her to keep standing, she was expecting the "walk on", so off she would go. 

On to Shy. . .we went back to basic line driving without the cart today. Shy needs to trust me more and know that I won't lead her into any harm. So we started in the arena. I kept Shy on the wall and made her do deep corners, turning when I asked her. We usually don't really keep to the wall either (bad equestrian!). Shy put up a little resistance to the corners, but I got her to hug that wall and turn when I told her, right in the corner. Every time she balked at going in the corner, I would back her and start over. Worked like a charm!

Then there is the whoa and stand. This is a sore spot for me. Standing is Shy's absolute favorite thing to do, unless she is in her harness. Like I said before, I think I figured out the reason Shy would not stand for a long time. My goal is to get her to stand and relax on a loose rein. We worked on this and it is getting better. . .not perfect, but better. 

Shy's turns are near perfect, she stops (but doesn't want to stand for long), and she seems to like what we do. But I think she is bored with just walking around. I think she wants to go faster. I think she needs more of a challenge. But I don't know what I can do for her. I took her out to the pasture with all the trees and worked on turns and going through less-wide spaces. She did excellent. 

In summary. . .it seems like I am the one with the most work to do! I need to step up to more of a leadership role with Shy and she needs to step back and trust me. More stuff to work on in the never ending adventures with Shyloh.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

say what?

Remember when Shyloh was driven all around the barn property? Remember when she was perfect?
Flashback to Sunday
So why, just a mere two days later does she act like she has never pulled a cart before? Why does pony torture me so?

I was told by the barn owner that Shy and I could drive in the big pasture. This part of their pasture has been closed down for the winter to protect the precious land. Currently, the barn workers are spreading the manure on there for pasture management (imagine that. . .).  So I dragged the cart to that pasture to work Shy. I had to go through part of the outdoor pasture to get to the big pasture. I figured the horses would leave me alone and be afraid of the cart. Wrong. They were so curious. Surprisingly, Shy was the first one to leave the herd and walk towards me. That is the second time she has done that! Shy doesn't run anymore, she usually stands and makes me walk to her. So this approaching me is something new. Anyway. . . as I was trying to open gates, maneuver the cart, not let horses escape, and so forth, I had a bunch of horses very interested in what I was doing. 

I got Shy from the pasture, put her harness on, then walked her through her pasture to the cart. I tied her to the gate and Lukas, Tony, and Rainy Day proceeded to watch us. Lukas must have figured out Shy was about to do work because he immediately began trying to untie her! Halfingers work together. . . 
Shy's posse
I put a stop to that and put the cart on Shy. She was perfect and I was having high hopes. . . which she almost immediately dashed.

Shy was listening pretty good, but randomly she would tuck her butt and scoot forward. For no apparent reason. It was frustrating. Each time she did that, I made her back up. We ran over a stick. . .tuck and scoot. Imaginary noise. . .tuck and scoot. Wind. . .tuck and scoot. None of this stuff had bothered her before. One time, over absolutely nothing, Shy tried to take off. I thought to myself hold on, no matter what you do, do not let go! If you let go, you will have to start all over again! Luckily, I was able to hang on and stop her. But what happened to my pony??

Eventually I was able to get a decent amount of work without any scoots out of her. Then we stopped. I was, still am, just so frustrated with her. She is always testing me. We have been working pretty hard core since November and I am still not confident in her ability to be able to drive alone. I see some people who drag a tire once, hook a cart to their horses, and off they go in a matter of a week or so.  This is just my little pity party and I'll get over it, but why does my horse have to be so damn willful?

Monday, March 11, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #79

You will never believe what I did. . . 
Look at me!! No header and all on my own! I was trotting and going all over the property, though the mud and everything.

Ed was driving me. Ed used to train Standardbreds at the track or something like that so he knows his driving stuff. 

The day was beautiful. I took my nap earlier than usual in the sun because I know Allie likes to come see me at nap time on the weekends. So by the time she got there, I was up and ready to go. Allie put the harness on me and got the cart out. 

She was a little upset by the state of the cart. The barn owner told Allie to put it in the indoor arena so it was safe from the elements, so that's where Allie was storing it. There is a pretty strict no loose horses in the arena policy, which basically means you cannot have horses running around when no two leggers are watching. But someone did have horses running around. Those horses ruined a radio, the walls, the light switch, my driving whip, and nibbled on my cart. Allie was not happy. But now there is a new place to store the cart. And the nibbles aren't too bad.

So after Allie's damage assessment of the cart, she hooked it to me. I was so good. And remember. . .I haven't been hooked to the cart in about three weeks! We practiced our whoas, gees, haws, and sharp turns. There were only a few times when I got a tiny bit scared, like when we were going through the mud but then the tire ran over some crunchy snow. Allie said easy and I was fine. The muddy roads had ruts and mud and slime and were kinda hard to navigate, but we made it through. Then, Seca, who owns Jose, said she would sit in the cart if Allie still drove from behind. That was okay with me and we gave Seca a little ride. Then I thought I was done. . .

But Ed asked to drive me! He said he has been watching us real close and I have been real good and Allie was doing all the right things. So Allie let him take control and off we went!

I was so super good for Ed and he even let me trot! Mud was splashing everywhere, but I didn't care, I was having fun! Ed said I was real good and real fun to drive and he would like to drive me again sometime. 

I was so proud of myself when we got done. All the two leggers at the barn are really great and were cheering me on when I was being driven. After, Allie gave me a bunch of treats, even more hugs, then let me eat in the Tunnel of Hay. Allie even got permission from the barn owner to drive in our pasture that we don't use during winter cause it is not muddy and doesn't have ruts. I am excited for Allie to drive me by herself. She has worked so hard and I was not easy to work with all the time!