The babies are coming up on high yearlings soon, and we are starting to involve ourselves in more intense training with them. Yesterday we put Jessie and Gillette together, to let Gillette drag her around a bit and teach her what it meant to "walk on", "whoa", "come gee", etc. Of course, Gillette was feeling particularly grumpy and so did not take too kindly to Jessie. He dragged her about the barnyard, chomping at the bit and pinning back his ears, as if to say, "damn fool kid, youth is wasted on the young". Poor Gillette. Truth is, Jessie did better for her first time "driving" then Gillette did as a seasoned old man. Well, we still love the ol' grump anyway.
Photos: Although I have them improperly sequenced here, the pictures from bottom to top shows you how the training advances: Jessie being harnessed and paired with Gillette at the hitching rail. We have already gone through the process of acclimating her to harness, blinders and snaffle bit, so that is of little concern to her. We start off with three people - a driver, and a handler to each horse. Once the filly is accustomed to keeping up with Gillette, the handlers back away and the driver keeps them walking in circles and figure eights. Gillette, of course, says he would rather be hang gliding than trying to teach THAT kid the ropes. Grump.