Archive for October 12th, 2009

The Long Ears Playday

amywink October 12th, 2009

I’m not telling Will what I did Sunday:
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I played with donkeys!

I made it over to Haven Hill to participate in the Long Ears Play Day event. It was cool and mizzley but the rain held off until the end of the day. I had a great time driving Sweetie and a very different experience than driving Will. When I admitted I owned a Morgan, someone suggested that I was “slumming it” with the donkeys! Hardly!! I found the donkeys to be extremely educational and very effective trainers.

Here’s Sweetie with me as “Whip” heading through the cones course at The Long Ears Playday:

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We look good here. But. One my first try through, I got my whip caught up in the reins and creamed 4 cones–and not just knocking the balls down either, I mean really creamed them. But thank goodness we got a second try and we went completely clear but were too slow to end up in the ribbons. I am, however, very very pleased to have come out clean.

Now, on the Timed Obstacle, I completely botched it. On our first shot through, I smacked right into a post at Gate C and had a challenging moment getting Sweetie to back up so we could maneuver around it correctly. Here we are coming around after our stop in our first attempt through.

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Then Tom gave us a second chance. What was he thinking? I got so caught up in my mistake at C, I headed in to correct it.

Completely ignoring Gates A and B.

Not once, not twice, but three times!!

THREE TIMES?????

But not on the 4th time. Whew. I made it through A, B, and C and got out.

At least I gave Tom another story to tell!!

There’s a lesson here about focusing too much on the mistake. I was so determined not to make the same mistake again, I perfected a completely different one! But, of course, as someone once said, if you can’t be a good example, try to be a horrible warning!

The afternoon marathon went well but when the mud in the Birdhouse Hazard made Sweetie make her own directional choice, we headed backwards through Gate B and were eliminated. Still, we whipped through Obstacle 1 and 3 with great times of 42 seconds! Pretty speedy for a donkey. I was pleased for both of us and we had a grand time.

Of course, the great thing about driving events are all the fun people and equines you get to meet. This event was no exception and Anna’s Missouri mule, Miss Millicent, had her “competition” debut in her new life as a combined driving mule, a far piece from the Amish community she had been working in before she was “discovered.”

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She loved it.
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Of course, “Cute” was in no short supply yesterday either. Here are just a few examples:

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But I think the Winner of Cute is this one: img_4139.jpg

Here’s the entire field after the exciting day of Longeared Fun.
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What a Little Rain Can Do

amywink October 12th, 2009

Lisa and I were determined to drive this weekend. We’d been on hiatus for over 2 weeks with high heat and then rain, rain, rain. This past week, she’d gotten over 6 inches of rain but we decided if nothing else, we could drive on the her road. So, out we went and had a great day. And we came home with evidence on our wheels:

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And here’s what the rain also did:

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All that green is the native ground cover called “Horse Herb” or Strangler Daisy.

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I have no idea why it’s called Horse Herb except the horses do find it tasty. It has tiny yellow flowers and bright green leaves and you can now buy it–or wait until it comes up in your own yard. If anyone knows why it’s named Horse Herb, please let me know. I’m curious.

The rain also made a nice new obstacle in our driving pasture: a water feature!

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So I started to teach Will to go through water. He didn’t much care for it but each time we drove by, we got nearer to the water and he didn’t try to bend sideways. Lisa got Windy to trounce through several times so I’m sure we’ll get Will to go in at some point! He did very well for facing a water hazard for the first time though.

Despite the mud, it was great weather for driving, almost chilly but not unbearably so. After this summer, it was wonderful to pull out my cool weather driving clothes and get going again. Unfortunately, the rained returned on Sunday and we didn’t get to drive with our Morgans. Maybe next week.