First Drive of the Season!

Weather is beautiful today. Got lots done outside, including a walk down the road! I am not sure which took more time, cleaning off muddy horses or the 2 mile walk! Ha ha They were filthy, from the skin out. Ignored legs, no big mud lumps hanging off. Shortened manes to about 4 inches, cut bridlepaths, will shorten forelocks tomorrow. After curry ing there were BIG clouds of dirt rolling out the door from blowing them off with the vacuum.

We used the older horses, hoping they had no “frolic” left to make things exciting! Had to let girths out a little, but otherwise everything fit fine. Hitched them up and off we went. I used my new “PLEASE PASS WIDE AND SLOW” sign on the back. It seemed to help. Though everyone was very courteous from both directions. Unfit horses, so the drive was all walk, did 2 miles. They got out their big walk after turning around at the corner heading home, kind of a surprised them when we went on by! They then just moseyed until we turned around again to return home. They speeded up again, just reaching further every stride. No attempt to trot but we got home quickly!

They were a bit damp at the skin but no sweat. Hair was all laying down when the harness came off. A very nice way to spend part of the day.

Husband is considering putting rainsheets on the driving horses after baths. He thinks it might save a LOT of grooming time working them daily. Have to see if the weather will hold. He took off the boys winter studded shoes. I also got my garden beds raked off because the bulbs are showing. Now weather will probably send an ice storm! Ha ha

Oh wow!! How exciting! Spring must be on the way :slight_smile:

We had some really nice weather the past couple of days as well, but still have a lot of snow to melt. Hoping to be able to get out driving again in the next few weeks.

Husband is going up north a bit snowmobiling this weekend to finish off his season. Then will put away the sled and bring out the carriages and ponies.

I have been able to ride all winter at an indoor so I have been lucky! But no driving since last fall so I do miss it.

I totally don’t blame your husband for wanting sheets on your guys. Mud is no fun brushing off at this time of year!

Good for getting your first drive of the year done. We have had a lot of rain so my driving has been limited to walking and focusing on correctness. It feels good to be back in the cart. I had trace clipped my donkey but last Friday I decided to take it all off of her. :slight_smile: Of course we’ve had 3 days of cold, wet weather so she’s in her blanket.

And so the seasons flip! And if it was me, it would be sheets AND a trace clip at the very least. Our winter is not so affectionately known as the mud (red clay) season and it sucks. It sucks even more this year given it is 75 days into the year and we are at 23" so far. And guess what? The next 10 days are expected to be like the last 10 days. Rain!!! At least March has just been rain, not flash flood epic rain. But hey, I’m sure tornadoes are up next. Fun times

I was entered in Black Prong in 2 weeks, I decided to pass on the two CDEs in NC in April and call the season finished after Black Prong. But as it turned out they have all been cancelled so my season is … over.

I think all of us southern drivers feel at loose ends right now!

Saturday I woke up and realized I didn’t need to do fitness, interval or weight work and didn’t know what to do with myself. But that didn’t last too long, I made my plans, I’ll keep driving through March, working on dressage, medium/collected trot and canter work but on a really light schedule (comparatively speaking… why we might only work for gasp 30 minutes).

In April it will be a mix of riding and driving, gradually moving to more riding by Mid May (we have the Southern Drive in early May so I want him to stay moderately fit for that). Last year I only drove 1x a week in the summer, a 1 hour walk drive with maybe 10 minutes walk trot transitions and it worked out great. This year I may keep it at 2x a week, with 1x a week working on cones gymnastics. I have a (can’t wait!) presentation carriage arriving in lat April (fingers crossed) and I’m a little freaked out by some other friends who had a learning curve when moving away from their marathon vehicles in cones, adapting to the new width, feel of driving blah blah blah, so we are going to practice like voting in Chicago - early and often!!

Living vicariously thru you @goodhors :lol:
Sounds like a perfect 1st Drive :love-struck:

I light a candle daily in my Please Do Not Roll in Mud shrine.
So far, running about 3 mudfree days to every :dead: Why? Why, did you bread yourself?!!? day.

