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Great Day Off & Day of Flat Tires



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10/15/08 - Caledonia, NY - This was a really great day off.  In the morning, my host Dave Ayers took me on a recon of my route to Buffalo.  On the way back we stopped at the farm of a good friend of his that breeds Belgians and has one of the top 6 horse hitches in the country.  He had some really big horses.  Most of his colts looked like yearlings and the yearlings looked like they were two or three

Later, Dave hitched up his prize winning Haflinger 6-up to a training wagon. With this rig, he gets to exercise all 6 horses, while only having to harness up two.  The other four are ponied off the wagon.

Doc and Dolly watched closely to see if they could pick up any pointers, while Deedee and Joyce said, “yeah, yeah, we’ve seen it all.”

Dave has been driving and showing horses since he was a kid and is considered one of the best in the business. 

Several years ago, Dick Sparrow was at a fair to demonstrate his 40 horse hitch (10 rows of 4 horses). Dick was severely injured while trying to stop a runaway 6-up right before the demonstration. Dick asked Dave to step in for him and drive the hitch. With 5 lines in each hand, and two guys using reels in the back to pull in the line slack, Dave successfully drove the hitch the first time. To give you an idea of how much of an accomplishment this is - When making a 90 degree turn, 11 feet of line slack had to be reeled in from the lead team. When doing a 180 degree turn, the lead team was passing him on the side (going the other direction), while he was still driving the wheelers straight ahead.

Both Dave and Aileen Ayers were fantastic hosts and I truly enjoyed my day off on their farm - THANKS!

10/16/08 - Le Roy, NY - The day started off rainy and I didn’t get off until about 10 am. Dave was kind enough to join me for the first couple hours of the day.  In the picture to the right, he’s demonstrating his 4 in (one) hand driving technique that allows him to comfortably drink a coffee and still drive four horses. (He drives better with one hand then I would if I had four hands).

I got my first flat tire of the day from a shard of flint on the side of the road, just before lunch.
When Dave’s friend picked him up for lunch, he went and got the tire fixed for me.

Around 3 pm, I got back on the road and drove into the town of Le Roy. Just as I was about to pass the American Legion, I got my second flat tire (I guess the executives from Goodyear corp. wanted me to stay the night at the Legion.)  Again, my friend Dave came to the rescue and fixed the tire.

The horse and I are comfortably bedded down at the legion after a great meal of chicken wings and beer.  The guys at the Legion have been great hosts.

We only drove 8 miles today, with two flat tires.  In spite of this, I really had a great day.

Post Script - Here’s some pictures of the Amish barn raising that I missed last week.  The first picture was taken at 8:30 am.  The second was taken at 3:30 pm.  Thanks to Mo Scheede for the pictures.

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