Hi everyone...been a while since we wrote. Just been so busy trying to get ready and learn-learn & learn some more. I wanted to take a minute to write a bit about Bob & Casey before I forget the trials & tribulations involved in getting where we are today.
When the team came to us they were accustomed to a life of vacation. They were Amish broke but due to the poor physical health of their previous caretakers they didn't see much work. Bottom line is Bob & Casey were used to pretty much doing whatever they wanted to do most of their days. When they first came they would not even lead well with a lead rope. They would race ahead of you-yank their heads down to get a bite of grass...pretty much doing whatever they wanted...except paying attention to you. They are over 2,200lbs apiece and they knew it.
The first time we geared them up with their tack Deb & I struggleed to remember how to do it...the reigns(sp?) giving us the biggest problems. Once hitched we wanted to walk them to an old tractor tire and hitch them so they had something to pull. (our covered wagon is still under construction and the reach is cut so we can make it longer). Well that was adventure in itself. They swung their butts out away from each other and stood there looking at us. Hummmmmmm now what. This is a bigger dilemma than you can imagine...I stared at them and they stared at me. I stared at them and they stared at me (I think they were saying to themselves n"how do you like us now stupid?) I told them :"turn around & GIT UP. They stared at me...inwardly chuckling to themselves I'm sure.I walked toward them and tried to get them turned around (facing forward) No luck ...Deb finally grabbed them from the front & got them headed in the right direction (I have since learned we could have hitched their butts together with a couple of rings on their tack...but being new I had NO IDEA!) Once they were hooked up the real comedy started. I'm sitting in a tractor tire hooked to the back of these two giants with my face 4 feet from these massive hooves. Now mind you I drove them at the previous caretakers...for short stints and saw some of the same problems ...but I figured it was me (new guy) and all would work out. So anyway I'm sitting in the suicide trap and trying to look and sound confident "git up now" (did I tell ya Deb hates when I say that? Says I sound like a cowboy and I ain't no cowboy! I can't help it I love this stuff!) And off we go...trouble is we are not going where the reigns are telling them to go. Casey is throwing her head (she is on the left) and pulling herself away from Bob. (there is no front hook-up on this tire pull just the evener in the back. Each reign is hooked to both horses. So the farther she pulls the more she is ripping Bob's head around. Over 4,000lbs of horse within 5 minutes is out of control. I'm freaking out and trying to talk them down and sound confident and calm. I can not turn them or make them go where I want them to go. Casey is really acting up now and causing Bob to freak. He has no idea what Casey is doing...what I want him to do so he just starts backing up...which freaks casey totally out...not to mention me because I am in the suicide seat! Ok stop everything...regroup...I'm mad now...(probably really scared but ya know guys don't get scared they get mad! chuckle-chuckle...I'm working on that Lord!) Alright we're starting again and just going forward...Casey is now pushing right into Bob the only way we can go is right(gee)...I thought ok-ok lets just keep moving forward for a minute...we'll burn off some energy and all will settle down...uh-huh...then they dragged me threw the big fire pit. You know the ones surrounded with cement blocks. The tire flew up and I was grabbing air and wishing for ground (my mind flashed scenes of utter destruction before me and I realized this is usually where I tell the grand babies "hands-up!" you know...like the roller coaster)...my butt found it first and then my body thought it would be fun to just roll a few times. I won't go into how that feels on an already 55 year old body...suffice it to say I had steam pouring from my ears. I looked at Bob & Casey...they stared at me looking ever so innocent ( what? they were chuckling to themselves...I just know it!" Ok " I admitted to Deb who was having a good chuckle after she knew I was not real hurt... "the horses have prabably had enough for the first day, lets get em put up and hit the showers".
So the next few days we I worked on the wagon and pondered our situation. I had to be able to hook the horses front and rear...but the wagon could not be moved right now. Why was Casey behaving badly? These guys might be broke but they had seen little if any daily work. I'm thinking not often and not for a while. In addition to all that we have struggled with way below normal temps and rain daily by the gallon. The horses were living in a foot of mud and there was nothing we could do about it. We were all living in a swamp. Everyone is miserable. Then one day I talk to Bill Leach (God bless you Bill you are a blessing from God to us) at church who we buy our hay from and I know has horses. I explain our dilemma to them and he says he has a buggy/cart we can borrow. He brings it over for us and I notice it has no evener in the back so we rip ours off the tractor tire. We get the team geared-up in their tack and harnesses and Deb grabs the reigns to ground walk them to the cart, Casey starts right in where they left off & in no time instead of being side by side they are looking at each other and ignoring Deb...she gets frustrated and tells me to help...I grab the reigns and have her try to lead them to the cart...Casey goes the opposite way she is leading...jerking the bit in Bob's mouth so hard he starts backing up and trips going backward. Needless to say...guess who is standing back there behind him??? OH YEAH...2,200lbs coming over backwards 4 legs straight in the air right at me. I will not bore you with the visions of death that danced before me...it is just fortunate that old fat men still have quick reflexes or I would have been squashed like a bug. Neither of us have ever seen something so huge actually fall backwards and go head over heals...thank goodness the ground was mush..because it is scary. Of course Deb's first words are "Is Bob alright?"....I tell myself "be still my racing heart you are alive & yes I think she still loves you too". We decided the horses had enough for that day and put them up for the night.
For the sake of keeping this long story a little shorter let's jump to getting their feet done. Suffice it to say I am getting no where with Casey. Bob is the rock and the only thing keeping her attention anywhere close to where we want it. God in his infinite wisdom had a new guy at the church, and he is a ferrier. His name is Dale (and I will get his last name and business info) and he has also been a blessing from God.Invited