Pausing For A Crossroad

Saturday, September 07, 2019

The horses and I will be taking a hiatus from what’s been our weekly routine of crossing the mountains to attending driving training. We’ve learned much and now I’ve a strong sense that what’s needed ahead is much more driving practice, and right here on neighborhood streets. We will become more competent by working repetitively on details, like walking, stopping, trotting, and turnings at corners or to make circles.

Those were worthwhile travels to our trainer’s facility while hauling my horses, tack, and associated equipment. Armed now with excellent beginner and technical training, we’re headed toward a “next-start”. The possibilities ahead are exciting, maybe they’ll include competitive showing and pair-driving.

My horses are in great condition with appropriate weight and muscling. Sunni is easy and pleasant to drive, just needs fine-tuning. Rosie needs more experience being driven on paved and populated streets. It’s that she’s slightly hyper-alert, which requires “more handling” than Sunni needs. While driving either horse (and especially Rosie), I concentrate on keeping the communications easy by making sure my fingers aren’t too tightly holding reins, and by consciously keeping my shoulders relaxed.

Much communicating occurs through the reins and a driver’s attitude. Sunni’s ears easily cock backwards and listen to me. She’s so easy to drive that sometimes I must avoid drifting. To do this, I keep muttering words that amount to something like, “Good girl!”. While Rosie also listens, she’s equally tuned to another voice–the one in her head. In time, she’ll learn to trust and settle more. Time, practice, and patience will encourage her ears to keep turning my way.

Dear Friends: It’s a two-way street, the horses train their driver to work better. Diana

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