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Guess I will be labeling this the BUSY SUMMER for future conversations. Seems like we are on the run, doing jobs that “can’t wait” every day! My bonus time from getting hay in early has evaporated.

Husband has been getting his horses worked at least a few days a week. Need to get in some more distance work to improve breathing and recovery times. This week and last do not look very good on into terrible, for air quality. Haze has been very visible, warnings to stay inside, bring pets in. Not much can be done for the horses in the barns designed for lots of air flow! They did a lot of standing last week as he was gone. I put the fans on them with the high temps, humidity has gone from almost zero to higher than 70%, sweat just stands on my skin.

He got home yesterday, driving north thru the bad storms. Got to drive them today. Second outing with the different carriage. This Pair dislikes the very light dressage vehicle with the spring-loaded pole. Just never settle, despite making suggested pole changes. So after driving them to the 1280# hunting break we got in Feb, he decided “weight is not a factor” in their ability to do as requested. This got him thinking that they have no issues pulling the marathon carriage, so maybe a carriage we had in the shed might be more to their liking. We got it out and he cleaned it up, serviced the wheels and brake system. Had to get some new brake parts, it has been a LONG time since we used it last. I was thinking of selling it because we didn’t use it! Then we harnessed up the horses, put the carriage behind and adjusted traces for the long pole, added pole straps. He took them out in the arena for a while, then down the road to cool down walking. He thought they liked the carriage! He drove them with it again tonight, says they seem quite happy with it, nice body bends, no slack traces. Ding, ding, ding!! Sounds like we FINALLY have a winner that suits them! What a long road to learn this it has been. Anyone need a nice, light weight Pairs carriage? The future Pair may like that one, probably should keep it a while yet. Husband is very happy that horses appear happy and much more cooperative now.

With the nice rain, I went ahead and mowed pastures. This is so roots send up new shoots, instead of supporting old grass stems. A lot of the grass (Timothy I think) has gone to seed, has dried up stalks, so probably gone until we get a LOT more rain. The “other” green stuff looks fairly good. Plantain is very healthy! Ha ha I just keep moving the horses around the pastures to prevent overgrazing. Being out only 12 hours helps with that. Darned greenheads are already here, biting when we bring horses in each AM.

We had a couple Club Drives in June, which were fun driving and socializing. One at a member’s farm which is horse oriented. Amazing dressage arena, horses about bounced on the turf! Drove there a couple times, with good movements as requested. They also had a cones course set up that we enjoyed going thru. Horses liked it too! Finally got a perfect zig-zag, no balls down and fairly tight to the wheels!! All this and amazing trails to view the lovely scsnery! A very fun day.

The second drive was a the local State Park, on a lovely day. Went down some roads and trails, met polite hikers and bike riders. It was a bit hilly so they got sweaty. We went out twice, both before and after the potluck lunch. Nice to visit with other driving friends. Temps were moderate with low humidity, almost no flies! That was a pleasant surprise on both drives.

Finally got my smaller tractor back from the shop after a haying time issue. YAY!! No more shoveling sawdust!! I kissed Katy Kubota on the hood, so glad she is back! Supposedly the lights are fixed with wiring repair, new switch. They found a LOT of sawdust under the dashboard, probably from piling up the loose sawdust in the bin after delivery. We have always blown out the engine, radiator screen, right after putting it away. We never knew sawdust powder could get in under the dashboard too! Will have to find the opening it is going into, so we can blow that out again. Not a good thing for tractor.

Went to visit the mare in riding training. She is making good progress, slow but understanding all she is asked. A bit dull to the leg, but not resentful if spurs are used. Her first trainer wanted mare less reactive to inexperienced rider surprises. Saw some very nice bending, relaxed canter work in both directions. Very nice to watch and think “How cool is that, on OUR horse?!”

Hope everyone is getting in some relaxing driving time.


I’m in riding and driving season, as opposed to winter which is driving and driving season. I need to finish up my one star in September, so I’m doing a bit more driving this summer than normal, mostly working on interval training in driving. The good news about the one star is it is just dressage and cones. That’s great for not dealing with heavy duty fitness during summer in the deep south, but really boring when you actually get to the show. Turns out it’s pretty hard to get enthusiastic about a show without marathon!

