Learning to drive

/ posted in: Horses

I worked Prize yesterday. It was the first time since she came home from school. I decided to work on her driving first because my arena isn’t entirely cleaned out. I also wanted to assess her mental state before I got on her. If she was bad I didn’t want to fall on all the stuff in the arena.

At the time that she got send to boarding school last year she had been line driving for a while and was about ready to start pulling weight. I wanted her to mature more before I would trust her enough to attach her to a cart. She hasn’t been in harness since at least last May.

I got the harness out and she just looked at me in utter disbelief. She informed me that this is her vacation home – not school. Apparently she was under the mistaken impression that she would be a lady of leisure only when she got home.

I go the harness on her and asked her to ‘walk on.’ She stood there. I asked again. She continued to pretend to have no idea what I was talking about. If she had fingers I’m sure she would have put them in her ears and started yelling, “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” She may not have driven in a long time but ‘walk on’ is an everyday command for her so I wasn’t buying the act. I ended up leading her for a few steps to put the idea of forward motion in her head. At that point she gave in and did great! I drove her in a slalom course around and between the remaining piles of stuff in the arena. We didn’t hit anything thought I’m sure that was more her good sense than my driving ability. I’m just learning. It is hard to have to think 10 feet in front of you. The first pony I ever drove I kept running into walls because I would forget how far ahead I had to tell her to turn.