Sunday at the Barn – Takin’ a Little Drive

I was most distressed by the return of winter weather.  I think that if it ever warms up, I'll start to feel better.  The results of the CBC came back on Thursday, and I have some kind of funky virus.  I wish it would die!  I'm not coughing as much, but I still feel like I have an upper respiratory infection. 

The barn was a virtual beehive today.  M was expecting some prospective customers, and she asked everyone to come a little early so that the barn looked busy.  After they arrived, I remembered that I had met the wife at Christmas, when I went and had the lesson on Summer.  She's a hunt rider, but M had her scheduled to ride Harley and Woody saddleseat today.  They are thinking of moving their horse to the farm.

D was working with Kim and Sammy when I got there, and M was giving Brooke a lesson on Spooky.  Sara and Zoe were running around getting everything ready, and as Sara had the schedule, I asked if I could see it.  Blondie was scheduled for a jog.  Hmmm.  I would have preferred to ride her, but driving sounded like fun.

The prospective customers arrived as D was bringing Blondie out of her stall.  When they learned that she was going to be pulling the cart, they were interested in watching.  D warmed her up, and then I crawled onto the jog cart.

I like everything about driving except for two things: 

1.  The horse constantly throws dirt on you! 

2.  I always feel like I'm going to fall off of the cart.

(I know I mention these every time!)

Tina happened to mention later in the day that she has the same problem.  I asked Kim why she doesn't drive Sammy (he's a champ at driving!), and she responded with the same.  She's afraid she's going to fall off of the cart.  I said they just need to make one with an adjustable seat.  Or have a phone book option for shorter drivers!

There was quite an audience for our driving lesson, but thankfully I didn't notice until we were almost finished.  Blondie only gave me a little problem, when she started hopping in the shafts and wouldn't go forward.  This was of course after I dropped the driving whip because I was having a hard time holding it and the reins at the same time.  D said, "That's what the driving whip is for!" but I'm not coordinated enough yet to use it!

I was having a terrible time keeping the reins from slipping through my fingers.  I finally had to stop her and remove my gloves.  It seems like there's a lot more pressure on the reins when you're driving than when you're riding, and I just couldn't hold on to them with the gloves on.  It was a lot better without them, but my hands were freezing when we were done.

D had us trot into the line-up, and we really have to work on that.  I'm not over steering like I was the first few times when I jogged her, but I totally messed up the turn into the center.  She was also bowing her ribs on the corners, so D will have to tell me how to fix that.  In pleasure driving classes, the horse has to back, so he had me back her up, too.  He said 2 or 3 steps was all that was needed, as the judges usually move to the next horse once they see your horse start to step back.

During a lull in the activity, I asked him if we could drive her this summer. He said that he was planning on it, depending on the show schedules.  So I could have a riding class one day and a driving class the next.  He said that she drives really well and we should do pretty good at it.

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