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So, my son was helping me hitch the young filly. I have been working with her single, but all line driving. We hitched with her mate to a sled. The sled was parked on the gravel drive. Once I started the team, things went very bad, very fast. The filly didn't like the sound of the sled on the gravel. Usually that is no big deal and they settle down in a matter of a few yards. This time, however, we forgot to snap her outside line! Rookie mistake, but only being able to make a right hand turn at a high rate of speed is hard on an old man's underwear!
I got the team stopped fairly quickly, thanks to her teammate Duke. My son went to their heads while I unhitched. That was when we discovered the unhooked line.
We fastened the line, then I drove them around for about twenty minutes without any other problems. I will have her back in the sled in a couple days, then on to other things with her. I was glad to have my son helping and Duke with her. It happens to all of us folks...Stay Safe!

Todd NE WY says 2017-03-15 09:41:42 (CST)


Had a similar experience a couple years ago. I got the team hitched to the fore cart and headed out the drive. As we approached the main road something didn't look right so I stopped. Come to find out both of my cross checks were still buckled to the hame not attached to the other horse's bridle. I had managed to back away from the hitch rack then step them over the tongue with just the outside lines. I never did relax on that drive knowing how close I came to a big mistake.

Be safe all.


1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-03-15 10:45:42 (CST)

Now, while I hope I do not have to take every word seriously( parts of your garment!!), the incident could have ended badly. Something like this has probably happened to all of us who have been around for a while. It shows that one really has to check everything twice. Is the team mate of that young filly a more experienced horse?

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-03-15 13:49:19 (CST)

We've all made mistakes like that at some point. What counts is how you handle the situation after you discovered the mistake. Sounds like you kept things reasonably under control for the most part.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-03-15 19:45:38 (CST)

No worries on the soiled garment. I just added that to embellish my story. An older fellow told me one time that when stuff like that happens...first you say it, then you do it! Well, I almost did!
Seriously though, that could have been real bad. I should have checked everything again, I just got caught up in the moment I guess. Yes, Duke is one of my broke horses. He can be a little excitable, but will listen and respond to me even when he is scared or concerned about something. This incident was no different. He took off when she did, thinking that he must have missed a clue from me. Once I got a hold of him and started applying pressure while saying whoa, he stopped. I had them sort of hooked together with a neck yoke and a lazy strap, thankfully. She couldn't drag Duke in her fright. She also calmed right down once she saw that he was not scared. They both stood quiet while I spoke to them as I unhooked from the sled.
I drove them right off and around the circle drive for a good while after the little upset. They were calm and sure of themselves again, as we went into the barn. I am sure we ended the session on a positive note. We have been snowed in for the last two days, but her lessons will continue tomorrow.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-03-16 09:10:00 (CST)

Ralph, I wish the breeding of horses could focus a bit more on disposition. The horses I had in Bavaria were generally more stoic than what I have had here so far.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-03-16 19:09:45 (CST)

Klaus, I am sure in the American quest to breed upheaded, long legged hitch type horses, many qualities are overlooked. Disposition may be one of those things. I will say, this little filly settled down quickly, trusted me completely once she heard my voice. She is a sensible horse, but I have had a few that "went down the road" because they were too nervous to fit in. I want calm, smart, well broke horses. I will put the time into them, but do expect them to respect and trust me back.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-03-18 22:50:33 (CST)

Done something like that it got very interesting for a while. Had a horse rub his bridle off when I put it back on never got the bit in his mouth couldn't understand why he didn't respond to my lines like he should. by the time we got to the highway 3/4 of a mile with forecart pulling a 18x36 tractor tire got him slowed down and stopped to put the bit in his mouth good thing the other horse was responding to the bit real good. And only my self to blame. My granddaughter said without the bit in his mouth he was not responding bad. I told her that she was very close to catching HELL and she said why, I said if you had put that bridle back on I would have give you hell. she just laughed said oh well. Remember I bought her a team of ponies that were runaways and she caked the cows with them for two years. You can hook the ponies up now and they will walk away when you tell them to step up. when I tell her to go hook up a team she just says what team and what do you want them hooked to, she don't care. she is a teamster that I trust. We all have done things wrong most of us have got away with it , experience comes from making bad actions and learning from them.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-03-19 08:57:16 (CST)

K.C., it is obvious there is a good sense of humor reigning in your and your descendants' veins. And there is also honest and good horsemanship, and that is always great to read.
Your stories are also a good reminder that not every environment and situation is conducive to training horses: You have the good fortune of not having too much motorized traffic around you with drivers who nowadays seem to pay as much attention to their hand-held electronic devices as to the road they are traveling on. It's just getting worse. We need stringent rules and strict enforcement on our roads here on the outskirts of a big metropolitan area. I couldn't venture out on the road in front of our farm even with the best and calmest team without the risk of being run into.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-03-19 18:37:39 (CST)

Klaus, you and KC bring up valuable points. The main one is about our roads and distracted drivers. When we moved to this farm 25 years ago, traffic was much lighter. It has increased way more than double. I set this farm up with a central lane so that I can get to every one of my fields without going out on to the highway.
I agree that we need to lower the hammer on folks who text and drive. Just last week in mid-Ohio a mother and daughter were killed when the buggy they were riding in was struck by a young girl driving and texting, she never even had time to hit the brakes. It was a slaughter.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-03-20 08:24:28 (CST)

I'll second any of those motions, but the mindset that cars reign supreme is, unfortunately, very American. (Consider all the cities trying to ban horse-drawn carriages since the horses are a "nuisance.")

We live on a country road about two miles from the main road. Not a lot of traffic but, while the speed limit is 50 mph, we regularly see vehicles going 70 mph plus. We're near an intersection and, in the last year have seen four road signs taken out right in front of our place. It's often enough that the county has stopped replacing the sign and just props up the wooden post and then bolts it back into place with a metal bar, knowing they'll probably do it again in a few months. Suffice it to say, I'd never take my team on the road. Just too dangerous.

Kind of sad though. Last Christmas we bought a tree from the farm about a mile down the road. It was snowing that day, nice big fluffy flakes, and it would have been a pleasure to hitch the mules up to go over and fetch the tree. Very Christmas-y! But it was just too risky.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2017-03-20 17:33:51 (CST)

If you never had a run away, you haven't driven much, IT gets western real fast.

My buddy had just got a good mule back from the Amish after they had worked it in harness all summer. Things went well for about a mile in a little two wheel cart. Then one wheel developed a little squeak to it. It was big squeak to the mule. We were going down a road that had banks on both sides higher than the road. The mule was in a full gallop in two jumps. Both of us had the lines pulling ,but to no avail. In about 20 yards, one wheel rode up on the bank and bounced me out. Another 20 yards, and when I came up rolling ,I saw my buddy bounce out,

The last sight we had of the mule, the cart was turn 90 degrees with one wheel down and one wheel up . It was a bad deal because around the first bend there was a family reunion going on with then playing softball in the road. I guess it scattered them and someone had pick up across the road ,so the mule had to stop.

When we got there, about four guys were holding the mule down. Shafts were bent, one wheel was bent 90 degrees and harness was tore up. We sort of straightened a few things up, patched up the harness and made the mule drag the cart back to my buddy's place. We had the mule snubbed to the back of a pick up. That started and ended my buddy's driving career.

Injuries was a lot of road rash that took awhile to grow skin back over them on both of us. Mule was unscathed.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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