Driving In Town

Sunni, photo by Julie Gilbert

Sunday, August 22, 2021 —(Tonight, August’s full “Sturgeon” moon will rise nearest to earth.)

My experiment, taking a horse and cart to drive in one of the city’s quiet neighborhoods, didn’t entirely go as hoped. The drive did occur on pleasant streets, and my horse (Sunni) behaved well.

An advance awareness of several elements had given me pause. Sunni would be faced with a spot of pavement going over a rushing canal. She’d also pass a property with llamas and another with goats. Sunni handled those episodes well, looking and pausing, but like a champion responding to reins and my voice.

We passed a couple of properties with parked horse trailers. There, folks offered thumbs-up and smiles.

I didn’t anticipate the loose dogs. In that relatively quiet neighborhood many folks were walking their dogs. They grabbed their charges, quickly leashed them, and smiled. But my sense was one of creating discomfort. Also, the quiet streets had loose dogs, some with their owners in yards, and all eager to chase and bark at a horse.

Sunni is accustomed to dogs, won’t unnecessarily behave aggressively. But the experience made me aware that about wheels dogs know zilch. We found that a loose dog barking at the horse will chase, staying behind just enough to become caught by a wheel.

Now, unfamiliar city neighborhoods will drop from my attempts to extend our adventures. Experience is teaching me that driving a horse is a better experience in more rural neighborhoods. Mine is good and so are some farther east.

I left the driving cart loaded in the horse trailer. Today, maybe I’ll drive Sunni in a rural city park with rugged territory and less-known except to nearby residents. Public places usually have entrances partially blocked to prohibit vehicles and allow foot traffic. The park that’s on my mind might accommodate a cart.

Well, that was a first experimental out-of-the-area drive! It’s made my quiet residential neighborhood seem more fine for routine driving, to ensure fit, well-muscled horses.

Dear Friends: Our outing landed big wins, too: loading, unloading, and using the cart. Diana

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