Archive for August, 2009

Riding Galahad

August 31, 2009

Galahad had his first big let’s get out and go ride today.  His last adventure was being sat on, led around and then going a short distance by himself.  This afternoon he was saddled and bridled without being tied and we worked on more neck bending with the watermelon pieces and rope halter.  This has made it easier to transition into the bridle and bending which we will continue to work on for a very long time. 

 

Today he was wearing a 6 1/4 inch Mikmar combination bit, which turned out not to be to large for him.  The leather reins were attached to the sides of the mouthpiece instead of the shank; I took a flat single rein and attached it to the nose piece.  That way I could use the single rein with the leather reins or leave it alone.  This setup worked and I will continue to use it.  It took him time to get use to the larger mouth piece and more than anything I just let him pack it in his mouth and gave very soft rein cues. 

 (Next time we go I’ll get a photo of this setup , so check back.)

I used the mounting block to get on and once there Galahad was ready to move right out.  Instead we worked on bending from the saddle for a couple of minutes. I started him off by riding close to Luc, who remained in the pasture following us down the driveway.  Galahad ventured onto the road but he did not want to get far from Luc, his security blanket, so we stayed close and Luc was great about staying with us as we moved up and down the fence line.  Once Galahad was going good and gaining some self confidence I headed him up an incline and into the wheat stubble field next to the driveway where he immediately had to stretch out and pee.  Had a trainer once tell me when they will pee under saddle they are broke.  Whell in this case, I don’t think so! 

 

In the field we rode towards the road again with Luc in sight then I turned Galahad we and went almost a quarter of a mile away from Luc.  I was shocked that he was so willing to leave Luc and venture out on his own!  Once Galahad realized he had gone so far he stopped, I turned him back and he came back to Luc.  We were lucky as nothing flew up out of the tall grass that line the fields to scare him and the ride went well even if he was pretty nervous. We will continue to do this on future rides increasing the distance every time.  He did startle himself into a trot once we reached the driveway again and since nothing bad happened he settled back down into a walk.  I do like to get them trotting out on our first real ride so that was a good thing.  It’s more important to get their feet moving than asking them to go someplace.

 

To exit the field I stopped him, dismounted and walked him over to the heavy field equipment that was parked by our exit.  He is just now getting use to the vibration and noise the crawler caterpillars make when they go past his pasture and this was good for him to go up by them. 

 

Unsaddling and checking hooves for rocks was done completely untied.  He is settling into his new routine well and just needs a lot more time under saddle now.  He’s going to be awesome under saddle!

Upcoming events will be another parade on Saturday and Galahad’s 5th birthday.  I am now back to work full time so it’s going to be harder to get in the much needed riding time.  It’s been a perfect summer with the donkey boys!

Galahad’s first official ride

August 29, 2009

Today was Galahad’s first official ride.  We’ve been working on some bending exercises from the ground sometimes without even a halter just to prove he can really crank his head around for a piece of watermelon rind.  I then slip the rope halter on and we continue to work on it a little more.  Today I added a bridle with a Mylar combination bit and took the reins off the shank and put them on the mouthpiece ring.  Not sure I am going to use this bit on him as I am thinking of trying the Mikmar bit tomorrow. 

ground work

One of the easiest ways for him to bend is to put the rein around his butt on the opposite side from where you are standing and ask him to turn towards you.  He had no problem with this. 

 

We did a little work at the mounting block that included me lying over the saddle and banging the opposite stirrup against his side.  Since I was not getting a reaction I decided to sit in the saddle.  Jim led him as I just had a rope halter with a lead rope on him then we came back to the mounting block and I dismounted.  The cinch also needed tightened so I did not want to do much at that time. 

Galahad's First Ride #2 9 29 09 

Did a little more ground work and I led him back to the mounting block and remounted.  We rode out just a little ways this time without assistance; again I did not want to ask too much.  Will do this again tomorrow and ask a little more to build his confidence.  It was a great first ride and it felt wonderful to finally get on OK Sir Galahad.

Galahad's First Ride 9 29 09

More Parade Pictures

August 23, 2009

Here are photos taken by Robert, my donkey trainer helper, of us actually in the parade.

In the parade 8 22 09 #3

In the parade 8 22 09

Parade faces

Thank you, Robert!

