Driving Days Are Here Again

The amazing changes in recent weather are letting us get out driving again! Upper 60s yesterday and today are so nice to be outside in. The wind is a bit strong so they are “looky” but not too silly. Just walking to start getting them fit. Doing 4 miles, which gets us the pep step heading home AND past the farm gate, so is not rewarded with stopping! Ha ha They are quite disappointed with not stopping, but accept it and give us some more pep step when we turn around to head back. Changed back to the lime safety vests for visibility now that snow is gone. I wear orange against snow for better contrast. Lime is great except in fog and snow, though reflective stripes work well when lights hit them. But not everyone drives with their lights on all the time.

Lots of hair, don’t want to sweat them up too much, takes a while to dry when we finish. Starting to shed on some of them, but just a little despite all the sunshine we are enjoying. Muddy paddocks make baths kind of useless yet. They are all laying down to take naps, come in wearing body armor! Both ends of the barn are wide open for grooming so the wind blows the clouds of dust outside. Kind of hacked a couple bridle paths with scissors. It would be a waste of clipper blades trying to clip while so dirty. Bridles did fit better with the trim!

Have to dig out the leather reins. The Web reins catch in every breeze, pulling on reins and horses steer funny! Tails are getting longer for summer, but those forelocks are in desperate need of shortening. Way past their eyes, have to be pulled aside when bridled.

Made a couple wedge seat covers for in the barn. Should keep the cat off and no bird droppings while parked. I put them on when finished but husband did not notice until the next morning. Told him he is too focused on straight ahead. The covers are pretty bright, so at first he thought the sun was intense, lighting up that side thru the light panels. Nope, it was the golden yellow of the seat cover! Ha ha I may make another for the single horse carriage when we get it out to use. Good thing brown paper bags are easy to get for drawing patterns, each wedge sear is a different size.

I am not washing blankets for awhile, cold may come back to visit. Husband is considering putting rain covers on the driving horses to save grooming time. Good thing I have a full roll of Gorilla Tape for repairs!

Ground is still very soft. Last night’s rain might have taken some of the ground ice away, but there is still snow in the shady areas and on the east side of ditches. Many birds are back, songs are nice after winter silences. Seeing a bit of green on the fields, Daffodils are up to 4inches in 2 days! Have to get the leaves off the flower beds quickly! Kind of amazing how many leaves I get doing that. Fills the good size manure spreader several times! Leaves make good organic matter for the hayfields. Husband is sure Spring is here to stay, so he took off the tractor chains!!


I’m jealous! My field, which is my measure for many things, is just starting to melt snow on its northern edge. At 9 acres, roughly square, and directly east/west orientated on a western slope, it tells me a lot. No daffodils yet.
Mud, lots of mud. But the ice on the drive is gone, so I should see what happens when the new boy (all of 17 months) leaves the pasture/barn yard for the first time. I got him in December, on the day we got a storm that kept us snowed/iced in till now…We have time though, he will be growing for the next three plus years.
And the big boy, see if the harness still fits. A new one this winter, a Yankee D-ring measured for him. No jangly bits and better sized. The few times I’ve had him out in it he is much happier. I’ll never really trust him (he kicks) but I think we are getting somewhere good at least for pulling logs in the woods. A show cart, harness, etc those aren’t in his future, but they weren’t in mine either!

As usual, it’s opposite land down here. I just finished the Florida championship series. 3 CDEs across 5 weeks.

Current state: exhausted…

But we moved up to intermediate this year, and while we still have a whole lot to work on with this new USEF test, I feel like we are legitimate at the level. But today I’m just happy to have a 5-6 week break before the last event of the season in Tryon. After that, it’s back to the ridden stuff for summer. If like to get his breed award at second level this year…

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No driving for us yet, but the snow has almost all melted!! Crazy up and down weather, almost 70 yesterday and down to 30 today. Just below freezing for the next couple of weeks so it will take a while to dry up here. But spring is coming!! Ponies are shedding so thats a great sign!

I have sold one of my medium ponies to Florida and he left the other week. I also imported a yearling from Florida last week that we are hoping will end up a large pony and will be a spare for our pair. He is of our breeding and was sold to the US as a foal and I have bought him back. Poor guy I’m sure was in shock as he saw snow for the first time when he arrived the other week!

I was also able to lease out my other medium hunter pony so its great to see little kids on him.

I’m down to 2 ponies at home and I still have my 1 boarded out until the weather is more stable and I’m able to ride at home. We always get random snow storms in March and April, so I’m hoping to bring him home mid April or May.

We are not planning on any big driving shows this year as I doubt we will be able to cross the border. So I will be taking one my one large pony to hunter shows and we are going to be holding some Sportpony shows at our farm (line and under saddle) and will be adding driving divisions and hunter over fences divisions. We are really looking forward to this year and I hope to get our new yearling out to a few shows so he gets used to the show life! He’s a very happy, friendly little guy and seems to have a good brain. He stands 12.1h right now as an 11 month old and I plan on string testing him as soon as I get some help as I always seem to be alone. So fingers crossed for a good sized large. His name is Morton’s Caterpillar aka Diesel as we need “Cat” names for the sire and we use cars in their name as well, to indicate driving ponies. We named him after the motor in our new Freightliner as it has a Caterpillar motor and takes a lot of Diesel to get us to shows lol!

Can’t wait to get driving again!!


DMK, sounds like a busy schedule! Glad you have some rest time before your next CDE. Glad to hear of your moving up to Intermediate aND good results.

Diamond Jubilee, he is a beauty! Sorry, can’t think of any unique Cat names related to motors. Maybe pieces in their equipment line? Good luck with him in the halter classes.

We have got in more drives, they seem to get better with daily work. Still walking mostly, just a bit of trot work started today. Husband is also working the other horses in the round pen. They DO remember who is the herd leader! However adding in change from pasture ornaments, working, wind blowing, has them VERY lively! Since they still run over to him at the gate when it is not supper time, I must think they do enjoy the changes. Anything to escape being bored!

It has been quite dry here, so he has gotten in a bit of ring work with the driven horses, but no stamina, so sessions were short. Ring surface is fairly firm under the pneumatic tires, which is nice.

Also starting to let horses out on pasture for very short sessions, 15 minutes for the last 4 days. Moving up to 20 minutes tomorrow. Just a bit at a time, as horses regrow stomach flora to tolerate grass again. That takes a while, so no untimed turnout for at least a month or longer. They seem to be happy with just a little time out on the minimal grass. Most times they cooperate going back to their sacrifice area with me walking behind them. The 2 young mares sometimes need to be haltered and led back. Rather run around the pasure with their tails up! But they come right over when everyone else is gone.

We are getting them trimmed up as we go along. Shortened forelocks and manes, shoes changed to road studs instead of previous ice studs. I can see their stars again! Easier to get the right halters on the correct horse now. Ha ha Only one horse is shedding much. He is really itchy, leaving hair clumps on the ground after rolling. Add in the hair from grooming him that we throw outside and I expect to see a lot of horse hair nests come fall when the leaves fall off. Hoping we might be able to bathe some equines starting this weekend with temps up in the 60’s or warmer. Then we can use clippers instead of scissors on the clean bridlepaths, jaw hair removal.

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