Monday, February 16, 2009

Driver's Education

A new chapter is beginning over here at the 7MSN. I'm calling it "George and Alan learn to drive."

Now don't get too excited...that's not George all hitched up to that cute little cart. That is Peach, and I met her yesterday, all because I met Penni through Skywatch many months ago, who met a woman named Sandy in Seattle, who will be moving to New Mexico soon, who drives her mini horses and has a rescue donkey named Pistol Pete, and she read my blog and emailed me, and I happened to mention I wanted to train George and Alan to drive but was clueless, then she told me about a woman in Belen who might be able to help me, and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by donkeys of all sizes yesterday, including Peach. Now aren't you sorry you asked? Oh didn't ask?

Anyway, the local mule and donkey association was holding a trail ride/drive yesterday, and I went on a fact-finding mission.

Fact #1:
Donkey people might be the nicest, most helpful people on the planet.

Fact #2:
N. really knows her stuff and I couldn't hope for a more qualified teacher to train me to train George and Alan.

Fact #3:
I've got a lot of work to do before George and Alan get hitched up to a cart.

Fact #4:
I get to do my bit for the economy. Today I ordered a surcingle and driving lines. And I can't wait to go shopping for a cart and harnesses and maybe a wagon. But that's putting the cart before the burro, and we've got to walk before we run, or ground-drive before we pull...or something like that.

Fact #5:
When I got home yesterday, George and Alan took a big whiff of the minis, standards and mammoths on my clothes and were puzzled, to say the least. Little do they know what they are in for.


  1. What a great idea! This could be so much fun, hope George and Allen like the idea when they hear it. Peach is adorable too.

  2. That sounds like great fun! I hope George and Alan think so, too...

  3. Oh you're going to love this! I used to drive a mini and I tell ya, you'll never have a bigger smile on your face. It's totally addictive, and way too much fun! I'm so glad for you!

  4. Funny how that cycle of people went from the Seattle area right to where you needed them to be. Pretty cool how blogging brings us all together.

    Long lining (ground driving) first sounds like the way to go. I've been posting a series on it if you don't know where to start, there might be some useful information there.

    But one question, where do you find surcingles the size you need??

  5. Mikey, I smiled so much just from watching them yesterday that my cheeks still hurt. Being in Wickenberg's gold rush days parade is now on our bucket list.

    Mikael, I found the pony surcingles at

  6. Ah, the power of the Internet! I have minis and I've driven them a time or two. It is very fun! You can find lots of mini and donkey tack online. This website has lots of resources and even has a mini donkey forum:

  7. Cool! I know that tack can be hard to find for minis from my stint working in a tack store.

  8. OH OH OH!!! Please post every step of the way so I can take copious notes!

    I can tell by Rafer Johnson's and Redford's love for going into the arena with the horses that they want their own job.

    We can start teaching them to ground drive so they'll be ready when they are 3 or so to start pulling weight.

    Not to mention the PONY.

    How very exciting - I can't wait to read how this goes.

  9. It sure is a small world, huh??? I think it is great that you will be driving the boys, but again, I am partial to driving myself. :)

  10. I can hardly wait for the updates on this venture!

  11. How cool to meet just the right folks on the Internet!

    This will be so much fun for you. I used to drive a carriage on the Plaza in Kansas City and totally loved it.

    Good luck with your training and I can't wait to read more about it.

  12. HOW CUTE! And I like that theory, helping the economy. ;D

  13. Very neat. I hope "the boys" think so, too. lol
    I, too, hope you will post your step-by-steps...I would love to try this with my next group of foster donks.

  14. Linda, I am so pleased that you and Sandy connected and that she is driving you happy (I guess that's what it is). Let me know when there is an event in the Belen area and I'll come down. I guess they don't have Cardi wagons . . . I'll be vicarious!

  15. I'll be watching with interest. This is a fine way to save on gasoline.

  16. Hi, I hope your donkeys love driving as much as mine does. I think donkeys like having a purpose. I have a 5 year old small standard donkey and have been training him for the past two years. He LOVES driving and gets cross with me if we don't harness up at least a few times a week now. I figured how to put on the tack and training techniques from RFD tv and from internet websites. Not having much money, I gathered tack and bought a cheap cart at auctions. The harness set I use now is actually put together from three different auction purchases. My whole expense for harness and cart was around $200. Anyway, driving a donkey is great fun and can be addictive.

  17. That sounds like so much fun. We used to board with a gal who had a mini that she drove with a little two seater cart. It was cute. The mini was so ornery.

    That get up on the donkey's face looks a little like

  18. That is so cool! I hope G & A love driving. I bet they will look really cute all hitched up. Good luck!

  19. I love to drive and I love Donkeys! I used to drive a mini called Jezebel everywhere! I was 15 and had no DL- so any where I wanted to go in my town I went in a pony cart! And when I get too old and crippled to climb aboard a horse, I'll bet I can still climb abord a cart. Good luck with your driving lessons! Yore gonna love it!

  20. What a beautiful Donkey! I had a little Shetland mare I used to drive with on a cart and in winter on a sleigh. This was so much fun. Is there a differnce in driving a Donkey compared to driving a Pony?
    See my website about recreational driving on
    You are cordially invited to check it out and to write your own horse/pony or donkey story there!

  21. So happy to find a blogger with donkeys, I too would love to teach my little guy to pull, I guess I've been intimidated to try although other donkey folks say it's not hard. I too have been happily amazed out how nice, generous & helpful donkey people are!

  22. Oh boy...not sure George and Alan are going to be too keen on this little project you've got cooked up for them.

    Although they sure would look cute and it would probably help to cut down on your transportation expenses in the long run.

    Isn't it cool how people are so helpful in blogger land?

  23. Driving is the most fun. I hope you have kept up. I drive my big horse, Maybel and just bought a cart and harness to train my mini.

    I started driving Maybel when she was a yearling. She took to it right away. She's now 17. I really look forward to driving her, especially if I have someone to ride along. It's so relaxing and I'm fortunate to live on a quiet road that takes me past beautiful houses and yards, two lakes and all the while looking over the beautiful valley and into Glacier Park. Couldn't ask for more. Come go for a ride with me....