Sunday at the Barn – Driver’s Ed

This morning when I woke up, I felt awful.  I thought briefly of calling M and telling her I wasn't coming, but if I did that every time I didn't feel up to snuff, I'd never do anything!  I pulled on my layers of clothes and resolved to tough it out.

Which turned out to be not a bad decision.  Show season must be approaching, because D had the jog cart out.  He warmed Blondie up, mostly to make sure she remembered what to do, and then turned the wheel over to me.  I must say that sitting in the buggy behind the horse gives the world a whole new perspective.

The last time I tried to drive Blondie, I over bent her, pulling her into the turns instead of guiding her.  Since I better understand the mechanics of the bridle, I didn't have that problem today.  Instead, I had basically the same difficulties that I experience when I'm riding her.  Her head kept cocking to the left, and I couldn't keep her straight.

Sitting in the cart is a little scary, especially at a brisk trot.  My legs are so short that they get bounced off of the foot rests, and I thought I was going to fall off.  Since I didn't have my helmet on, this would not have been a good thing.  By the end of the lesson, I learned that if I leaned back and braced my left leg against the side bar, I had a more secure seat.

There are a few unpleasantries to driving.  The first is the horse kicks dirt into your face.  While this wasn't so bad inside, I hate to think what it would be like in a muddy arena.  Second is that you are right in the line of fire when the horse breaks wind or feels the urge to poop.  Yup, you get a really nice view, not to mention whiff, of the horse's digestive system at work.

After we put Blondie away, I started getting Woody ready.  D was going to warm him up, and then have me take him for a spin in the cart.  When I was trying to brush the stupid horse's head, he went berserk and broke one of the cross-ties.  I was fearful for a minute that he was going to break both of them and go bolting out of the stall.  He can be a real nut case.

The driving lessons were just what I needed today.  They weren't too strenuous, but it was still very challenging to try to keep the horse straight and not run into the walls (which I did to Blondie at the beginning - sorry!).  I couldn't get either one collected, but after D climbed back on the cart and showed me what I was doing wrong, I think I better understand how to use the bit.  I held my arms too far into front of me, and I wasn't keeping enough contact on the reins. 

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