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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A Short Training Hitch


3-30-12, La Garita Creek, CO - With most of the major refit work done, I loaded up the trailer and took the team out for a 5 mile jaunt around the block. For the first hitch, Bill and Bob got the chance to pull, while Doc, being ponied behind the trailer, was doing his best to push the trailer with the nose band on his halter.

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The wagon and trailer pulled up behind the Trading Post after I unhitched the team.

Jerry and Bonnieís grandson, Jason, joined me for todayís hitch. He was kind enough to keep an eye on ĎOl Doc and keep me company by talking to me about ... everything!

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It didnít take the lads long to get into the swing of things.  One of the goals of my two week training trip is to work the winter fat off the horses. It was only 70 degrees today, but they worked up a pretty good sweat.

The lads had picked up a few pounds, so I had to let the harnesses out a bit and leave the collar pads out of the collars.  About 3 or 4 weeks of hard work will cause a horseís neck to shrink about 2 inches. One way a Teamster can handle this problem is to leave the collar pads out for the first few weeks, then add them as their necks start to shrink.

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For the test run, I loaded the trailer down with twelve, 80 pound bales of hay and 600 pounds of oats.  I donít mind gas prices going sky high (over nothing but corporate greed) but $14 for a fifty pound sack of oats is enough to make my blood boil!  And if ĎOl Bill gets shorted on his oats - look out.  President Obama, have you ever had to handle a 2000 pound horse with A.D.D. and no oats?  If Bill didnít want to travel so much, he would probably run for President.  That way, the good people of America would get the whole horse; including the front end!  

My new solar system and dual brakes were great.  In fact, the solar system works so well, I turned on the empty refrigerator. My friend Harry (who did the great paint job on the wagon) asked me why I did that?

I replied. ďBecause ... I can! And, it doesnít cost me a dime.  I have so much extra juice, Iím like a rolling utility!

The independent front and rear brakes work great.  I mounted shutoff valves for both sets of brakes in to the cabin so I can use the hydraulic brakes for parking brakes, as well.

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Itís quite a load, but the spring grass has just started coming up in the valley.  By the time I start the big trip, most of my feeding requirements will be met by roadside grass.  For this trip, I have dual fence controllers and more electric rope and stakes, so I can run separate fences off both the front and back of the wagon. If I need to, I can also put out an enclosure for the horses, then run a separate electric fence around their pen and the wagon. This picture also shows my new, ultra bright white strobe light on the left rear roof of the wagon.

As I get closer to the trip, I plan on blogging more.  When Iím on the road, I plan on writing every night - as long as I have an internet signal to post it.