Monday, December 8, 2008

Jack Doesn't Seem to Know Jack

I'm a little disappointed, because now after two harrowing sessions and two or three skidding sessions with Solveig, and now two sessions with Donny Lehto (admittedly just a couple of hours each time) it's just now that I feel like Jack is driving well enough not to think he's gonna screw up and wreck something. He really doesn't seem to like standing still (do they ever?). I'm mostly disappointed in the job of starting him that that Amishman in Wisconsin seems to have (not) done when he had him down there last winter for a month. That wasn't really worth $350.00 that time, I don't think.

Thanks to Donny Lehto, we just had a couple of blow-ups with Jack going forward ten feet before he decided to quit. Today he managed to turn around the tree we had him tied to, and bend the forecart tongue quite badly. I really couldn't be working him without help yet. I'm just so glad that Donny was willing to help me skid the wood on his own project. He gets to have it done (until it goes better) for free, but it helps me out getting Jack trained.

They really drive pretty well down the road, though. I think they'll do alright on the sleigh, and I really like the sense of control you have when you teach them to stop and start and stop and stand and get around and get over and come back and stand and start like they have to while skidding.

It all just reminds me how much of what a horse is worth is what he knows...and he doesn't know Jack until somebody hitches him up and drives him.