Archive for May, 2010

Finally, a spring drive

amywink May 1st, 2010

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April 24th was a success for our planned Return to Driving! The weather was lovely, cool and breezy, with clear blue skies and abundant wildflowers. The long break has been good for Will and he returned to work relaxed and confident. And I did too, though I can tell my posture has been less than perfect all winter and I need to work on that or suffer the consequences of back pain with every drive! Will’s put on a nice amount of weight and we’ve had to let out his girth about 4 holes. He’s not overly fat but nicely filled out and still firm in all the important spots. I’m sure he’ll trim down a little as we return to consistent work but for now I am pleased that he’s put on weight

After listening to the ADS Webinar on Conditioning the Driving Horse with Dr. Rich Forfa, we started out with a nice relaxed walking session. It took a bit of warming up make Will remember “oh yeah, I’m supposed to pay attention to you.” But he did come ’round, especially when we tried the new trails Lisa has cut through one of the pastures. Will definitely thought he’d better make sure to focus because he had no idea where I planned to take him.
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As usual, when we drove again on Sunday, he was much more responsive, though clearly a wee bit tired from our first day of walking. We’ll be trying to add a little trotting this weekend but hold off on adding weight for a while. He does seem to have a timer in his head, though, and at 50 minutes he’s ready to stop at the hitching spot.

These two photos don’t exactly do justice to this spring’s wildflowers but this certainly was a lovely setting for a Sunday drive:

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I’m really pleased to be getting back to driving. I’m setting up my summer driving schedule in my head and setting a few goals for summer:

1) Hitching: Currently Lisa holds him with a lead rope but we are making significant steps to hitching independently. Will stands very well (a major accomplishment) and we’re moving toward total independence

2) Schedule: consistent driving and getting back to a regular driving schedule. I also want to spend more time with the horses.

3) More Public Appearances: This spring was no conducive to driving in other venues but I want to expose Will to more events with other drivers and horses. We’ll be ready for the HOTMHC Fun Day at Lisa’s and planning on attending the Volunteer Appreciation Day at Plum Creek in early June.

I have a few other goals I’m mulling at this point but I need to let those ferment a bit before I post about them.

I’m hoping to drive today but right now, we’re under a thunderstorm watch and we’re waiting to see if any storms come our way. So far, everything’s moving north. whew.