Archive for September 20th, 2009

Sunday Drive

amywink September 20th, 2009

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Winter’s coming according to Will’s coat. Just this week, I noticed more hair on his withers and the little flaxen hairs running down the backs of his forelegs. In other years, he started to grow his winter coat in August but I suppose this year’s record breaking heat helped him hold off until almost October. Today, I could see the coat coming in on his neck, belly and back, especially after his post-drive bath, which he deserved today.

We did another 6K drive today–or 5.7K for Lisa. I’ve added some distance to our drive since we had to do some loops whenever Will began catching up to Windy. He enjoys driving with her but has no trouble leaving her or having her out of sight when we go on ahead. Today he did extremely well again and I found myself much lighter on the reins and getting a better response with less effort. He was very responsive and happy to turn left (YAY!) and drive straight–and my signals to do so are clearly getting much better. Both Lisa and I worked to be lighter this week since Jerry Hess mentioned that some horses can have TMG as a result of drivers holding their reins too strongly but, of course, we wouldn’t be doing that.

Oop! Noooooo.

And of course, we’re not doing that, especially because now we’re thinking about it all the time! Haha.

I’ve been reading my newest Driving Digest and I’m sure Andy Marcoux’s article, “Rein Directions Your Horse Can Follow” has helped. I also recently listened to Jeff Morse’s “Effective Communication with the Driving Horse” which I found extremely helpful. Now I think some of my reading is having an effect on my actual driving.

I also know that the consistent driving that Jerry O’Carroll kept harping on has paid off (you were right, Jerry!!!) and driving Will for several days in a row has helped me learn Will’s mouth as well as reinforce the hand movements I am making. Today, I could feel the lightest movement was all that was necessary for Will to respond and the results were delightful. He eased into a trot, turned left, turned right, slowed to a walk with nary an evasive move. We’re still working on the steady trot–he does a little head tossing when I ask– but we’re getting there and today his trot was more steady than not, with only a few hints of the turbo-charge that’s waiting there for whenever we need it.

We’ve been at Lisa’s about 6 weeks now and I think Will is very very happy in his new place. Today he did his “I’m a Morgan” pose before we drove and Lisa says he does it all the time. I think it’s because he knows it’s cute and might get him a nice cookie or two.

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And, of course, it usually does.

Head Study

amywink September 20th, 2009

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