Friday, July 16, 2010

A mid summers eve drive

I trailered Indigo out the other day to a local farm to use their large outdoor arena. I needed to get some video for Zoe of bitless driving. I also wanted to do some reinsmanship for a possible interdressage addition. I intended to kill two birds with one stone but that didn't happen.

From the time I got there and unloaded Indigo I could feel someone watching me. There was a lot of activity going on. Horses being shod, tractors crashing and banging when they were not unloading round bales, dogs, sprinklers, horses.
The arena needed to be worked up and was really bumpy. Indigo, bless her heart does not care about the cart crashing or banging around when it hits large bumps, holes or rocks. Shes such a superstar and just carries on at the speed you put her when the cart just about scrambles your brains on a bump. We drove around the rail, flattening the bumpy track with the wheels of the cart. My friend Sarah came along to watch and take pictures and video of us cruising around the ring. All images and video in this post are by her.
So I was walking, trotting and even cantering in the cart around the ring when I had that feeling of being watched again. I looked around and noticed the farm owners one girl was glued in awe to the fence boards, little hands just below her eyes watching me with much interest. As I came around near her I hollered if she went and got her helmet I would give her a ride too. No sooner had those words left my mouth She was on her bike, splitting for the barn as fast as her legs would pedal. I drove around a few more times before she was standing at the fence again, helmet on and buckled. Indigo and I stopped and let her in.
She started asking a million questions and explaining her horse and that she did reining and had never seen a horse being driven, let alone been in a cart. She was super excited about a horse driving around at her house.
We went at a walk, three speeds of trot and cantered before coming to a stop near the gate and backing up. The girl was super impressed and asked if she could drive. I handed her the reins. Now if you know Indigo shes normally a pretty forward horse but does know when it is time to slow down and stand around. She was not quite tired yet but as soon as that girl had the reins she knew. Her head dropped, she licked her lips and walked along like an old plow horse for her pint sized driver.
I keep thinking to myself, I am the only person who has ever driven Indigo. She did not come to me as a driving horse so she got everything from introduction to the harness, line driving and finally all kinds of carts, sleigh and whatever else I can make her pull. I am the only person who works her, other than when Murdo's granddaughter Faith is here. I can't keep that kid off Indigo.
So we cruised around for a wile and I explained the harness. This girl was mighty impressed and said she really wanted to drive a standardbred horse they had on the farm since she used to race. Before I knew it there were two more pairs of eyes peering over the fence the same way the first girl did. I hollered for them to get their helmets too and just like the first, these two split on their bikes like they were escaping a burning building to come back with their helmets strapped on. They hopped into the cart too and started rambling instantly and asking a million more questions.
So they both got to drive too. All over the arena. Poor Indigo, goodness shes a good girl. I had to grab the reins a few times to avoid running over cones or barrels or even hanging a shaft on the fence post.

Then their mother and the trainer at the farm came wandering to the fence. They said they were sitting back there for a wile discussing what got them so excited they blasted into the tack room and got their helmets and peeled back out without saying a word. Then they seen us in the cart and knew.

Edit: I did have a video, it however has been loading for almost 4 hours and it's still not loaded and my friend accidentally closed the browser. Welcome to internet in the buttcrack of the world. Maybe tomorrow.

I somehow coaxed the three very enthusiastic girls out of the cart and the trainer, who also happened to be named Sarah hopped in. She turned on her camera and said she was going to take some video for Michelle, who she was going to see that night. The Michelle she was talking about is Indigo's old owner before I bought her, who hasn't come out to see her drive but has seen pictures of her. Michelle has not seen Indigo since a month or two after she became mine. She has accomplished a lot of things in that time.
We did a short video pretty much of Indigo's rump, walking, trotting, cantering, sliding stop and backing under harness. Sarah was really enthused laughing and praising what a good job I had done with Indigo. Sarah knew her before she came to me and knew what a pill she could (and can sill) be. She was such a super, awesome girl. I couldn't have been more proud at how my horse acted in a new place completely by herself in this big, bumpy outdoor arena driving around with all sorts of horses neighing and galloping around a field over. Cause you know, another horse harnessed to a carriage has fangs and eats other horses for dinner according to those riding horses.

I think there are some driving shows in store for her this year, so long as she does not hurt herself again *knock on wood*

Hopefully video and stuff later.


Beth said...

Those are just the sweetest pictures. especially of you and the little girl. And way to go Indigo, how do they know? They just do don't they?

I love driving. I don't know why more people don't do it! I was talking to my trainer, who as you know is starting to let me drive on my own, I wanted to drive again tomorrow, but he is going to be using the wagon. He turned to me and said, "but you can ride, isn't it nice to have such a versatile horse?" And isn't it? Indigo definitely qualifies as that too. We are so lucky! A little trail riding here, dressage there, throw in some driving and you have the perfect horse!

Jen said...

What a great day! It's funny, isn't it that no matter how wonderful we think our horses are they can still surprise us with something even better :o) Shadow will completely freeze if you put a really small child on him; if you ask him to walk he all but tippy toes around the riding area *grin*. Terrific tale!

juliette said...

Indigo is very sweet and seems to like everything you do with her! You were very nice to include all the interested spectators! Sounds like a fun evening.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Indigo is a superstar. I'll bet she has a huge fan club at that farm now. It was so nice of you and Indigo to take the time with the kids and show them something new.

You all looked like you were having such a great time. I'll say it again Indigo is wonderful and I'll bet she has you for her human. She gets to do lots of fun things.

Jeni said...

What a fun time Sydney!! Horses amaze me when it comes to kids or humans in general. They know a faker in a heart beat and let them know about it, but kids man mine will cake walk and go to great lengths to ensure the kid is safe up there.

Have a great weekend!

Sarah said...

What a precious day! You gave those girls an experieence they will never forget, and maybe opened up a new door for them. Proud of you and Indigo!

shadowlake said...

Wow that all is so great! But I have 1 question: How do you do a sliding stop in a cart w/out damage? Sounds pretty entertaining!

Shirley said...

What a great day for those little girls; and you're the best for giving them such a good experience with driving - Indigo is too!
There was a bad driving wreck here last month; a lady that had been retired only 3 days took her horse and cart out- the horse had only recently come back from the trainer- and it seems it ran away on her, and they crashed. She hit a telephone pole with her head and died, and the horse ended up having to be put down too. No one knows exactly how it happened, or what caused the horse to panic. So sad.

Sarah Golden said...

We'll get the videos up once I start having better trial-and-errors converting it to a good format without error. I'm really lacking RAM and patience, so I donno.

...You have Smokey and Bandit song...

Anyways. That was a pretty great day, I didn't do too much and I was exhausted! :P

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