First we need to back up a bit! It’s Happy Mother’s Day to all including myself. Driving was the main agenda on today’s Happy Mother’s Day Plan. It was a perfect 75 degree afternoon with plenty of sunshine. It hasn’t been this nice on the prairie for a very long time especially so early in the year. Jim was around to help hitch the boys and get us headed down the road. I took Teamdonk #2 , the team Robert and I trained last spring to drive, out for a quick spin just long enough to see that Hank’s traces needed a quick tightening up. It was to be their first outing this year.
Hank pulled great. His big thing last year was to let Merlin do it all until we headed home. But he stepped up and helped right from the start. These boys were not as huffy and puffy as Teamdonk #1 was on their first drive. But they still needed to stop often for a breather. Jim took this photo from the house, the telephoto lenses must have been extended all the way out! Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Jim decided he would give us a head start then catch up later to get some blog pictures. Today’s route put us passing cattle that had just been put out on spring pasture. These cows have always been tough to drive past but never a real bad problem so I figured we would be just fine. The plan all came together beautifully!
When we got close the young cows and calves jumped up and headed straight towards the team on the run. Merlin wanted to turn around and head for home right then and there, but I insisted we were going forward! All of a sudden it was like someone yelled CHARGE and blew the bugle … and all ‘ell broke loose! Both boys went into horror mode, both were braying and running and braying and running for all they were worth. I stayed busy guiding them and encouraging them to keep it together and stay on the gravel road. In my peripheral vision I could see cows running along the fence line and passing us… so if it was a race …we were not winning. By now Jim was coming up behind us where he could see the boys were on the run, and the cows were running and bucking along beside us, it must have been quite a sight. He could hear Luc and Galahad back home braying as I’m sure they could hear Merlin and Hank, who were extremely loud! It sure didn’t frighten the cows any they were having too much fun chasing the donkey boys!
After we past the pasture the boys thought they should slow down….whell guess what fellas, I think you should keep running! There’s a good sized hill up just ahead maybe you should run up that also. I let them off the hook and brought them to a stop just before the steep climb. By now Jim, who was driving the four wheeler, had caught up with us. He went on ahead to take some photos as we climbed Telcher’s hill where I planned to turn around. Jim decided to go ahead of us and make sure we made it safely past the cows before he went on home.
The trip past the cow’s pasture was again eventful. The cows ran along the fence line only this time I made sure the boys could see them all the time. My idea was to drive the cows down the fence line and not let them get behind us where it would scare them again. Hank must have liked that idea because as soon as the cows and calves were in front of us he wanted to go full speed ahead and chase them.
Jim caught this photo on the way past the cattle pasture as we were headed home.
That was my fun for the day, could not have asked for anything better! The boys drove well, none of the upgrades came apart and going down the road I now know that this team can boogie at 13 miles per hour on their first drive of the year without any encouragement from me. Hopefully the next time we take this route I won’t be wearing a bright red shirt!