Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Pony and a Cart

I grew up in a house in the country. We had a long paved driveway with horse pastures on each side. One year on my brother's birthday, my mom's friend brought over her pony and cart to give rides to the party guests. But guess who was most impressed? Me. I was in love with that pony and cart. I have thought about that for about 40 years now and have always wanted a pony cart of my very own. I never did achieve that. Sure we've always had ponies and horses but never a carting pony. And I just couldn't get it out of my mind. Last year at Christmas my brother surprised our family with all of our home movies put on DVDs and there it was again...that beautiful pinto pony pulling the cart....with me hanging all over it.

My neighbor grew up with a pony and a cart and every chance she gets she tells me about when her pony freaked out and crashed the cart into the fence. She expresses that feeling of being out of control and not being able to stop. And apparently everyone I meet has a horror story of some kind involving a pony cart. The gal at the fruit stand at the end of our road had Shoshone, a white, old as dirt pony that pulled a cart for 20 years up and down our road when one day she freaked out (that's always the word they use, freaked) and jumped into the path of an oncoming car. The car hit the pony and she went through the windshield. The gal that was in the cart broke her shoulder but fortunately the pony was fine. When the man in the car called the next day to see how things were the gal said, "Oh my daughter and I are fine." He said, "Not you, I'm wondering about the pony."

My other horse friend told me about a friend of hers that spent months in the hospital after a pony she was showing "freaked" and she got tangled in the cart and was drug for sometime.

So when I saw that Sunny was cart trained I was a little excited but wondering if I had the courage to ride in a cart after all of these stories of good ponies gone bad. I decided I would just see if he would ground drive in spite of the fact that I have no equipment for that. So I hooked a long line on both side of his halter and took him out on the road (away from the lure of green grass) and got behind him and told him to "Walk on" clucking a little with my tongue. And sure enough he did. We went a little way and I clucked a little more and he settled into a nice trot with me trotting after him with a huge grin on my face. What fun! We went flying up the road. As I neared the piece of property that Hubby was clearing I screamed his name to come out and see.....I was driving my pony! We drove up the road and back again. As I was about to the pasture I saw Long Winded Louie walking up the road and had to slow down and be neighborly and say hello. Louie said, " Hey, my daughter used to show P.O.A.s and we had a cute covered wagon that one use to pull and one day in the middle of a parade he "freaked" and went running for the crowd. If it wasn't for a quick thinking bystander that grabbed the bridle that darn pony and wagon would have been all over that crowd. I'd never have another pony and cart."

Talk about raining on my parade. So I don't know if I'll drive a cart or not. For now I just might be happy with my feet on the ground running behind my pony.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh wow! The vision of you running down the road behind your cute little Sunny...I'm sure with a huge happy smile on your face....just fills my heart with joy!

My advice to you, is to just go for it! Live your dream!

Life is too short to worry about 'what ifs'.

Start off on quiet country roads, or even a parking lot after the store has closed. Get to know Sunny as a cart pony. Learn what gets him going, what calms him down and what 'freaks' him out.

Once you feel really comfie, and so does Sunny, head out on any road or even do a parade together.

My friend, you are going to have SO much fun!!


Holly said...

I think (based on my .very. limited experience) that as with most training, people go to fast. I started my mare line driving this year. She does a wonderful job in the arenas and near the barn. I took her down the field and to the gravel pit, but we had some trouble and then I had to decide if the cost of feeding the impatience was worth the possible fallout of her learning something I would rather she not learn. This was .all. my own fault as she was not ready for that yet.

The point of this long winded commentary is that I think you need to work just like you are doing, take it small steps at a time and enjoy the journey. Ponies and carts don't have to be a disaster, they can also be fun!

sugarcreekstuff said...

I cant say it better than Lisa, but I agree with her wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

Cute Pony.

@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

I think that would be an excellent aerobic workout, Wendy! Think of what great shape your lungs will be in, not to mention your whole body! Time will tell whether or not you and Sunny will be comfortable together with a cart. Don't rule it out, and don't give in to the negativity. Think of the possibilities.

Tami Weingartner said...

Where people run into trouble...I think that people look at ponies and they see the cuteness. And they forget that just cause there little and cute....there still Equine. So deserving of the same respect and consideration of a horse. They are animals of flight whether there 10 hand tall or 17 hands. Remember to analyze things with equine goggeles on and you'll be okay.

And besides....just think of the money you'll save going to the grocery store in your cart instead of your car!

FoxMeadowsFarmgirl said...

I have no horror stories for you about carting. The closest thing I can offer on that line is: We used to have a goat cart (no goat by that time, much to my personal chagrin) and Moonie and I had a great time making Dad and Bumpa pull us around the yard!! =) See? No horror! Go for the cart!! ;)

Gone2theDawgs said...

I have a friend who "carts" with horses, ponies and mules. Her advice is to take it in steps and be confident in each step before progressing to the next. She even has done the cross country wagon train up near Winthrop!

goatgirl said...

I remember that goat cart foxmeadowfarmgirl. When I met your mom and dad they had that cart...and a goat. When you were a baby we put you in the cart and tied the goat to it and pulled you around. I used to have a picture somewhere. Your uncle always tells me about a friend who's uncle went crazy and drove a goat cart up the street NAKED! Now that's a horror story. Please someone if I am going down the street naked in my pony cart, throw me a blanket.

goatgirl said...

I will take all of your advice and take it slow but I won't let anyone squash my dream.
I'll keep you posted!

Danni said...

I absolutely love thinking about you trotting behind sweet Sunny, smiling the biggest smile ever.
Don't pay that long-winded Louie no never mind - I'd hate to think of him taking the wind out of your sails. Take Sunny's lead and go where your heart takes you...I'll be one of the many applauding you from the parade route. :-)

Marigold said...

Please DO NOT get any ideas about the goats. Cora Belle paid me to say that.