Foo-Foo Flowers and Bells

August 22, 2009
team & our trailer 8 22 09
After a three week layoff for the boys and two full days of cleaning and polishing for me it was time to hit the parade route once again.  The 2009 Idaho County Fair Parade held in Cottonwood, Idaho was our destination point.  It was a much larger parade with a real band, noisy fire trucks, lots of floats and lots of folks. 
 
The one thing that was really mind boggling for Galahad was a sorrel mini jennet and her matching baby.  He just lost it right then and there! Other than that he was busy taking in all the sites, sounds and smells his four year old head could handle.  Why he even brought home his first ribbon!
  
Here are just some of the photos taken before the parade by hubby Jim who did a wonderful job with camera and being my right hand man.   Can’t do a parade without him, thanks Jim!
Before the parade #1
bending in the grass #2 8 22 09
 
From behind
 Now follow us as we head to the parade…..

Harvest and Fall Field Work

August 20, 2009
This had to be the wettest harvest in twenty years.  Over four inches of rain fell turning #1 Grade A wheat into livestock feed.  
I know it was the longest harvest in our history of farming.  Harvest began August 4th with an award winning load of soft white wheat trucked into the warehouse.  August 21st the final load of sprouted wheat was hauled off the farm with over four inches of rain falling in between. Normally this is what harvest looks like as the combines move thru the fields…  
Combining #11 2006 
As you can see these two are totally unaffected by the fall field work.  Galahad has made it through his first harvest season on the prairie and is getting quite use to all the machinery moving in and out of his life. 
Fall Farm work
Time to plant and look forward to a drier 2010 harvest.

Thunderheads

August 9, 2009

thunderhead top of

The storm is not over as we get ready for another light show.  This thunderhead was so large I had to shoot the top and then in a seperate photo the bottom of it as it rose over an uncut wheat field.

thunderhead bottom over wheat

Now with over two inches of rain harvest is way behind and the wheat is beginning to sprout, this is not a good start to harvesting a crop that held a lot of promice.

One Hundred Hours

August 7, 2009

It is official and listed among the records at   http://66.49.173.199/REDListChallenge.htm 

RMS Lippyluver Luc and OK Sir Galahad have logged in one hundred hours of extremely pleasurable driving time in 2009.  The boys started late May and completed the challenge the first of August in 44 drives totaling 235 miles.    If you go to the site and scroll down to our listing you will notice that the record reads 200 plus hours.  Those first one hundred hours of driving time were mainly due to Luc.   Some of that time was also credited to Blue Mountain Endeavor and Mas Ass Acres Liberty.   As far as I know these are the first donkeys to officially reach this lofty goal on this driving internet site… yea we’re keeping up with the minis, ponies, horses, mules and the drafts.  Go donks!   

Teamdonk will be taking a little RnR time off so look for our next update after Aug 22nd when we report on our local fair parade.  Just don’t forget to check back as Galahad begins his riding career!

Seeing RED…

August 6, 2009

You know the old adage… Red in the Morning….

 sunset #1 8 5 09

This photo was snapped at sunset with spectacular thunder and lighting storms coming in on it’s heels.  North Central Idaho often has fiery colored sunsets in August due to smoke from forest fires and field burning and this one is a great example. 

 This Red at Night was not a delight… Thunder boomed all night as the sky lit up every few seconds.  The ridge tops were drilled with electrifying lightening.  Some parts of the prairie were doomed to the loss of electricity as power poles exploded and burned.  We were among the lucky with just a few intermitted failures that made the electronics screech in protest. 

 Heavy rains have effectively shut harvest down and put the donkey boys into their pasture shelter as we all wait for the sunshine to return. 

 In the rain 8 7 09

Rain is always needed in dry land farming…just NOT at harvest time.

Deer Induced Trot Away

August 1, 2009

Just as we were heading down the driveway, the strangest thing happened… now is it just me or do strange things happen to everyone everywhere???  As we started down the lane I observed a deer running across the field, then she leaped over the fence and into the donkey pasture and continue running towards us.  Galahad saw her also and went into a deer induced trot away.  I had a good hold of him but let him continue making tracts down the road and away from his love starved doe friend.  Mostly I find deer will run the other way especially when you are yelling at them… what was the deal with her running towards us… like, ‘Hey there boys wait for me, I love you’!

at dawn

The rest of our drive was pretty uneventful.  We played again with the big square bales and had basically a quiet drive; Luc was in a Zen like mood doing his best to calm the deer crazed youngster.   Even coming back up the lane Galahad was busy looking for his deer friend.  Tomorrow boys… enjoy your day off… unless????