I got asked to do Christmas Wagon Rides on Park Street again this year. Rachael is an old lady now and enjoying retirement. Due to work being busy, Pam is in no shape to be pulling a wagon all night. I thought I was going to have to turn the offer down.
HOWEVER ... sometimes life puts people in your path that make things possible for you that you couldn't do otherwise.
I met a nice guy named John Stiles. He's an avid horseman and a hell of a guy. He happened to have a team of percheron geldings and told me that I could use them if I ever needed/wanted them. With the request to help with wagon rides looming, I thought of John, and I asked the question. A quick "yes" came back, and I currently have the horses here at my place.
Introducing Pete and Marty, a fantastic team of Percheron geldings!!!
|Pete on the left, Marty on the right|
|They actually match my trailer!!!|
Pete is a big ol' boy. I haven't put a tape on him, but he's well over 18 hands. I can't see over his back. Marty is just a touch taller than my girls. It's different to have some grey(white) horses around. I'm used to my chessnut beauties, but I could get used to this. Pete and Marty are staying with me now so that I can work them and make sure we're all ready for wagon rides. John even sent them to me with their harnesses and collars.
Step 1 - clean them up a bit. Draft horses are great because in many cases, you can just pull them out of the pasture and put them right to work. The only drawback is that you gotta clean them up. Took me a bit to brush them out and remove all the cockleburrs, but I got them all groomed up and looking nice.
|Free of mud and cockleburrs|
Step 2 - harnesses. We already pre-fit the harnesses when I picked them up, so getting the harnesses back on was cake. These boys let me slide the collars over their heads without even flinching. I'm very impressed with them.
|Harnessed and ready for action|
Step 3 - get them on the sled. Horses ground drove perfectly to the sled, backed into position like pros, and stood great while I hooked the tugs up. Easy as can be. It was so nice to be driving again. Been too long since I did it. The boys stepped out nice and worked well for me. The only issue I had was that Pete (the big guy) was not stepping into the pull fully, and figiting a bit when I gave them a break. No pawing or anything like that, but he stepped over his outside tug twice. I was able to untangle him with ease though.
|Marty on the left, Pete on the right|
All in all it was a great weekend. Looking forward to the wagon ride season. I think these boys are gonna put smiles on a lot of folks places. This weekend I'll be out on the road with bells on. If you're around Campbell, that aint Santa you hear. :)