Saturday, February 5, 2011

Training Day

  Drove a 7 year old Percheron, Shadow with a simple sled.  Shadow has been a riding horse and now is working on developing his driving abilities.  Challenges with working with such a large horse as Shadow are his size and strength.  To overcome his size I have accustomed Shadow to a variety of stools and steps around him.  His owner continues this training when I am not around which is important on building consistency.  Shadow is used to things being thrown on his back and moved around.   Shadow's strength is also a challenge.  He can go wherever he wants to when he wants to go.  I have to be mindful of the angle at which I stand behind him.  When directly behind the horse it is similar to when riding.  To create a more effective angle I will stand to one side or the other of Shadow's hip. 

Today as you can see in the photos we had Shadow out in a simple sleigh.  He is very anxious to pull and work in the snow.  After one round out in the deep snow Shadow was warmed up and ready to work.  We enjoyed about 35 minutes of driving with 5 minute breaks every 10 minutes.  When finished with our fun Shadow was rested, hand walked and stood in the barn with a cooler on to wick the sweat from him.

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