I have not driven since Fall either.
But I visited my Mennonite carriage guy in Nappanee with my Club yesterday.
He demonstrated making a wood spoked wheel, from start to hand-pinstriping on a carriage he had for sale.
Dropdead gorgeous back-to-back, back seat cleverly concealed in a HUGE spares box.
Back seat brought out kinda like a turnover GN hitch, leaving ample room for a large picnic hamper, spares kit & etc.
Priced well (I thought)for the pony-size demo @ $3700. I asked, & mini size would be roughly the same price. Demo weighs ~350#, so mini maybe 250?
Now I need:
*A GoFundMe to buy this Loveliness
*Another mini - for a pair, so Bugs won’t be overworked pulling it :rolleyes:
*Someone to retrain my now-20yo Hackney Pony as it would be perfect for him :winkgrin:

Pipedreams, anyone?

Might get out again today, sunny but cool. Ground is getting firmer too.

I got all the blankets and rainsheets repaired during the last couple cold days. Gosh there is a floor in the sewing room! Ready if husband wants to wash and cover several horses to save grooming time as they move into work. Also ready for the young mare going to the trainer, who insists horses are covered to save grooming time. Using a new repair method, fast and easy with even big rips. Seems waterproof too. Have to test on the horse to see how well it holds together in daily play and rolling. Just too cheap to give up on a blanket that MIGHT be saved! Ha ha

Glad you can get driving too SLW. Nothing feels as good as getting out with your equine! Poor donkey, cold last night had to be a surprise with hair gone! Having a blanket was good. We got a bit of snow. Melted in the sunshine. Body clipped longears do seem much easier to keep groomed, cooler in work. That harsh coat holds the dirt, won’t lay down, gets wet instead of shedding water. They only seem slick, shiny, for about 24 hours in the heat of August! Then winter coat starts coming in again!! Ha ha We had a mule with “that” hair issue, so I sympathize.

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They really do have a thick, course hair coat. It’s amazing how slick and nice the longears look once you remove the coat. :slight_smile:

Thought I would just add onto this post. Still early! Husband is back to working horses with warmer days. Round penning 5, and we have driven the younger Pair 3 days. They seem to be enjoying the work, come right over to get worked. Pretty boring here being still on the sacrifice paddock. The Pair are a bit lively even after round pen time, working on being even together, getting a flat walk together. The arena has a slope to it for draining, so it is a little harder pulling uphill on one side. Using the vehicle with rubber tires with air so it rolls over the wet spots easier. They are not fit so sessions are very short. Takes longer to harness than he gets in driving time!. Ha ha

They are shedding, really dirty from so much rolling, but still nippy in the wind, no baths yet. Temps SAY 60+F, just does not feel like it. Only 2 manes left to shorten, don’t look like escaped Thelwell ponies anymore! Tails are back down to the fetlocks again.

Husband has also been busy scraping paddocks, made big piles of mud, which has dried somewhat. He also laid a new drain tile and connected the tiles under the roundpen, so it would dry for using it quicker after rain. He covered the tile with paddock mud/dirt. He made it a thick layer and filled in some low places in the paddock where roundpen is located. Took quite a while because he had to use the smaller tractor. That size was more agile fitting in tight spaces putting dirt where he wanted it, less weight on softer ground. Downside is it can only move small buckets of dirt. MANY trips hauling wet dirt. Looks pretty nice though, just needs some rain to settle more.

Sorting in the Carriage shed and tack room, found some things I wanted, not finding a couple others “I know i put in there!” Almost ready to put blankets into storage, that will give me floor space in the tack room. Finding mice tracks all over, they had an easy winter. Cats are hunting but there are a LOT of mice and voles. I think I will just set traps, might be a faster extermination rate. Had to throw some old rags away, chewed them up. Should have put things away better.

Flowers are blooming, everything is going to be open for expected cold weather next week. But they look very cheerful at the moment! I am trying winter sowing, set out some bottles with flower seeds. They are OLD seeds, may not sprout, but worth trying. Will do tomato seeds with the next empty milk bottle.Got my soil samples taken in. Maybe I can get fertilizer on the pastures soon. Kind of odd with retired husband home now. I think every day is the weekend!! Ha ha

Flowers are blooming!

Reported Madmax