Could have been ugly

August 16, 2010  It finally happened!  Kristi screwed up and Galahad did the unthinkable.  One of my ten biggest fears happened on this morning’s drive.  Actually we all ready had been thru two heart racers.  The first was passing a blowing snorting, high prancing horse who was strongly objecting to the donkey boys and Galahad was non to happy about his bad attitude.  When we came back the horse had recruited a German Shepherd’s help.  Luc was next to the horse and was not happy about the dog.  But we made it past them with lots of driver encouragement.  The dog was non aggressive and for that I was very thankful.

Our major incident happened when Luc decided he needed a breather on a hill.  We were only two thirds up and it was steep so I agreed.  Just as we started again Galahad’s head jerk up and he was in full blown panicked mode.  His first instinct was to back out of his situation.  The edge of the road had a 50 foot drop off with a barbed wire fence across the bottom and Galahad was backing! I jumped out and got to Galahad’s head, was able to stop him, step him forward and turn them so they were standing across the center of the road. There was no way to stay in the cart and drive him forward.  That meant anyone coming over the hill would not have stopping room before plowing into us.  Not a good place to be for sure especially in the pickle we were in.  I could immediately see that Galahad’s bit shank was snapped snugly into the neck yoke.  The only thing I could do is to undo the bridle a few holes to relieve some of the pressure so I could move the yoke up enough to unsnap it from the bit’s shank.  Again thank goodness I drive calm natured donkeys.  He was wonderful!   I was also plotting an escape route, while getting Galahad fixed, should we encounter traffic which we didn’t!  Here is the hill we were on.

I do need to say that I always check to make sure the yoke snaps are pointed inward, always.  This was a case where the neck yokes were separated from the harness and I accidently put the wrong one on the wrong animal and did not notice; of course I was in a hurry to get out and go, 100% my fault!!  I promise to put that one on the final checklist from now on.

Otherwise the drive today was spectacular.  We were sitting in a gravel pit when a semi pulled onto the gravel road next to us.  Thank goodness we not in the road when he went by too much speed and dust.  This afternoon the grain harvest trucks are going hard and heavy.  Time for me to get off the roads and into the fields unless things remain calm in the mornings.  There is always a chance of running into a convoy of combines headed to a field or trucks loaded headed to the warehouse to dump and we are all using the same narrow gravel roads.  From the look of the smoky haze and the smell of burning wood  I would say we have a forest fire somewhere.  The smoke moved in quick and heavy, not uncommon for this time of the year.

This was my trotting route and we were trotting up the easy hills past three or four utility poles, my personal measurement, which isn’t bad for the boys.  Our max speed today was 8.4 mph so the boys had their trotting shoes on!  We drove 2 hr & 36 minutes and went 7 miles.  That’s pretty darn good for donkey boys! It warmed up fast this morning which is great for harvest.

Driving a team in draft harness?  Remember to check and make sure those yoke snaps face inward! Yeah, me too!!!!

3 Responses to “Could have been ugly”

  1. Melvin and Sparkle Says:

    Be careful out there!

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