Out And About, What Are You Doing?

We have been enjoying the cooler days and cold nights. Been driving quite a bit and going longer distances. They are getting fitter, but still quite “looky” going thru the woods. Lots of wildlife in there, seeing plenty of deer across the new crop fields.

Put up hay the first weekend in June, which of course turned hot for baling and stacking. It looks like real nice hay, horses are cleaning up the heavy bales for us. I was surprised at the quantity, about double what I planned on! Still need more hay, but even a skimpy second cutting should provide plenty for winter. Fields look like a big lawn at the moment. I got them weed sprayed, still have to fertilize. Clover of all kinds is growing strongly around here. All volunteer, not planted. Need to seed grass on some areas we use as dry lots.

Husband took the Pair over to drive on the hayfields, practice in the wide open spaces. Horses were really “up” without a path to follow, bumping and jerking of the carriage pulling on them over rough ground. The gelding wanted to canter the whole way, had to keep pulling him back to trot. Got in some distance going along the fencerows, then across the open fields. All new to them, but they are accepting, listening to the driver.

Finally have horses out on grass all night, in during the days. They are waiting at the gates each morning. Husband killed 2 bombers today, not a good thinge to hear! Seems too early for bombers. Pastures and paddocks are finally all cut, dragged, and rain might happen, so I can start over! Ha ha Working on cleaning fencelines, then spraying keeps the weeds off pretry well. Heat today is high, 90Fs again, I don’t want to do anything outside.

This would have been Metamora CDE Weekend if things had not been canceled. Felt kind of flat not packing things to go. No clipping horses, baths and everything involved with a competition. But thinking of 90F wearing a wool groom jacket and show clothes, trying to stay clean for Dressage and Cones is hard while in the cooled house! Or the opposite, being soaked in a downpour during your rounds. Then hanging everything to dry when finished, never enough hooks! Ha ha In the excitement of competition details like that fade from being an issue. Probably proves we are just crazy!!

Does look like some driving activities, shows, will be happening later in the Summer and Fall. May finally be able to have driving Club activities too. We picked up a couple used Pair breastcollars as spares. Even beta wears out at some point, has to get fixed. No down time with spares. Or husband may be planning ahead for driving a Six!! Ha ha We could work everyone at the same time!!

Much the same in northern MI. We don’t compete, so don’t have that to worry/think about.

Sure slept well Wednesday night once hay was in the barn. Weather up here is hot (mid 80s and humid) beyond what is normal for this time of year, but mostly we have a nice breeze. I’ll take it. It was good for drying hay. A far cry from dodging rain every second or third day last year that made hay season really late.

Just tending to the usual chores; lots of mowing and weeding. Trying to get some rides in in the cool early morning. My old boy is 25, so I try not to stress him in the heat.

Otherwise, relaxing evenings on the patio, dining al fresco and enjoying the abundance of birds we have in the garden this year. The dragon flies are swarming like I’ve never seen before. They seem to be good fly control though, as we have next to no flies yet. The horses are very happy, no stomping or tail swishing!

Be well. Take in the peace of the slower pace.

Zero driving happening right now. I have an old cart disassembled waiting for some replacement parts to come in and I need to sand and paint the box on that cart. The box is propped up on saw horses in the garage just waiting for the painting fairy to walk through the door. :slight_smile: I need to get on the stick with that project.

I have a Bellcrown cart on order but it won’t arrive until mid to late August. Once it’s here I’ll do some driving but there won’t be enough time to prep for a competition in Sept so this year will be a kick back year.

I only buy hay so I tip my hat to those of you who grow your own and coordinate getting it cut, baled and stacked! That ain’t for sissies!

We just set up a couple of hazards at home a couple of weeks ago, so thats always fun to drive around once in a while. We also set up a full hunter course in my sand ring so I’m able to jump around at home.

Just started to drive the pair again a few weeks ago and no real shows planned as we still don’t have anything in Ontario and the borders of course are still closed until at least mid next month. We did just hear that there is a CDE planned in Quebec next month but still not 100% sure if we are able to go (they don’t really want people crossing provinces and sometimes heath care won’t cover you in a different province right now- so we need to look into that for now).

I did acquire another pony a few months ago but I have since sold him and he is now with a 10 year old girl who just loves him! He was a driving pony but did not enjoy that job so I broke him to ride and started him over fences. The new owners have plans on showing him as a hunter and I’m sure they will be a huge success in the ring!

I just purchased a single set of Comfy Fit harness for my 13.1h 3 year old pony and should be getting it shortly. I just broke him under saddle a couple of months ago and he has been long lined and lunged with some harness as well. I plan on breaking him to drive soon and he should be a fun project :slight_smile:

I did my first virtual horse show from home this weekend, and I must say that was different! It was for a local hunter show and I did a hunter under saddle class, a open hunter over fences class and an equitation class. You just take the videos according to their criteria, put it on you tube and send it in. For sure a different experience but I had fun doing it! It gets judged next weekend so I will see how it goes.

