The first day Alex hitched the four – they drove off like they had done it every day. Alex had to retrain himself since it had been 5 years since he drove a team of four… and those were four Fjord ponies he drove for a client in the Combined Driving Events (CDE’s). These boys are much bigger. They were driven as pairs and with different mates but never hitched as leaders or wheelers before.
Legend and Image are Percheron/thoroughbred cross full brothers, 10 and 11 years old and stand 17 hands tall and Mannie and Brubeck are 17 hands tall at 8 and 7 years of age.
Our daughter Dianna (Dee) came home for a visit and was here to help her dad hitch the four. Not a better helper can be found than our kids! They know where to be when you need them and what to do before you ask.
In the photo above, two of our students accompanied Alex and Dee – not so much to help but for the fun of it.
In the photo below – was another student Kathryn from Dillon who Alex is coaching to compete with her single horse in the CDE’s.
This was their second day out. Alex shifted them around to see who would be better in the lead. They didn’t seem to mind where they were in the hitch.
Dee said, “They did beyond excellent…they’d done it like they’d been sneaking out of their corrals at night practicing by moonlight all by themselves.”
Leaders: Legend and Manny
Wheelers: Brew and Image
Vehicle: Marathon Vehicle – A four-wheeled horse drawn vehicle used for competitions, with four disk brakes.
Yes, the views in Montana are eye-poppin!
Some neighbor’s ranch horses along side the road were curious about this contraption.
We had several days of big rain so the horses didn’t get hitched again right away. But on their third drive Owen, a student from California was here to enjoy the ride.
Owen came last November for a week of lessons and had so much fun he decided to come back again, hoping for better weather. There was no snow on the ground this time, but it was a bit chilly for the time of year. Owen said he would be back again next year! He is a delight to be around and welcome any time!
The big rains we had did cause some flooding in Deer Lodge. The ranchers were trying to move all the new irrigation water around – which presented us with some little water hazards!
Every puddle in the road – they took with joy.
Alex said they drove so well as a “four” he didn’t need to use his hands!
Ok, so Dee was driving the team.
They love to play in the water!
Coming home after a fun drive.