Friday, June 20, 2008
Driving Journal 1
A few days ago I had my first session learning how to drive horses. At 8:00 in the morning we headed out to Rick's house, and led the horses out from the field. I tried somewhat unsuccessfully to absorb all the names and parts of the horse and harness, but I think I got the general idea. (I did get the knot down, though, and used it to tie up the cow yesterday for milking.) We simply practiced ground driving, without any implements, which was tricky enough. At times driving horses can start to feel like driving a car, pulling two lines instead of turning a wheel. It's similar, but really the horses only go anywhere because they decide to. It might feel like I have control over where they go, and if I push on their bodies they do generally move away from pressure, but if at some point a horse has other ideas there's little I can do about it. They're pretty big. That's the whole point. My job as driver, it seems, is to convince the horse to decide to walk where I want him to go. But to do this I have to act like I know what I'm doing. I don't. Pete, of course, knows exactly what's going on. I feel like even though I try to fake being sure of myself, he's still thinking, “Dude, you don't have a clue.” Which is mostly the case, for now.