Hope your early summer has been good. So far, mine has not.....
About 3 weeks ago or so, Cherry n' I headed to the ring to drive a little bit. Some pals were there, taking some photos and I believe a short video. We were doing fine until I drove over an old traffic cone. Having totally forgotten that this 'easy entry' pony cart was Much lower to the ground than my draft carts, the cone got caught under my seat and got dragged for a few feet. Well, that's all it took for Cherry to feel the resistance, and that noise and then to react. Seconds, actually. She began kicking the cart, and bucking to get free, and as we veered a sharp left, the cart flipped over to the right, with me tumbling out of it. She proceeded to do maybe 3-4 galloping rounds about the ring, fighting to free herself from the now "Monster" that had her in it's grip. Finally she stopped up by the gate, and let us get close to her. The poor old cart had had the worst part of it, Cherry had a few minor scrapes, and incredibly, the harness was scuffed and only the breeching strap over her hips had torn some threads ! We were ALL very lucky. Thank goodness I'd worn that helmet that always has made me look incredibly dumb... it saved my head, which smacked the ground pretty hard.
Got the cart sort of repaired enough to use it , and as I ground drove Cherry, my friends held the shafts of the cart up behind her. She was VERY scared, but did alright. There was no way of re-hitching her, so we let it go at that. We doctored all of her boo-boos, and washed the sweat off of her and walked her until she was cool. I know she had to have been bruised, but when I checked her, she didn't really show much discomfort.
Then, the next week, I thought to ask a working student if she'd like to ride Cherry. Sure, she'd like to. Got Cherry tacked up and the gal up in the saddle. She had Just turned Cherry around to head down the aisle a little, when all hell broke loose. Cherry turned into a 14hh bucking rodeo horse ! Tossed the gal on the hard aisleway floor, and ran into her stall, totally in fear of being hit. The gal was alright, albeit a little sore on her behind from landing so hard. Again- thank goodness ! I checked Cherry later on and discovered a very sore spot right behind her withers. It took that long to show itself.
So Cherry got a couple of weeks 'off' to get over it all, and when I took her down to the ring to do some ground driving, she was scared to be there. We practiced going around and thru the cones. Once she got over the initial fear, she settled down and started thinking again. We have gone right back to the beginning again w/ both ponies in training. De-sensitation BIG time- giant blue tarps, tossing cones all over and under them both, as well as many other 'scary' items. Cherry was more than frightened of it all, but Rose ? She all but yawned in boredom. Still she's going to drag a big truck tire and much more before I hitch either pony again. I have done this with All of the horses I've trained to drive and never had such a fear incident happen before. I'd been told she knew about being driven and had been worked steadily up to last Fall. Lesson learned- and the next time my poor little banged up cart is used, there won't be a chance for a run-away pony trying to kill it again.
So far so good... just a pretty miserable way to spend a humid summer instead of teaching a new pony to become a dressage type..... < sigh >
It seems we had two little peepies hatched from Liza and Widget about a week ago. Widgets' peep is going to be pure white, and Lizas' was to be like Chocolate. She's a Buckeye hen.... chocolate brown with iridescence on her wings. Really quite beautiful. Sadly last night, Liza had taken her little one into Breeze's stall to peck at misc. items, and as I led Breeze into it, she was so startled by the two chickens, that she jumped and kicked out at them. Liza had a torn toenail which bled pretty well, but her little peepie had the fuzz taken right off it's little bottom. I had hopes that it would pull thru as it was walking around alright when I left them in the "nursery" ( all clean and fresh with water and feed in it) over night. Alas, this morning, I found Liza attempting to keep it warm and with a very cold dead baby. I feel SO terrible over this- if only I'd been more careful about where Liza had gone...
Other than those items, the month has gone along alright. The heat/ humidity of summer has arrived at long last, and no one in the barn is happy about it. Even the horses don't like being sweaty all the time. The drafters are happily in their stalls w/ their box fans on, and the "long tailed" horses are all outside grazing.
We have planned a mini summer camp here in July and August... Let's hope someone shows interest. Lost another boarder but ended up owning her mare. I've always liked the mare, and now she's mine. She will be a big asset for lessons , I am sure.
Tomorrow begins the " pony" lessons for those two gals who've proven themselves as responsible working students. It should be an interesting morning.
I'll try to get photos at least ! Stay tuned..... In the meantime, stay cool, all.
below are photos of Liza and her peep at one day old, then Widget and her peep.