Last week, the time finally arrived for us to meet our new horses. We hooked up the trailer and drove to The Farm at Prophetstown in Indiana, where we met up with Dris Abraham, owner of RX Acres Belgians. We have been communicating with Dris at length for about 6 months now, in preparation for this occasion. We had arranged a private, 3-day clinic with Dris, where we would build on the driving clinics we attended last year in CO, learn some new techniques, and meet our team.
We had a blast! We literally arrived and were harnessing horses within 15 minutes. We didn’t even get to unload the suitcases from our truck until after 9 pm! Dris had us driving farm implements and cultimulching his fields all afternoon. We also had to assist with farm chores, but this allowed us to handle about 12 different Belgians under different circumstances, which was great experience. The next day was spent harnessing, unharnessing, hitching, unhitching, ground driving, backing into tight spaces, and really getting a feel for driving. It felt a little like boot camp, but without the yelling. It was exhausting and invigorating all at the same time! Our final day was spent really testing our new skills and our team. We took to the trails, encountered some really spooky things (you know, things like tree trunks, scarecrows, bridges, and dogs) to learn how to handle different situations. We did encounter a few issues–like when our trace chain suddenly popped off the singletree for unknown reasons. For the record, this a VERY bad thing to have happen! Thankfully, as soon as the horse felt it, he jumped, then stopped immediately when I told him. Finally, we finished up with some logging exercises to get us familiar with the techniques we would need to log our woodlands.
Since we got home, we have been harnessing them daily and having a great time. We have hooked up to our wagon, pulled logs, and toured the neighborhood. We even gave a horse-loving neighbor a ride in the wagon today. These horses are incredible, and everything about them impresses us–their size (18 hands to be exact!–that’s 6 feet tall at the withers!), their beauty, their condition, their calm demeanors, their excellent training, their desire to please, their sheer power–everything! We are dreaming up all sorts of things we can do with these boys. They absolutely love to work, and we are making big plans to keep them busy.
Here’s a great photo of a friend with the horses, just to show you their size. I have neglected to get a good one of use with the horses, so I will have to work on that. We’ve just been too busy having fun with them.