After chasing Ike, my miniature horse, through the neighborhood a total of three times this spring, things started to settle down. It stopped raining and Ike and his brother, Mike, received regular turn-out, and Ike turned into quite the gentleman.
I talked my husband, Mark, and my parents, Ed and Bonnie Chatfield, into helping me show Ike and Mike at the Hartford Independent Fair. The boys behaved beautifully in halter; Ike competed in the single cart, and I drove the team in the wagon class. We placed well and everyone had a great time. Below are some photos and a video from the Hartford Independent Fair.
I was really looking forward to the Morrow County Fair, which was just a few weeks away. On Wednesday of the Morrow County Fair, I decided I should practice the single cart with Ike before the hitch show the next day. My dad helped me hook Ike to the cart, and Ike and I went for a practice drive in the arena. I noticed Ike was becoming really antsy. I wasn’t really sure what to do because I’m an experienced rider but driving is very new to me. At one point, I drove Ike to the center of the arena to practice lining up and he bolted. Ike ran straight for the ribbon that served as a gate.
I’d like to think I stayed calm but I know I was in a panic. I did manage to duck under the gate, and then I started hollering for the folks in the draft horse barn to help me stop him. At least five guys came running to the front of the barn and stopped him in just the nick of time. Ike was ready to run me right into the barn at top speed. All I could say was, “What did I do wrong?”
The general thought was nothing. They gave me some pointers to avoid future bolting and I drove Ike a little longer, but he was behaving worse instead of better. The advice of the experienced drivers in the barn was to hitch the team later. We all thought maybe he was fairly new to the single cart. We didn’t know his history.
That evening, at least a half-dozen members of the Timmons and Cox families showed up and helped Mark and I hitch the minis. Things went well for awhile, and Mark and the guys were having a good time teasing me about how good the minis were behaving, while the ladies were giving me a pep talk, but then things got crazy.
Ike was OK once he got going but if I stopped and tried to restart the team again he tried to bolt or back. Things kept getting worse and more tangled. By the end, it took three adult men to get Ike going again. We all had to work together to encourage and untangle him. Everyone was amazed by how bad Ike was acting, but we finally had to stop because it was dark.
All my helpers insisted that I had to show Mike and Ike in the team class the next day. They insisted it was important for me to keep working the boys. It was a sleepless night for me.
The next day, I took my friends’ advice, and Mark and I hitched the team just like we do at home and acted like the previous day had not occurred and trotted right into the ring.
I was nervous, so while we were waiting on the Timmons team to enter the arena, I picked up a couple sturdy adult horsemen to ride in the back of the wagon for added weight. We had a good time with no problems.
There were heat warnings on Friday and Saturday of the fair so we waited until Sunday to hitch the team again. Mark and I didn’t ask for help but we were very glad to see Roger and Brett Cox arrive as we started to hook the boys to the wagon.
With the help of the Cox family, we got the little guys going, but Ike never did relax. When we got him home from the fair, he was so anxious to run and play that I saw him jump at least a foot off the ground at one point. It is possible that he just has too much energy when he has to be stalled as he was at the fair.
Ike is now back to being his sweet self. I’ve decided to wait until the spring and then get some extra help and drive the boys consistently until Ike learns to behave himself.
I do not have any video of the bolting or rearing but on this page are several funny photos and videos. I figured no one would believe me that Ike had behaved himself so well at Hartford or that it took so many folks to hitch the team at the Morrow County Fair unless we had some evidence. Enjoy the photos and video provided by my father.
It is actually kind of funny that an ornery little guy can cause so much drama.
For information about winterizing your horse, read the October article from Purina.