Thursday, August 19, 2010


Yup, Janow is learning how to drive. I am ground driving him a lot, and longing in harness with blinders. We have 5 round pens at Indian Hill Ranch, so we move from roundpen to roundpen to prevent(sort of) boredom. He seems to be enjoying it.

One of the things that has to be important in my training is getting all the other horses at Indian Hill used to seeing the harness, and soon, the cart. I really don't want anyone to get scared or injured. It would be very sad. It could also spell the end of my driving on the property. Then I would have to trailer out, and find someone to go with me. There are over 200 horses at Indian Hill.

I am only riding him at the walk and it seems to help. I have pretty limited ability with my lumbar spine fused, especially to take on his shenanigans. When he is ready for trot or canter, he likes to leap into the air and take a big buck. It seems that now when he knows it will only be walk, he doesn't bother. So I stick to walk. When he gets put to, he will be able to do lots of trot!

He has had weight in the traces and done very well, so he is ready to go to the trainer's in Knightsen: Roger Cleverly. It's an hour and 20 min drive. I pass many McDonalds and many Starbucks on my way there and back. My husband has to work on my trailer first. I can no longer lift the ramp, so he has to remove it, add a bumper, and re-enforce the doors.

In the meantime, I am getting more experience driving Nutmeg and Indie. I haven't driven Spunky in a while. Roger bought him to be a school pony, but he has turned out to be a top Combined Driving competitor! Go Spunk!

I had a lesson yesterday, working in the ring, on a cones course. I ran over a lot of cones!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

It must be frustrating at times to have a fused spine. Does it limit your ROM? My spine is fused at C6-7 due to surgery for a ruptured disc and it does limit my ROM and repetitive lifting abilities.

You are very responsible and thoughtful to be aware of and want to prepare the horses at the facility for Janow pulling the cart and you driving.


Cara said...

Yes, my range of motion is very limited. I can't mount from the ground. Getting my foot that high is only the beginning. The muscles in my lower back can't be used to lift myself up since they are attached to joints that don't move.

I get up and down off the floor to visit Silver Rabbit, so I keep pretty limber where I still bend.

Melanie said...

Great for you and great for Janow!!! Driving can be a lot of fun, but I do prefer riding over it. I will be fun to read about your progress. : )

PS-Yes!!! It is definitely a good idea to desensitize the other horses to the sight of a cart or buggy.....