It was 6:30 AM when my phone alarm went off. I trudged into the shower, grabbed a little bowl of cereal and shot out the door to go and pick up Miss Julia. We were heading to the world famous Route 127 garage sales! They started today. From clean up in Michigan all the way down to Tennessee, Route 127 has garage sales all over the place. We must have gone to at least 20 or so today alone! It was like garage sale overload!!!
Our first stop was an elementary school in Pulaski, where I scored FOUR two drawer filing cabinets for a mere $10. Total. This was exciting as it was one of the things on my list. I think I am going to go back and see if they have a couple more for my evil plans in the art studio… Then we started to putz around but nearly on the next sale or two, I found another dream item…. a PONY HARNESS for CODYMAN!!!! Yahoo!!! And it was only $25 AND he had an extra feed bag of parts he sold me for $5.
Now, that was a real deal because that bag actually had two nice breast collars and tugs, AND three driving bridles… AND 3 halters (though al ittle ratty) AND an extra set of leather reins!!!! I was pretty shocked when I got home and realized all that was in the bag!!! And the harness is good too, nothing broken, with a bridle, bit, reins and all the stuff.
I got a few other little things, but really, after the filing cabinets and the harness, I was in heaven!!!
So after I got home and sorted it all, took a little nap because I was tuckered out, and then decided, I was going to see what Cody thought of all this. After all, he’s never been harnessed here, and not at this last home, but they did say he was an Amish cart pony, so, it was going to be interesting to see if he recalled nearly seven years ago of training.
So I grabbed the harness, three carrots and my camera. You know me.
Okay now, before I get a bunch of comments about my lackluster harnessing skills… remember I have NEVER done this before. And I should have consulted a diagram before heading out, but hey, I was just too excited! haha… this first attempt was wrong in several situations. Thankfully, he bucked it off and we got to start over. He must have known I had it wrong!
Second time, I got closer. I really should have checked a diagram but because we were not pulling anything, just sort of giving it a trial run, it was okay. He was so patient and forgiving while I worked in the 90+ degree heat, fumbling around with straps and buckles and all that jazz. He’s such a good little pony for sure.
I tried the bridle with him and he was just fine with accepting the bit but the bridle was just too small. I had adjusted it as large as possible, but I could only get it over one ear and he was clearly uncomfortable with the bit pulling back too far. He’s got a pretty big and broad head, so I am hoping that one of the other driving bridles will fit a little better. So I hooked the reins to his halter and thought perhaps he would be fine with that. He was, for the most part, except he’s so comfortable with walking aside me or behind me, that we did a lot of circles. He would start to turn around so he could see me and then we would end up all silly.
Cody understands “whoa” and “hold” and “back” and “walk on”. Now, will he do them all when asked eagerly? Ah… no not always. But then today was our first time and him being a pony, he has to sort of test the limits of my dedication to this whole circus. I finally had to get a little twiggy stick and then he quickly remembered a lot of the old days! Haha. We’ll get a whole lot better at this for sure, with a little more experience.
Now, because I didn’t want to push it all, I didn’t have the tugs attached to anything, so I just lightly attached them together with a piece of rawhide string and laid them over his back. You can see them up and over him, past the “saddle” with is that red outlined pad on front part of his back. And after consulting my diagram I realized that I didn’t strap up the false belly strap to the front of the breast strap. And his breechings are too long, I need to adjust them up more. Hey, for never having done it and only read in books about it, I thought I was pretty close. Cody was cool with it. Jessy and Maggie came out to cheer us on, and Jessy took a few action shots for the scrapbook.
All in all, I was so happy with his performance, he was just fine with it. Even though a few pictures his ears are back, they were not pinned back as in being angry or upset, rather they were pointed back, listening to me and trying to figure out why I was back there instead of on his side or in front of him. He loves to follow me around like a dog and is always interested in what I am doing.
I do have a singletree, which is a wide wooden bar with rings on it, that the tugs or traces off the harness hook to and then you can hook a log or a sled or sledge to and pull. This harness is more of a driving harness, rather then a heavy duty pulling collar and harness, but hey, it’ a start. And like I would have him pull anything big! He’s my baby! But he is strong, he’s a stout little fella and Shetland can easily pull twice their weight. Since he’s easily 350 to 400 pounds, I suspect he could pull a good log or a sled full of hay with hardly a blink. I’d really like to get or build a little rake/drag for the yard and all the branches that we loose. That would be cool.
The fellow I got the harness for had a rough pony cart too, and he said $20. I’m stupid for not getting it. I know I will be going back to see if it’s still there! Most I have seen online are at LEAST $100 and more. I just wasn’t sure at the time if Cody was really trained or not to accept a harness and well, apparently he is! He’s super tolerant if not. Hopefully, the cart will still be there! That would be cool! Wish me luck!!!
And if you were wondering what it SHOULD have looked more like… here’s a great diagram! I can see now that his breeching was a little too low and I didn’t hook up the martindale/belly strap to the breast strap. I wondered there that one strap went! haha… I ended up just looping it into the girth for the time being. I was pretty darn close though!
I also got a stainless steel pot with lid, good sized for $1.50. A big thick newer book on herbs and their healing properies for $1.00… a big ziplock bag with 18 count cross stitch fabric in it for $1.00 and two really cool old postcards of horses framed for 50 cents each! I think I did pretty darn good. Oh, also got an old fashion scythe for $5.00 and it’s sharp, too! I would like to figure out how to use it properly and see if I can’t cut down some grass in the back pasture and some weeds in the woodlot area. And if I can’t figure it out… or if it’s not sharp enough and all, it will look AWESOME hanging on the barn and ready for any zombie attack. I saw one on Craig’s list for $50! So I think I got a pretty good deal for this one. It’s pretty Medieval looking for sure!