I first drove them around for five minutes in their paddock. During this time, they only stepped on the wrong side of the heel chains once. I expected this and it’s a fairly simple problem to fix, as long as they are not connected into the pole of a wagon. By backing up the team a half step, the teamster can either use a couple of fingers in the horse’s flank to reposition the horse, or reach in with a foot or hand to realign the heel chain and evener. As long as the teamster and horses remain calm it only takes about 30 seconds to realign everything. Then when the horse steps out again, he no longer has a tug between his legs.
When they were used to the noise and feel of the evener, I drove them out of the paddock and over to a stone boat. As we started out, the draft on their shoulders was a new experience, At first they were a little nervous, but by talking to them in a calm voice, they settled right down. Another new experience was the noise of the stone boat on the gravel when we pulled out on to the driveway. Again, a calm voice settled them down. After crossing the road, I drove the team out into the large field across the street. For a half hour I let them pull the stone boat in a figure eight and get the feel of pulling and turning a load to my commands.