Driving Ponies.

Tonya & Veronica came over Saturday evening. Sunday morning we took Jezebel (Welsh/Shetland cross) to Little Manatee River State Park and drove her for an hour or so on their trails. They have nice trials wide enough for a cart. Beka came and rode in the cart with us. I think she enjoyed the ride.

One place there was water on the trail and a tree across the trail. The soft mucky ground under the water scared Jezebel, but she used her head and made a nice tight turn for us to go back and try another trail. Overall a very nice trail drive. Tonya and I cleaned pulled up the mats to sweep out her trailer when we got back – She had carpenter ants, so she will need to have her floor boards checked.

Veronica and Wesley stayed at the house and watched movies together. We had lunch when we got back from the park.

After lunch, Tonya and I worked with Queenie. After she was harnessed and we put the PVC poles (cart shaft simulation). I ground drove and Tonya had a lead rope on her halter as well. Queenie started to be skittish so Tonya told her to cut it out and Queenie listened. We had a few more skittishness with Tonya not accepting her silliness. This was followed by a short successful ground driving session.

We practiced standing still. I did my typical routine of walking up to give her a treat and then walking around behind her and walking up the other side give her another treat as long as she stayed still.

Then Tonya stayed at Queenie’s head while I brought the cart up into position for hitching. We repeated this a few times and Queenie stayed calm with Tonya at her head.

I ground drove Queenie to just north of the drainage pond. Tonya brought the cart. Tonya headed while I hitched Queenie. When I got in the cart, and asked Queenie to walk forward. Tonya walked at her head initially and helped keep her to a walk. We walked and stopped several times with Tonya walking. Tonya walked with the long line as we turned S to go counter clockwise around the East field. Queenie stayed calm so we stopped again and Tonya got on the cart once Queenie was facing north along the E fence line. We walked multiple loops both counter clockwise and clockwise around the east and north fields.

There was one place that Queenie was balky. It might have been due to the soft ground. However it was near the NE corner of the east field which is a place that I have stopped Queenie when she did not turn when I first asked. Both times Queenie used her brain and walked and turned fairly sharp to get us out of a sticky spot.

I asked for some sharper turns which worked. We unhitched in our spot north of the drainage pond and called it a day. Tonya is going to try and get back over here for another training session in a few weeks.

A good day driving ponies.

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