Last winter upgraded my marathon carriage, I found a glinkowski and managed to sell my kutzmann in short order. I must admit the glinkowski is amazing. The kutzmann was workhorse and great though prelim, but it was not as stable as necessary at upper level speeds. I have to say, I was skeptical about what the top brand carriages bought to the game. Not any more. The balanced on this thing is amazing!


@DMK- We have had Glinkowski carriages for the past 20 years and love them! We also have a single Dominak and its been a great every day and marathon carriage as well.

We are not doing any CDE’s this year as my husband likes to drive those and he is unable to drive right now due to a pinched nerve and awaiting surgery. I like the boring type of drives and enjoy dressage, cones and pleasure shows, so I will be doing them this year at a few different venues (Greak Lakes CT and Pleasure Show, Orleton Pleasure Show and The Royal Winter Fair) with a single, as well as starting a 3 year old (hunter pony - line showing as well) and riding/jumping my older guy to keep him in shape. And hopefully getting my yearling out off property to a line show as well so he can start to learn the ropes! Just started him with a bridle the other month and he walks and trots in hand now. I just work with him 1-2x a week to come in and learn to be on cross ties alone, wear a bridle and do 10 mins of in hand ring work including walking over poles and flower boxes.

I try to work each pony 2-3 times a week so I don’t kill myself ha ha! Working full time and having 5 ponies at home is a lot of work on its own (stalls, feed, turnout plus all the normal farm stuff), and then trying to work all 4 can be challenging (one retired 26 year old who I do the occasional beginner lessons with, so easy one there!). I’m up at 4am each day to get everything done and I’m usually done in by 8pm.

We also just sold a smaller pleasure carriage as it was suitable for a 12-13h pony and I only have larges. I liked it as I can drive on my own (no groom needed) and we do already have a phaeton with a grooms seat that my husband uses for dressage and cones (with breaks). I have the livery clothes but they do not fit him, so when I drive I don’t have a groom and I don’t like to rely on anyone. So we did just purchase a used Bird In Hand Sport Phaeton with wood wheels, no breaks and no grooms seat, so I can drive it to a single by myself, and its more Pleasure suited. Pretty much in brand new condition and we pick it up next week in NY and I’ll use it as our first show in Ontario at the end of this month. It did have some chrome on it, and we have all brass turnout, so I did have to get a few brass things to change over(shaft tips, footmans loops etc), but no huge deal. I would like to purchase some brass hubs, whip holder, order some lamp brackets and elephant ears for the dash (currently all are painted black on the carriage), But no huge rush for those, I just think they would really complete the turnout! The carriage is navy blue with wheat pin striping and upholstery.

Glad you are able to get out and about DMK and Goodhors. We are in a bit of a heat wave here in Ontario and 100+ weather so the ponies have a few days off. But a break in the weather tomorrow (90s) so I can hopefully start back again.


@DMK and @DiamondJubilee So nice to hear from both of you and how things are going at your farms! DJ, Sorry to hear you won’t be doing CDE driving competitions this summer. But getting the young guys out and about is always good training for them. I guess I missed that you “get” to drive the singles! Ha ha So attending your named driving shows should help keep you occupied.

DMK, Interesting to hear about the stability of the Glinkowskis at higher levels. Our friend really likes them as well, but her first point in choosing is comfortable ride. Her older back does not like a real stiff ride. She competes at all levels with her young ponies and advanced ponies, so her vehicle gets a real workout. I feel for you in the heat! I remember doing that showing in summer, but it was all ridden stuff. Not sure how I got it done looking back! We entered everything, so I also had the conditioning work to keep her fit for all the classes. Ha ha Good luck getting your one Star!

The carriage change is working really well for our Pair! Husband is very pleased with how they are going, not acting silly. Nicely steady in their gaits, good bending on the movements. Have not done cones yet with it. Why didn’t inspiration for the change strike earlier?? It is the whole vehicle change doing it. We tried the longer pole on the lighter vehicle last year, they were just as bad with that as the short pole with the yoke. Well, they are doing well right now!


Fortunately the glinkowski came with air bags AND shocks so it’s more comfy than even my presentation carriage (coil suspension) which was more comfy than the old marathon carriage with just air bags and leaf springs. That’s good news since today was back MRI day. Getting old sucks.