Monday, September 24, 2012

A "Surprise" Visit and Happy Autumn

This past Saturday was the first day of Fall here in central Pennsylvania-and all over the country. I always have loved this time of year.... the crisp mornings turning into warmer afternoons. The leaves changing on the trees as the days get shorter. About the Only thing I don't care for is the shorter days. But one can't have it all, right ?

Our horses are busy growing their winter coats by now- having started shedding in Mid JULY. ( normal summer coat shedding is usually the middle of August)  We are all wondering if they know something we humans don't..... The Percherons are all velvety and soft looking - touching them is about the same as touching a very expensive piece of velvet material. In white or pure black, that is. Even the two Appaloosa mares are getting velvety looking. Scarlet is the last one to admit that "yes, it's getting chilly"  and has just started growing her winter coat.

Sunday arrived bright and breezy - I was expecting a friend to haul her Percheron mare "Surprise" over to work in our ring in the afternoon. First I had a driving student coming to have her second lesson with BoJangles. Ilyssa has been riding for quite some time now, and is an avid horse kid. She's 14, I believe.... and is a lot of fun to have around.  Now, many people come here not knowing one thing about driving and I have to teach them Everything- from how to harness to how to steer. Not Ilyssa!  Nope- she knows all the parts of a harness, and was good at remembering how it all went on the horse too. ( I am gonna be sooooooooooo spoiled !) We did the normal harnessing and 'putting to'
 (aka- attaching horse to cart) and off we went !  Bo was being his normal putzy self, but he's such a great 'beginners' horse. Ilyssa listened closely and then I handed the lines over to her. Below are a couple of photos taken by my husband :

Soon it was time for my pal to arrive with her Percheron mare....  They got here in a timely manner, unloaded her and walked her around some so she wouldn't be so excited about a new place. Surprise settled down , standing in crossties, as her harness and cart were unloaded from the big trailer. Once the harnessing began, this sweet 4 yr old mare stood still, and patient. I love the harness my friend had for her ! It's Gorgeous, and I was all but drooling. Then I remembered that I no longer show 'hitch horses' in the world of draft horses. < sigh>  It sure is a pretty show harness anyways. Once Surprise was hitched ( Put To, again) she got bouncy and excited. Imagine a Percheron mare who weighs around 1900 pounds - bouncing in place. Impressive ! My friend drove her around and as Surprise settled down, they even attempted to drive thorough some cones . Surprise did fine, and so did her owner !
Here are some photos I got from that drive in our ring :

I think it all went perfectly and I got to experiment with some different photos too.

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