I also entered myself and my husband in a photo driving contest for the Lexington Carriage Classic, which they received 520 entries all over the world for! It was $5 a class and sounded like fun, so I thought, why not? So far we’ve placed 2nd, 4th and 7th so not too bad! A couple of more classes to place and it will be done. They even mail you the ribbons afterwards.

Our ponies have been on pasture for a couple of months now and have they packed the weight on! They are off it for the night to give the pasture a rest and to help keep their weight down. Its a good thing that they all get worked so we can keep the pounds off of them as well.

We haven’t got our hay in yet, but we should shortly. We have also had the crazy heat and little rain so hay has been cut all around us like crazy. Should be a good year for hay.

Waiting. Like SLW I have a Bellcrown on order that won’t be here till August-ish, which certainly won’t give a newbie like me enough time to be ready for a show in the fall. But Texas summers don’t lend themselves to copious amounts of activity, so it works out.

I am going to rig up a misting system for pony’s stall next weekend. That’s about it on the excitement front.

We just got back from a socially distant Southern Drive, so that was a nice break from everything… Usually I do some lessons, but we were a little too far into the ridden dressage season and Xan is versatile, but I’ve noticed just going back and forth between ridden and driven dressage, especially when we might be changing up how we do things (which is rather the point of a lesson, isn’t it?) is frustrating for him. So I skipped those and just let him be a speed demon in scrabble cones and the derby. It was way too much fun and now I’m home and happy to hunker down again for a while.

Facebook reminded me that 4 years ago today was the first time Xan was ridden, so I think he’s come a long way in a short time! Also today was the first drive in the presentation carriage in Georgia, and it was also the first time it got driven in the rain and got gasp … mud on the tires.

Would you believe the nutcase Shire I have, who I had written off as too dangerous to drive, too dangerous to longe, and a mess? I’m a sucker for punishment.
I went back to very, very beginning with him, fiddled about with bits some more and after much expense ended up with a french link, copper, butterfly with the reins set for a little curb, and bridle fit and type (nothing can clink up by his eyes or ears), ear coverings must be worn, must have blinkers but must keep the forelock out of the eyes. I worked out the cues he gives for explosion and what will definitely cause an explosion, so no whips and no slapping the reins on the butt. He doesn’t mind the reins or traces sliding all over and around him and even tangling him, but thou shalt Not deliberately hit, tap, or shake the reins against him. Voice and bit only, which thank God somebody trained him well for because that bit of foundation is beyond me. I’ve been ground driving him around the neighborhood which he loves, circles are not happening as they are ‘boring’ and boring equals ‘Boom!’. I have had him pull a go devil boat used for a logging which is heavy enough to respect but not so heavy as to discourage him. No plans to put a cart behind him, I’m not that brave. But we seem to have a cautious, wary understanding.
I wish I could do my own hay again, used to, but sold the pasture fields so now the horses eat the hay field…oops.

I have a 24 Year old Paint mare that has been retired from showing (carriage driving) since 2013. We board at a small private stable, with access to some nice forested trails. I still drive her for pleasure and have had her out in the cart twice so far this year. With the heat and humidity the last week (southern Ontario) I have been riding more. Just got back from a trailered out ride to a forest tract about an hour away. It was lovely, it is cool, windy and very few bugs. Hoping to go again Friday to another forest. Hours have opened up at my barn more, so I can now go in the evening and drive did the field. Gotta get my husband, calls himself “The Mobile Hitching Post!!!” out for a ride. He did a very good job all the years I was showing and was also my photographer!!! Gotta keep both old broads going!!!

To date, I have hitched & driven the mini a grand total of Once :o
But after not doing a thing since October, I have to say he was Awesome.

I drove the lawns around my house as the greater part was still in hay & too tall for his 35" self. Besides did not want to annoy hayguy neighbor who cuts & bales it for me.
We had a short disagreement about turning left :confused: Right was not a problem.

After that it turned humid & 90s & I freely admit I am a Wimp.
My Club has had 3 drives, but my hauling vehicle was at the mechanic for a mystery electrical problem.
So I attended 2 of 3 as a passenger, always room on someone’s cart/carriage.
Last drive was hosted by a member who drives Belgians - team, 4 & 6.
4H kids he trains demo’d hitching & driving the 4 & 6. Team went on the drive through miles of country back roads. About 10 carts & carriages, 20-some drivers & friends.

Last week my hay got cut & baled.
Usually I get hay from other fields, but I now have 100 nice bales of 1st cutting from my acreage stacked on pallets in the barn.
I fed raked-up spillage & horses approved.
First they need to finish the 27 bales left from last year.

Fairs have been cancelled. Not unexpected.
Club is having a clinician on July 11, followed by a non-rated show the next day.
Then on August 9 we have gotten permission to drive on the fairgrounds.
It will be a nice change to drive the roads there without having to navigate the throngs of maroons who think “Heads up!” means Stop & Gawk.
After that 2 more Club drives scheduled, including one on hundreds of acres owner plants with wildflowers as well as corn & pumpkins.

The National Drive!!
Hope to see @goodhors there again.
Any other COTHers plan on going?