Archive for June, 2009

Galahad’s 2nd trip to town

June 28, 2009

Gee over #1

Sunday Evening Hitched up at 6pm in town with bells on.  Our niece Kristin came with us and we drove the team up to Jim’s parents for a visit.  We did a one block drive on Main Street next to the curb downtown.   Then we drove Kristin home.  Kristin’s horse Skip saw the donkeys for the first time, Bill, another of her horses that has never liked the donkeys freaked but Pep was happy to see Luc again. Luc and Pep were raised together and remain the best of buddies.  We drove past the grade school and got a real good long trot in with the bells just a singing.  Went past Jim’s old house and had our first firecracker.  No big deal.  Even the long shadows did not bother Galahad like they did Luc… Luc did not like to see his shadow on the pavement going down the street with him.  Galahad and Luc did excellent.  There were horses at the arena and Galahad got a little worked up…so did they!  GPS Readings:  1.5 hours, Max Spd 8.4, 20 minutes of stopping time.  Over all Total Mileage 114.75, Total Time 50 hours 15 minutes They are ready for a small parade!  Here are more pictures from yesterday’s arena work out.

Gee Over #3

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Galahad’s First Trip to Town

June 27, 2009

wearing bells 6 27 09

Saturday Afternoon was my first trip to town!  Hey it’s me telling the story today… my name is OK Sir Galahad and I’m a big time drivin’ donkey.  Mom sez, “Galahad, honey, you haven’t seem anything yet!” It was a strange morning, Dad hooked up to the horse trailer, and then he loaded my buggy.  Mom brought us donkey boys our food and later came back with halters but I was the only one lead out of feed jail.  Mom tied me to the trailer and I got to see how my buggy inside as the ramp was down. I was brushed down and then untied.  Mom sat down in the trailer doorway when I came up to her it was treat city for me!  I munched away until it was time for me to jump in, I even beat Luc into the trailer and that was a first. I had a tough time in the trailer and really pushed my buttocks into a corner of the divider gate while rocking back and forth but I was doing better by the time we got to town.  It was a whole new world when Luc and I hopped out of the trailer.  WOW I was amazed and impressed!  

 Three large flags at the National Guard Armory were flapping in the breeze and that caught my attention right off the bat.  Lots of extra noisy traffic roaring by, horses were in the arena, kids on bicycles, so much going on and I didn’t want to miss any of it.  I was great when it came to harnessing and hitching but those first few blocks were more difficult that any country road I’ve ever been on.  Why mom wanted me to go across white lines and then there were the infamous donkey eatin’ man hole covers… even Luc said no to them!  Luc did think I should get real close to garbage cans and kinda push me into them and also into the big black spots on the asphalt.  There was a traffic light, rodeo banners, a farmer’s market with white tents set up every where and all sorts of nonsense!  We stopped to visit a few times and that was okay, baby carriages, electric wheelchairs, lawn mowers, motorcycles, why I saw all sorts of neat stuff. 

When we arrived back at the trailer mom headed us into the rodeo arena.  Flags were flappin’ all over the place and Dad put bells on Luc.  Around the arena we walked then trotted and then… and then… Dad put bells on me!  On Me!!  Oh My… wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  We practiced our gees and haws and a nice back up.  All together it was a great trip to the big city!  I loaded great and had a good trip home.  It was wonderful to get a cool drink then head to the pasture shelter to just think about life in the big city!  Trailer is still hooked to the pickup…. I wonder if that means……… do ya think we’re doin’ this again tomorrow? 

