Saturday, 21 February 2015
Went on a horse logging course today, was great, but I am knackered tonight!! The site was on the side of a hill, so much walking up and down.....
The lady running the course was Kate from Rowan Working Horses, have seen her before at one of the local agricultural shows, more about her here
She has two Ardennes horses, Kip and Sol. They make Tari look slim and delicate ;-) First we had a demo on how to tack up, then we were out in a field to do some long reining, I found that bit easy as I've done so much with the girls, some of the others didn't though!
Then we went up into the woods to start work. Suddenly when you've got lots of tree stumps and whippy bits of hazel everywhere plus a metal swingletree attached to the back of the horse dragging along the ground, long reining becomes more of a challenge!!
But I soon got the hang of it and Kip and I dragged some logs up the hill. He put on a fair old turn of speed, knowing how much effort he needs to get the logs up there, but he also had very good brakes
After lunch, we did some stuff with the timber arch, a wheeled contraption that the horse pulls along with row of ratchets to hoist one end of the wood up so it's easier to clear rough ground. This really needed some thinking about, but was generally a pretty good off road vehicle
I was impressed with the horses' manoeuvrability, they could do some neat lateral moves when they needed to And they had lovely natures, but then, that's what you'd expect from a draft breed.
Pics courtesy of Ali who came along and wants to do a course herself next time :-)
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
OK, well I spoke too soon about the boot camp. After a couple of weeks off due to a frozen sand school and some snow, Sky went back for a lesson and was a total git.
She didn't want to go and do some work as there were some interesting looking geldings on the bottom yard (yes, she's coming into season) and she wanted to go and talk to them.
She remembered her incredible stop and refuse to go forward technique that we thought she'd given up.
Ali got a bit of a workout, and Sky eventually got the message when Sarah reached for the lunge whip. So in the end, she did do some work. Having expended far more energy attempting to avoid doing any work than she would have needed to simply do as she as asked. Ho hum......