All last winter, Mocha's driving lessons looked like this. Betty and I spent hours (in the cold) working with this little mare and getting her to be a good driver. There were days when I was about to give up, as it seemed like we would get one "kink" worked out and she would come up with another.
In June, at the driving clinic, her work looked like this, and I even went so far as to put a time limit on it, if she wasn't going to be a driving horse, she was going to become some one else's pet. Not that I want to sound harsh, but with horses, they need to "pull their weight" (pun intended) and be of some use, only Silver has the joy of being called "a pet". Mocha was better at the driving clinic, Butch and Becky found some other ways to work her, and Betty and I continued all summer. And then, somewhere along the line, it clicked... she became FUN and we began to do different things.. like going over to Deb's for a woods drive.
this past Sunday was the huge Christmas parade in a neighboring town. My dog club had put together a great float and wanted some "walkers" with dogs to go with the float, I thought it would be fun to throw Mocha into the mix.. after all the theme was "Winter Day activities" and after last winter's work.. I thought Mocha qualified. When we got there, the parade line up was bigger than I remembered from past years... firetrucks, bands, lots of floats, kids, dogs... and I was just hoping that Mocha would handle it all. We hitched her up, and Rick was happy to do some driving around the parking lot while I kept an eye on her, no sense in setting us up for failure. But she went like a little dream and never missed a step.
We had some time to wait for our place in the line to come up. Which worked out well, because Mocha had the chance to look all around, she was actually bored by the time we stepped into line... but isn't this a good looking group of folks and canines/equine???
We stepped in behind the float and Mocha walked along like she had been in a hundred parades (and maybe she has, I don't know her history)... Ed walked along side, just in case, but we never needed him. Even Camille rode in the cart most of the way, but she couldn't stand being so far from the crowd and did jump out and walked the rest of the route with Ed.
And Mocha just bee-bopped along and I had such a great time. Needless to say, there were many comments from the crowd about her little cart and jingle bells, and you can be sure that we have many more parades that we will do in the future...
who knows, maybe next year, we'll bring the big boys out!!!!