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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
'Lil Tikes 'a trottin


5/28/09, Bentonville, IN - I spent the morning working on the wagon brakes.  The right - rear brake drum assembly was froze up, so I replaced it with the one piece that was recovered from the old wagon. The brakes are pretty well ready to go.  They still need to be bled better, but thatís easier to do with two people rather than one.

After I finished with the wagon, I pulled out the lads and started fitting their new harness.  These are Biothane show harnesses that I bought from Mike Banks when I picked up the other team in Mississippi. They had only been used once and Mike sold it to me with the collars for a very low price. The collars are adjustable and ended up fitting the new team well.  Bob takes a 28Ē collar and Billís is adjusted for 26Ē.

With their new harnesses, I ground drove them for about an hour and got them used to the sound of my voice and the touch of my hands.  They did pretty good. The only problems I saw was that theyíre a little bouncy and Bill didnít want to cross the pole to get hitched up to the wagon. Theyíre also a little slow to respond to the whoa command when backing up.  These are all minor things that weíll work on.  Jim Brown had this team pretty well trained.


I then hitched them up to the biscuit wagon and took them out for a 45 minute spin up the road. Again, there were very few problems. Bill was a little bit bouncy but started settling down. A flock of sheep were a little scary, but the horses soon learned that their bah is worse then their bite.

Itís been twelve weeks since the accident and it felt really good to hitch up a team and take a wagon for a spin.  When I was in the hospital and starting to come out of the drug induced state I was in for the first couple weeks, I remember having constant dreams that I was driving a team to the hospital each day for treatment.  When a nurse was talking through an open door to someone outside, I remember asking him in a very loud voice, ďHey do you have a mare out their that needs to be unhitched?Ē I guess this was quite a bit different from what the hospital staff normally heard, but a perfectly normal question for me.

Tomorrow, Iím going to try to slap a set a shoes on Bill.  Iím sure Iím not going to shoe two horses in one day!