Sunday, August 1, 2010

Driving Right Along

Louie and I have been enjoying a nice mix of riding and driving over the past few months.  We haven't worked on too much that is new in our driving adventures, but perhaps we're ready to progress to some new challenges.  Louie is doing very well, even with the flies bugging him, he drove like a champ in the outdoor ring tonight.  With a little work and some additions to his attire (breeching, blinders, probably need a Meadowbrook cart too), I think he could probably make a nice carriage driving horse- as you can see quite clearly that with his headset where it is (low), he will certainly not make a Saddlbred show driving horse without quite a bit of work and risking hurting his back.  So for now we'll keep working this way and work on making a nice sound, bombproof driving horse out of Louie.  As our driving trainer Steve said, why try to change him into something else (ie a country pleasure show driving horse or a CDE maniac horse), when he is so pleasureable to drive the way he is?  Steve sure likes Louie just the way he is, and while he's not really much for breed shows, I don't think Louie's too shabby either.We need to work more on the driveway and potentially progress to the road or trail at some point in time (I think we'll make sure that is good under saddle before tackling it in the cart).  Then add some more desensitization tactics- we still have to drag that sled behind us at some point, and add blinders. . .

Here is a nice photo that Laura snapped of Louie and I driving yesterday in the indoor arena (thank you!!).  Here you'll see him outfitted in his new harness (Schneider's harness with a few Walsh accessories).  There are a few things I wish I could adjust just a bit more (ie I'd love to lower the tug straps about one notch to drop the shafts down a bit more level), and I definately need to pick up some trace extenders, as this harness was clearly not built for a long, big bodied Saddlebred, and we're a little tight, with the shafts a bit far forward on the harness.  Overall though, I think this was a great harness purchase for a used quick hitch!  And, I love driving with real reins instead of my LONG lines. 

1 comment:

  1. You're most welcome, Leah - I enjoyed watching you both last Saturday!