Milton Does Demo Duty

Training Journal

 

Greg & Milton demonstrate long-lining.
Photo by Ruwena Healy, District Commissioner, Cahaba Pony Club.

Cahaba Pony Club hosted an, “Introduction to Driving Horses and Ponies” at El Gezira Riding Academy. Milton went to demonstrate ground-driving. While he is not cleared to hitch in public at the moment, we thought ground driving & long-lining would be a useful skill to show the pony clubbers. Area driver Megan Bridges supplied two minis and a two-wheeled pleasure cart. The other demonstrators, Sandra Norriss and Garioch MacHall, handled the minis and brought a four-wheel, mini-sized, marathon pairs cart for the kids to check out.

When not alarmed by the world, Milton was a model citizen. Climbed on the trailer without hesitation, stood patiently, allowed himself to be admired, and so on. Most of the time, he is easy to work with.

Milton was the model for the harness lecture.
LtoR. Garioch MacHall, Milton, me, Greg. CPC audience members in the foreground.
Photo by Ruwena Healy, District Commissioner, Cahaba Pony Club.

However.

From time to time, Milton goes from zero to the-sky-is-falling. He does so at warp speed and without warning.

Things That Alarm Milton
Trailers
We had unloaded and were taking Milton’s wraps off. Someone made a sarcastic ‘Whoa, there, Wild Horse’ sort of comment about Milton’s relaxed attitude. I responded with my standard line, “He’s chill, right up until he’s not.” Shortly thereafter, a big, rattly, stock trailer arrived. Milton decided the aliens were landing.

Verdict: Weird, but we know about this one.

Barking, Running Dogs
Two dogs of a breed that does not have the best reputation came after Milton with what looked to me like every intention of biting his back tendons. Milton spun in circles to stay out of the way.

Verdict: Totally justified.

Thunder
Loud boom. Milton may not have been the only on who jumped.

Verdict: Would be nice if he didn’t, but understandable.

Milton checks out the minis.

Minis
He was not spooking at, as much as fascinated by. He couldn’t stop staring.

Verdict: Not uncommon.

Minis & Cart
When one of the minis was hitched, Milton insisted on violently turning to keep the cart in sight. Fascination? Afraid the cart was going to eat the mini? Eat Milton? I have no idea. Although Milton drives, he hasn’t seen other horses attached to carts very often. Horses frequently object to seeing horses pulling carts [not a post “At Full Circle, the resident horses …”].

Verdict: Ditto.

Milton continues his habit of expressing himself on camera [Looking Goofy, Horse Show Outtakes].

Update [Heading Home]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Driving, Groundwork, Horses

8 replies »

  1. Mini donkeys. Holy. Cow. I have never seen such black or white reactions to anything as I have witnessed over mini donkeys. Fortunately, my guy is fine with them for the most part. (Mini ponies result in lots of stopping and looking, but OK.) The TBs on the farm? Anywhere from not so much to OMG, you better find another way back to the barn! We have one TB who can barely contain his panic when he just hears them. And donkeys like to bray at everything. Or nothing. So that’s fun. This TB has been there almost a year, so apparently he’s NOT going to get over it. We currently have three mini ponies and three mini donkeys at the boarding barn. *sigh* While awfully cute, I’m not particularly enamored with any of them. They are all very noisy. Who knew?

  2. Donkey brays have an almost mechanical quality. We had a donkey at the zoo. I remember it sounded pretty weird. I can imagine a mini-donkey would sound exponentially weirder.

    d&t. I am not saying a word about your love of miniature things. 😉

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