RicelandMeadows


Great Day for Three

abby3

January 17, 2019

Yesterday, I hitched my young filly “Abby” in a three abreast hitch, for the first time. She has been learning very well. Her training has been going very well. This is just part of the training program. She will soon learn to work single too. She is doing well and I am very pleased.

She is the middle horse in the photo above. She is paying attention and learning from me and from her teammates. The nice thing about having Knight and Hoss to teach her, is they can become two very big anchors if needed. She must go where they go, when they go. When I want them to stop and stand, she must do that too. Sometimes, she thinks she’d rather do something else, but good teamwork prevents her from getting into trouble.

I worked earlier this week butchering a steer for my Amish buddy. We had a good day of socializing, and coffee drinking. The steer will be worked up into cuts and burger in the coming days. I traded work with my buddy’s son, for my pat of the butchering. He in turn helped me finish filling the sugarhouse woodshed, yesterday afternoon, just before dark. What a great day!

marvsteer

Our weather is about to turn very cold, close to 0 degrees F. It will be nice to have a good day, inside cutting the meat and visiting. There isn’t much work to that job when many hands help. Good food and conversation is enjoyed by all.

Maple syrup season is under a month away. Abby will help this year. Three on a sap sled is a bit overkill, but having plenty of horsepower is much like cutting meat…many hands make light work. The sled can pull hard at times, but with three horses, leaning into the work together, it’s no job at all.



Almost Screwed Up
March 14, 2017, 6:25 pm
Filed under: March 2017 | Tags: , , ,

abbyharnessnew

March 14, 2017

Abby and I have been working on her training. She is doing very well. I decided that since I had my son’s help, I would hitch her with Duke to a sled. Everything went well as we hitched up…everything that is, until we forgot to hook Abby’s outside line. (it would be like trying to ride a horse with just one rein)

Abby didn’t like the sound of the sled on gravel behind her. She took off and even made Duke run for a minute. I had almost no control, other than a right hand turn. It happened quick ans was over almost as quick. I got them stopped and unhooked from the sled. That is when we discovered what had happened. We fastened her line to her bit and drove off again. Everything went much better. We stayed at it awhile so as to end her training on a positive note.

I was glad to have my son there, as well as, Duke who made it all end quickly. He was a little rattled, but know what whoa means. Having brakes is a wonderful thing! The training will continue, hopefully without any more rookie mistakes! That much excitement is rough on an old man’s underwear!



Abby On The Grow

abby-first-day

December 13, 2016

We bought Abby this year in April. She has fit in very well. Her training continues and will continue for at least another year. I still have to remind her now and then that I am the boss, but she learns quickly. She has come to understand that I will win every argument without violence, but I will win.

Tonight, as I finished chores, I snapped this picture below. Yes, that is Abby on the left. She is growing well and quickly, like most youngsters.

abduke12-12

All horses turn a year older on January first, so Abby will be considered a three-year old. She will get to do meaningful work by spring. This winter, she will pull a sled and a wagon, as we do redundant training. She will stop, she will turn, she will stand and wait. She will go when asked and learn to pull steadily and consistently. The geldings will teach her as much, perhaps even more, than I will.

She is a special lady who pleases me very much. She is strong willed, yet lets me be in charge. She is steady and calm. She is trusting and friendly. She is graceful when she moves. She is my little girl and I think she is beautiful. Soon, she will fill her role as a team member and be an important power source for the farm. For now, her training continues while she learns and grows.



Dress Rehersal
June 14, 2016, 7:17 am
Filed under: June 2016 | Tags: , , ,

Abbydressup

June 14, 2016

Yesterday evening, Abby got to play dress up. I have been putting this old collar on her for a few days now. The collar slips over her head like a t-shirt. She wasn’t too sure at first, but now actually pushes her head into the collar to help get it on. Last night, I put the rest of the harness on her back.

It is good for her to get used to the smell and feel of the harness. The straps hang down and touch her in different places. The tug chains rattle and jingle and even just the weight of the harness, is a different feeling for my young lady. She did great.

You can see by looking at her eye, that there is no fear. She trusts me to keep her safe. I put the harness on and off several times. She paid me no attention except for nuzzling me as I talked to her. This is a big deal, a benchmark in her training. Soon, she will be hitched alongside Duke, as she learns to be driven. It’s hard to say how that may go, but from everything I have seen so far, I think she will be a quick, calm learner.