Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trash cans, ATVs and Horses

It's Wednesday!!!

That means Rosemary driving training. Today we extended the road lesson from last week. Only this time she was hooked to the cart and we set out to do the entire length of the road Peggy's home is on, about 1.5 mi round trip. I walked by her head ready with a lead line.
We started on the familiar side road from the arena to the corner where we turned on to the main road. She had to deal with a downhill for the first time in a while. The initial contact of the weight of the cart on her harness breech strap made her a little nervous. Then Peggy settled her and Rosemary started to figure out what she needed to do, sit on her butt and step under. Next was an up hill section with a herd of horses at the top. The horses really got her attention, so I had to attach the lead line. As we neared the horses we heard the rumble of a speedy ATV. Peggy moved the cart to the side and had Rosemary halt as the ATV went pass. Rosemary could care less, she was too busy watching the horses. First couple of hurdles a success.
Thursdays are the neighborhood's trash day, so all the trash cans were on the street. Rosemary did not really look at those. She looked at the darker pavement and pot holes which might eat her. Well as we continued past the horses we saw another ATV coming. This time is was ridden by an adult who pulled over and turned off the machine. Again Rosemary did not have an issue with the ATV. The problem came when the driver restarted the ATV. With the blinders, Rosemary did not see the ATV and since she was looking a trash cans when it growled to life, she associated the noise with the trash cans. She spooked a bit, but settled quickly. After that she gave trash cans the hairy eye as she passed, but no more spooks.
When we made it to the end of the road, Peggy had Rosemary do a turn around. This turn made her cross over in the front while pushing against the shaft to turn the cart. Kind of like a walk pirouette. She did really well. All of us were impressed. On the walk back, we had three vehicles come from behind. Peggy kept Rosemary walking while two of the vehicles passed by, the third turned behind us. Mom and Peggy told her "Good Girl," after each and she twitched an ear like "What did I do?" She thought nothing of the passing vehicles.
Rosemary and her tired butt had to think hard about the big down hill, the biggest she did, by the horses. When she did put the pieces together the difference was apparent. Her back rounded, her shoulders lifted and her gait smoothed out. At the familiar side road, Mom took the reins to drive her back  to the arena.
Whew, I was glad I kept up with her walk. She was holding back though, so next time will be tougher. I took her to the barn and unharnessed her. Then I gave her a massage. She always shows her appreciation, yawning and chewing. Such a great pony.
The view when we came home. What do you think these two are talking about?


  1. glad things are going well with her trainging! absolutely stunning view for you to come home too. x

    1. Thanks, we are lucky to have her... and the view ;)