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Monday, May 31 2010

This was a BIG weekend. I got my first taste of driving draft horses. (Princess LIKES driving draft horses - A LOT!) I have driven all manner of motorized vehicles and Friends & Neighbors, none can begin to compare to the raw power of holding two 2200 lb horses in your hands.  And I'm not talking about Dobbin the sedate plow horse, I'm talking "pick up the reins, cluck and off you go at a Budweiser Clydesdale trot" - RAW POWER! 

I think Doug and Debbie Halford are drug dealers. But instead of dealing cocaine, they're getting people hooked on draft horses. 

 The addiction begins!

They live down the road from us, and I often see them driving their team through the neighborhood.  I made the mistake one day about a month ago of stopping to inform them that "some day" I'd like to get a draft pony and learn to drive.  "Some Day" after my 30 year old stallion passes away, "Some Day" when I have less farm animals, "Some Day" when I have more time, I wanted to get a draft pony to drive and help out with farm chores.  I envisioned something that could help haul hay, pull downed trees, etc. In essence, I wanted an equine 4wheeler that always started in cold weather.  I wanted this Some Day. One week later I had a Haflinger.  I'm still not quite sure how it happened.

She had once been a marathon driving horse, but had been put out to pasture and with a steady diet of alfalfa, sweet feed, lush grass, and the ever present round bale, she had ballooned to a whopping 1600 lbs.  Egaads!  Her fat rolls have fat rolls. but underneath all that plumpness is the calmest, most adorable, well-trained little mare.  Doug and Debbie assured us that they would help us every step along the way.  So we bought Ona, and they bought her driving partner, a delightful little gelding named Magic.

After two weeks on not much but hay and pasture, Ona "might" have lost a little weight. She still needs to get back in shape.  I need to learn how to drive. It's a good way to start slow.  Hot summer days + Fat Horse + Novice Driver = Education Without Excitement. (always a plus when you're dealing with a 1600 lb animal!)

Yesterday we had our first lesson.  We trailered over to Doug and Debbie's.  When Ona gets in better shape, the plan is to bareback her over there, but for now, Hot Fat Chicks ride in the horse trailer.

Doug started off ground driving her. No problemo.  She hadn't forgotten anything.  Then I drove her.  I have a hard time remembering that GEE is pronounced like "Gee Whiz" and not "Git 'er done!"  Ona is very forgiving.

Doug then hooked Ona to a small wagon that he uses with the percherons.  Ona was certain that it was far too heavy for little fat ponies.  Debbie and I had to get in the back and push the wagon a couple of times. 

 "This sucker is heavy!"

 "Hey! Y'all in the back, gimme a push!"



 "I think I can.  I think I can. . . "

We later hooked Ona's partner, Magic, to the same wagon.  He had no problem pulling the little wagon.  Fat Chick is just Out Of Shape!  I have ordered my Other Half to stop making fat jokes and ragging on my little fat pony.  Yeah right. I know. She is fat.  But nevertheless, it is easy to see that she is worth her weight in gold as a teacher.  And that really is what matters.  And until she gets back in shape, we'll have her pull something a little lighter! 

Thus begins an addiction.  So forget about sports cars, speedboats, and tractor pulls.  If you want to experience REAL power - drive draft horses!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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