Archive for February 5th, 2011

Best Laid Plans

amywink February 5th, 2011

Winter is upon us and despite my plans to get back into a driving routine, we have been thwarted by the weather. This week it remained below freezing for 70 hours and the last bit of those hours were marked by actual snow. Of course, it wouldn’t have been enough for sleighing, but it did keep me indoors except for brief forays to take some photos for evidence.

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It’s not Chicago, of course, but an inch is pretty much all we get in Texas so we’re impressed.

The ‘Arctic Blast’ kept me from seeing the horses too but I did get a drive in last Saturday, before the temperatures plummeted. We headed down in the morning to check in on Windy, who is making excellent progress in her training. Lisa had a chance to see her driven, and also ride along. I was on Photographer’s Duty!

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Doesn’t she look lovely?

Once we got home from the visit, I got Will out for our first drive since our lesson (and another lesson for me) I’m still working on the new hand position but I like it very much. Because I’m used to the reins slipping, which is not correct, I’m working out feeling like I have too *much* tension on the reins, which is correct. Unlearning can be a challenge but I am getting more comfortable with the new hand position and Will is adjusting accordingly.

We had a few discussions in which he expressed some concerns about my intent, and a few frustrations with my expectations. But we worked it out pretty well and he eventually decided he’d do as I requested–though it was clear he was slightly annoyed that I’d gone off and learned something new that involved him doing something more challenging. img_9340.jpg

I have noticed several significant improvements. I had been driving from the center of the seat to alleviate the heavy right hand issue I have had in the past and because I couldn’t seem to manage even tension on the reins. But I moved the seat back to the right so Francine could ride alongside during my lesson and on my drive last Saturday, I hadn’t yet returned it to the middle and found myself up and ready to go before I noticed it–since moving it involves a loud ripping sound of velcro being disengaged, I decided to just drive from the right. And to my surprise, and pleasure, I didn’t have the same issues any more. The new hand position, combined perhaps with the year and a half of driving, has made a difference in my contact from the right. Additionally, since learning the new hand position and the corresponding whip position (holding it more upright toward 11 o’clock), I find it much easier to manage both. So far.

The weather will delay my next drive until next weekend at least–and who knows what the weather next weekend will be exactly, but Punxsutawney Phil promised an early spring, so maybe we’ll miss more cold weather and get back to driving! My goal this spring is to make it to the Heart of Texas Morgan Show in April. Here’s hoping for that early spring!!