GPS Readings:  3.17 miles, maximum speed 9.6, 1 hour and 45 minutes driving time… 45 minutes was mom jackin’ her jaws at people while we stood patiently waiting for her to let us get going. Overall Total Mileage 111, Total Time 48 hours 17 minutes

From the top 6 27 09

Closer to Civilization,Their First Jogger

June 25, 2009

This drive was the first of the season heading north towards town.  Drove 8 miles in 3 hours with only 26 stopping minutes, maximum speed was 8.0 mph.  It was down right cold and windy, I was dressed for the sunshine so I froze.  We again had a lot of firsts on this drive.  They had to pass about 6 head of black faced ewes and lambs, a dog being held by kids, a horse and more cows.  Neither one of them were happy about this.  Going up the first big hill we had to pull over into the tall grass on a steep side hill to let a swather on a trailer go past us that took up the entire road.  At the top of the hill the boys could see something very strange coming down the road directly at them. As it got closer Luc was ready to take us on a run thru a wheat field.  I hollered at the guy and ask him to say something or quit running as he was scaring my team.  He slowed to a walk and passed us… it was their first jogger!  Scared the heck right out of them!  From there on out everything looked like a donkey eating monster to Galahad, posts with signs, markers for culverts, mail box made from old wheels, running horses and mules, it was tough drive for Galahad. That was the closest he had ever been to town and he did not like it one bit.  Oh, since the hames bells have become no longer scarie to Galahad I had them in the cart with me softly singing to us on the entire trip, he is getting closer to wearing bells.

A fella in a big U-Haul truck stopped and wanted to take our picture.  Turns out he is going to work for the wheelwright I use in Moscow, Idaho.  We had a great visit and he took lots of photos, what a small world. Trip ended in 108 total miles and 45.5 total driving hours.

Teamdonk Drives 100 Miles

June 24, 2009

Our 19th drive Trip Odometer 9.5 miles, Max speed 8.5, Total Time 3 hrs 50 minutes This one is special as it is our 100th mile drive!!  42.5 total hours We had a lot of firsts on this trip.  Drove south to Scholten Road and north to Day Road, continued north on Longhaul where we had a little “under control” run away that broke the whip in three places… that one is history!  We drove all the way to Reservation Line Road, that was a first for me.  That hill is nearly ½ mile long and very steep in places and I never driven down it.  Today I figured with the run away these boys had energy to burn and this piece of real estate would do it for me. We were passed by an unloaded semi and trailer roaring up the hill as we were going down, no problem.  The horses were whinnying to the team and there were lots of Wayne James cows to look over.  We came back up the hill no problem, the other side to the west is much longer and steeper some day we’ll have to come down it with brakes of course. Galahad did his first 360 degree GEE, full circle turn on the way home.  That was kewell! 

 On the return trip we saw a coyote, a doe and a big fat rock chuck all in Day Canyon.  This is the hill we climb out of  the canyon to return home.  It’s a quarter of a mile and steep….did I mention it is steep??!!

south side Day Rd 6 9 09

Drove past our place to check on the sheep and there were none today, picked up the mail from the cart, Galahad is getting better at this than Luc is.  Almost noon when we arrived at  home and it was a hot 74* was glad to get out of the sun. 

 

Sheep…. the new donkey eating monsters!

June 23, 2009

It was 33 degrees last night so I had to wait for it to warm up before going for a drive.  It was a warm 67* when we returned at 1:30, maybe it just felt warm because I was overdressed from the early morning cold.  Drove through Day Canyon and then continued north towards the next big canyon.  We turned around at the top of this canyon, it is steep and almost 1/2 mile long.  There are two places to make this turnaround both are very easy on the boys.  I like this drive as there are no dogs to contend with.  This road  is called Longhaul and I can access it from several locations.  At the crossroads we traveled east a quarter of a mile on Day Road which accesses Longhaul Road again.  That section of  Longhaul can either take us to town or by turning on Scholten Road we can go travel back home.  At the corner of Longhaul and Day roads we turned around and came back home through the west side of Day Canyon.  This entire route gives us an opportunity to do a lot of trotting.  I do let them stop to catch their breath; it’s also a great route to practiced docking as we can see traffic coming for a longer distance.

We drove past our driveway and headed towards the main highway.  Close by is a herd of sheep and today they were out in the pasture for the first time this year.  Luc freaked causing Galahad to become upset also.  I had to really talk them out of a runaway.   I did make they go to the neighbors driveway to turn around putting them closer to the monster woolies which scared the heck out of them. They were pretty upset even while they were being unharnessed as they were sure the sheep were sneaking up behind them to attack. 

