10/9/08 - Lyons, NY - A rainy night broke to a beautiful, warm Indian summer day. I was hitched up and ready to drive off by 9:30 am, but last nights rain also turned the small hill side I had to climb out on to soft clay. The wagon tires were sinking in about 4 inches and the horses didnít have quite enough zippy-dooda to pull the wagon out. It was impossible to sink into despair on such a fine day, so I unhitched the team, poured myself a gin and tonic and waited for the problem to solve itself.
Alas, shortly after 11 am, Brian Schleede showed up in his truck, got a couple lengths of chain and solved the problem. Brian also invited me out to his farm (8 miles down the road) to take a day off and rest the team.
Just before I left, a very nice farm family - the Burleys, showed up. Their daughter Christina and son Jacob accepted my invitation to ride a mile down the road. They have Belgians, and both kids have driven a team before. Christina is a very pretty and skillful 12 year old young lady who did a good job of driving the whole way. She quickly mastered driving 4-up and was pulling slack from the lines like a pro before she was half a mile down the road.
Before arriving at Brian and Karenís place I pulled into a grain store for three 80 pound sacks of oats. A very nice bunch of folks ran the store and spent some time looking over the wagon.
Brian has a pair of Percheron mares that he uses mostly for pulling sleighs in the winter. His father Mo has three geldings that he hitches. Quite a few folks showed up to chat. Karen cooked up a mess of T-bone steaks for supper. Both Clementine and I really enjoyed our steak feast. The horses and are bedded down in surrounding fit for a king.
Tomorrow should be an interesting day. Mo has some Amish friends that will be at a barn raising in the area. I might also be stopping by a harness maker to see if I can get new collars for the mares. Iíll just have to see what the day brings, but Iím sure it will be a great one.