The highway to Homer is one of the most beautiful drives in the country!
I just wanted you to see part of the scenery. The photo below is coming into the Homer area.
The clinic was held at the Equestrian park with a nice round pen and arena.
Alex gave a little chat to the people before they started with the horses and asked if there were any questions. Like the previous clinic in Butte/Palmer, most everyone was a beginning driver and not many of them had trained horses.
Alex showed everyone how to fit and adjust harness. This step was repeated for each horse.
Angelia Trujillo from Anchorage set up these clinics and was planning to bring her horse and carriage for people to drive, but she had an accident the day before we arrived in Alaska and was in the hospital the whole two weeks we were there. Since there were too few horses to drive, Alex agreed to do an evaluation on a young mare and showed the students how to lunge a horse.
This horse is three years old and had never had harness on. She threw a fit.
This is not typical behavior, but it was a good lesson for the owner to see what she was up against. Alex let her buck all she wanted and after she blew off her steam and realized she couldn’t get rid of that harness, she was more willing to pay attention to him. By the second day she was much better and did what he asked on the lunge line. This is one of the reasons we suggest people find someone who knows what they are doing, to train their horses to drive. A lot of people call us who admit they know little to nothing about driving a horse but want to train their old horse to drive. I congratulate them for being wise enough to learn how to drive first. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
Angela’s sweet horse Dazzle preformed beautifully and let everyone drive.
Our next horse to drive belonged to Lyn. She had seen pictures of this horse driving and believed the previous owners about the horse’s abilities and accomplishments but she had never tried it herself. Alex did a test first and found the horse was responsive, then based on the horse’s history, he hitched it in the arena and realized the horse was very well trained and drove beautifully.
The horse is a Friesian cross and as sweet as he could be to drive. I don’t remember his name, sorry.
Lyn was elated to drive her horse! Finally!
Everyone else had the chance to drive him as well.
Kiki hosted us while we were in Homer. She and her husband Abe fed us well. One evening he cooked fresh salmon and halibut that he had caught the day before – OMG was that good! He made spaghetti and bacon wrapped scallops another night. We could have foundered on the grub!! Kiki realized a weekend clinic was not enough for her so she came to our place in Montana for a week of lessons later in June. We tell people a clinic is just an introduction to driving. It gives you a chance to check out the instructor to see if you like how they teach. But to really lean how to drive safely, it take a lot more time with a professional and a lot of practice driving correctly.
The second day was more of the same and we noticed a vast improvement from the people. Mark was here just to get some horse experience for his family’s sake to help them out, but I think he got hooked on driving.
The sun did shine a little between the rain showers.
Then we had to endure the five hour trip back to Anchorage.
And wear our eyeballs out from looking at the scenery!
Next clinic will be in Fairbanks.