One of the happiest days yesterday which just flew by. Lorraine and I went off to the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association's Heavy Horse Event at Robert Sampson's farm at Harbridge. Once again there was a huge array of heavy horse breeds including Percheron, Shire, Clydesdale, Comtois, and Canadian Belgian Draught Horses - the latter being the tallest.
I had offered to look after the ring in the corner (how come rings are square?) where we had a set of obstacles for people to test their ridden and ground handling skills. With no competition, it meant that we could take the time it took to allow horses to familiarise themselves with the obstacles and grow in confidence. I threw in a tarpaulin, brolly and feather duster for good measure and helped some people with horses that were not sure of themselves.
Driving horses tend to be forwards, forwards, forwards; expected to keep moving and certainly not to back up, swerve, or turn around when they aren't sure of things. Our course gave them the chance to look at things a little more and . It was interesting to see how horses that looked very very confident under harness could actually be quite nervous of new and novel things. Nevertheless, they responded to the same tried and tested technique. Heavy horses and heavy horse people are lovely to work with.