Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CJ - Day 8 - His First Passenger

This guy (girl?) was sitting above our bird feeder on the weekend watching the chikadees...

Well, it's really a shame that I didn't have the camera rolling for yesterday's session, because my dad went for a good ride around on the tire today, courtesy of CJ. We hitched him (CJ) up to the single tree with shorter traces so the single tree was closer to his heels, and then attached the tire on a rope. I took the reins and my dad led CJ at first, because we were heading for new territory: the long driveway from the barn to the house.

As CJ seemed to be comfortable, and my signals seemed to be effective, Dad dropped back and had a ride on the tire. CJ wasn't sure about all that extra weight (oh...did I say all?) but I talked him into going forward with a few taps of the whip. At the house, Dad took the lead rope again and we did big wide figure eights in the parking lot. CJ kicked at the traces as they came against his leg on the corners, but after a few laps, Dad was able to fall behind and I steered him through the figure eight with no more kicking.

I talked to one of the local teamsters last night for general advice. According to her, the most important thing is the whoa. "When you say Whoa, it means Whoa before even one more step, because that one step could be your life." Note taken!!

She also agreed with training CJ in an open bridle (one without blinders over the eyes). She told me of a runaway that happened with an old steady Percheron who had never (ever!) seen the vehicle behind him. The driver hopped out after the ride and for some reason took the bridle (with blinders) off before unhitching--the horse saw the cart and took off, blasting through three fences and demolishing the cart. And guess what else. Another rule is Driver In First, Out Last. But this driver's daughter was in the cart! Thankfully, she was fine. These are all good lessons for me to learn from!

One last thing--don't try this at home! If anyone is planning on following my training method, you should probably wait a year and see how this all pans out before you trip on the heels of my mistakes...

No comments:

Post a Comment