GPS readings 8 miles, maximum speed 9.9 mph, total time 3 hr 15 minutes, stopping time was 1 hr 11 minutes.    Total time 38 hrs 45 minutes  on our 18th drive we have driven a total of 90 miles

Reshaped harness collars worked!

June 18, 2009

Tested out the resized collars today.  Luc’s was perfect and am now convinced that he was getting sore.  Galahad’s collar also was perfect and I was able to remove the collar pad as it now was the correct length.  I am so happy that I remembered that this can be done and how to do it.  Again the article is at www.teamdonk.org.  It was an easy fix to a long time problem. Here are Galahad’s photos of his newly shaped collar.

Galahad's collar & hand

Hames Fit

Did the 7 mi loop going down the east side of Day Canyon out to Stites Rd and back up the west side of Day Canyon then on past out place to turn around in the next field.  Did some extra docking and backing in some new spots.  Luc seemed better the bit guard made it so he could not get the sides of his bit or the lines in his mouth. 

After our drive we spent some time working with the hames bells.  I put them on Luc and on then on Galahad for just a minute and he freaked so took them off and held them in my hand while feeding treats out of the other.  He finally got brave enough to reach out and smell and touch them with his nose.  He was better when I quit.

It was much cooler today, with the clouds and breezy conditions after the recent rains.  The temperature was 68* when we got home, was in the 40’s when we left at 8 am. 

As soon as I have a helper need to put the bells on Luc and drive.  Galahad is also ready for a trip to town.

GPS: 7.35 miles, Max spd 8.0 Total time 3 hrs with 36 minutes of stopping time

TOTAL TIME 35.5 hours TOTAL MILAGE 82 miles

Spooking Deer and Reshaping Collars

June 13, 2009

The boys were at the gate at 6 am and ready to go once again. Drove yesterday’s route backwards and stopped at the bottom of each hill for a short back up.  Galahad remembered how to help me retrieve the paper from the box.  Yesterday’s lesson worked!

Luc was really having an extra naughty day.  He tried the entire drive to get the inside shank of his bit and the lines into his mouth, I’m going to fix that with a rubber bit guard!  At one time he had the center line piece upside down and pointed backwards. 

We did more trotting and I’ve finally got them starting together and going slower.  At the road to come home we spooked a deer in the spring canola field on the corner less than a hundred yards from us.  We sat and watched her as she bounced through three different fields until she disappeared over the hill towards our pond.  We then did a dock into a field that is not where we normally practice.  It was a little up hill back and the boys made it happen! 

Did a little more practice with the hames bells; Galahad definitely does not like them that needs to change! 

When I unharnessed I noticed how tight the sides of the collars were especially on Luc.  Took an extra 45 minutes and reshaped the collars.  Can’t wait to see how they work tomorrow, I did try one on Luc this afternoon and it was much shorter and wider, I’m hoping it will fit Galahad just right.  Galahad was having nothing to do with the collar and he told me so!   I added an inch to the sides of two different collars and an inch and a half to the sides of Luc’s collar. For reshaping information see the website at www.teamdonk.org there is an article written on how to do this.

7 miles (overall total of 74 3/4 miles), max speed 9 mph Galahad decided to lope a few steps, Total time 2 hrs 46 minutes making our overall total 32 1/2 hours of team driving!

I saved some comments from the Mammoth Donkey List on this post and if no one minds I will include them…

From the list Larry who also drives wrote: Like your wide open spaces. At least you don’t have to worry about a deer come bounding out of the woods next to the roadway like we do. I was walking one of the donkeys in the woods yesterday just to get use to the trees, logs and brush when we kicked up that little fawn I had a photo of a week or so ago. The donkey just stopped and watched it run off into the brush then we continued on. Larry

Even out here on the prairie we see deer, guess none of us are immuned!   The donkeys sure enjoyed watching her jump thru the fields; I imagine she has a baby somewhere close by.

