It has been hot here. Not anything more than usual, but it is still just plain HOT! I haven't been doing much with any of the horses because even early in the morning, it's hot. There have been times where it is already 97 degrees at 7am. Yuck!
So as an expression of my not so much caring about being Fugly Fodder, I went out Saturday morning and long lined Kat in my shorts and flip flops. Too hot for boot and jeans, not like I am riding and if my toes get stepped on, well it's my own damn fault.
I had worked him with the lines through the terrets or the rings on top of the harness saddle. He did ok. We were also using the mullen mouth butterfly bit. Having some time off- he was really light and responsive. One of the driving groups I am on, someone had mentioned running the lines through the tugs, which act as shafts, giving the horse some support in their work. Holy Mama! Did this ever make a difference!
When we started out, Kat was long, low and overreaching. A lot. Just abut every stride I heard click, click, click as his back feet connected with the front feet. He is due for a trim so I better get after it. With the lines down in the tugs and along his sides, then the outside line running along behind his butt, he rocked it back on the rear end like he should, lifted his now lightened shoulders and the movment- just like before. He was fun to watch. He still needs more softening work, but for not having worked in a while, I was not going to push it and go for too much. He's gotten a bit chubby, so yeah. I need to get us both back to work and in shape.
I also made a trip out to the other side of civilization... out to the home of another driving club member. She has gladly offered to let me use her cart and shafts for measurements, photos, notes and whatever else is needed to come up with the standard, adjustable marathon shafts for the cart. In return I am having an extra set made for her too.
In our short visit, we spoke of driving, lunging, ground driving from behind the cart and pretty much everything and anything where people seem to be divided in thought of "What is the right way (or the wrong way) to do this?" When I mentioned about being told Never, ever get out of the cart... In all her blunt honesty, my friend replied, "Oh fuck that shit!" Gotta love it...
It turns out she trains much like I have, but takes it a bit further. She lunges her horses at the canter, cart attached, empty and sometimes lets go of the line. She wants her horses to know what running around with an empty cart feels like and that it is no big deal. If she ever comes off the cart, it will be nothing new to them. She pushes their buttons, sees how far they can go, what the horse can handle and how they are going to react when it happens. Start out small, work your way up and know how far your horse can go before they blow.
I have also been working on masks. Made some for the neighbor, he told his friends, and it has been rolling. I have made a few for friends, made a few for other bloggers and am preparing for the deluge before it hits. Haven't gotten any saddle time recently and yeah. I want to, but not sure when it may happen.