After my ride on Dee this afternoon, I decided to harness her with one of dad's horses' harness. Not that he wouldn't have let me if he was here, I figured it's just...more peaceful if he's not here hanging over my shoulder telling me what I'm doing wrong
I chose the smallest set of harness. Even if it is the smallest set we have, it's still meant for a 16 hand Percheron, and Dee's barely pushing 14 hands. The collar actually fit reasonably well, because she's got a big drafty-type neck. Of course, I'd never let her pull in it or anything, but for my purpose, it was alright.
I dragged out the jingling harness and she didn't bat an eye as I threw it up over her back. She stood there the entire time with her eyes half-closed. Considering the difference in horses, I would say it actually didn't fit all that horrifically. The breeching and hip straps and such were really too big...okay, the whole thing was too big, but I guess it could have been worse.
I walked her around a bit on the lead to get her used to moving with it. It's big and it slides a bit on her, and it was funny because she walked really slowly, as if trying to keep it from slipping. I found a set of single driving reins in the barn and put them on, made sure she would yield her head when I pulled on each rein, and then I went and ground drove her.
She got a bit fuzzy at times with the steering, but was never out of control. I now understand why I've always heard that driving horses make good riding horses, but riding horses don't make good driving horses-she's used to bending her body around turns and having her body directed as opposed to her head-when you pulled the rein, she'd sometimes turn her head but her body would continue straight. Maybe I should teach her "gee" and "haw" Anyways, considering it was her first time being ground drove (so far as I know), she did really super duper splenderifically well and I'm so proud of her.
I was a little hesitant to leave her harnessed while I ran to the house to get my camera, but I decided she would be fine and I'm glad I did. I got some pictures and thought I'd taken a video, but my camera has apparently decided that taking videos is a lot of work and has gone on strike.
Anyways, sorry for the novel. Here's the good stuff.