Anita wrote: Beautiful country you have to drive in Kristi… I am so envious!  We have nothing but small, narrow, roads with little blind curves and hills. I’m almost afraid to go walking along them, let alone riding or driving Anita G. in IL

That would really make it rough.  I never complain about this prairie it is just perfect and I have miles and miles of driving roads around me. 

Ann wrote: Your average speed is picking up!  Do you always hitch the same donkey on the same side, or do you switch?  I so wish I could visit and go for a ride with you!!!  Ann I’m not sure we’re getting any quicker as my average moving time remain the same but what I am noticing is how relaxed Galahad is getting.  He can be pretty nervous and jumpy so this team thing has been great for him.  I do need to switch sides again.  I was told to do that on a regular basis.  Thanks for reminding me!  I think he will always go on the right as I do think he will be a little bigger and the larger one always goes on the right.  Yes, you need to come to Idaho!

Thirty hours of drive time!

June 12, 2009

The boys were at the gate and ready to go shortly after 6 am, now don’t tell me they are not enjoying this as much as I am.  I skipped breakfast just to accommodate them, how’s that for dedication?  At 7 am the temp was 46 degrees, at 10 am it was 65 degrees.  I took the team out on the cart today to give them a weight break, guess that’s why we made the seven mile trip in 2 hours and 45 minutes, what a sweet cool morning it was!  They even took one of the steeper hills that has no place for them to catch their air in one steady pull, just one step at a time.  We picked up the neighbor’s newspaper; Luc showed Galahad how to do this.  Hope he was paying attention because tomorrow it will be Galahad’s turn at the paper box.  We had lots of traffic today which is always welcome.  Since we were in the cart we did our first 180 degree fan both directions and lots of down the hills backing.  We performed the best dock to date, course it is easier in a two wheeled cart verses a short four wheeled vehicle.  Had some good long trotting sessions, working on a slow distance jog trot. I had to adjust Luc’s traces while in the cart with them pointed down hill I shortened each trace forward one notch.  Very dangerous but it needed done.  Both boys needs to rest so was a great time to do it. Later in the afternoon Galahad had his first hames bell training while loose in the pasture, it won’t be long before his is wearing a set of bells in a parade.  Or so I am hoping!  Just think tomorrow morning 15 minutes into our drive and we will have hit the 30 hour mark~ and as of this date we have driven 67 ¾ total miles!

My favorite five mile loop

June 11, 2009

This time the team went out with Erin and we did my favorite five mile loop drive, it was her first trip in the buggy.  Past Scholten’s, down the steep hill to Day Road, back around and up the steep side of Day Canyon then home.  Did some trotting, which they did very well and made some docking attempts.  Batteries in the GPS will only last 24 hours so changed them out.  Maximum speed 8.2 mph.  Total time was 2 hrs 25 minutes resting time 30 minutes.  Went early and got home before the temperatures warmed up.  Really nice drive! Total driving time for the team is 27 hours.

The Lucky 13th Drive!

June 10, 2009

Before leaving I spent an hour working over Galahad’s harness with the tape measure and the hole punch.  Measured underneath both of the donkey’s bellies and set the quarter straps to the same hanging length.  That changed Galahad’s quarter and breast straps big time!  There was no slippage of the britchin at all during today’s drive and Galahad’s harness stayed straight the entire trip. 

Quarter Strap Fitting

 I also put another hole in the lower hames strap to tighten his hames into the collar better.  Galahad put his head down and really pulled well for the first time.  Normally his head has been up in the air, today it was down and level! 

GPS Readings:  6 miles, maximum speed 7.7 mph, driving time 2 hrs 32 minutes with 35 minutes of resting.  Drove the buggy from our place thru Day Canyon all the way to Stites Road and home.  It was our hilliest and longest drive to date.  Robert drove about 90% of the time, the boys had about a 20 foot spook just before the driveway initiated by Luc.  It was 70 degrees when we returned at 1:30 pm, but the clouds were rolling in and the cooler winds were kicking up.  The boys had another big spook when unhitching, don’t know what startled them either time.