Last night I went to the barn, bringing along the surcingle and my homemade driving reins. We don't need anything too fancy for just giving this a shot.
Pippi has not ever tried ground driving, and neither have I. I have seen it done, and slept at the Holiday Inn Express several times, so off we went. BO's hubby gave me some tips in case she refused to go forward, but that proved unnecessary.
I strapped on the surcingle, and turned her bit upside down. 'Happy Mouth' which bends the same both ways, and this would give me a lower place to attach reins to bit, which in my 'extensive' research I had read to do. I googled and read several paragraphs on several sites, so clearly I am an expert. Attached reins to bit, took them through the D-rings in the middle of the sides, and walked behind her. She stood patiently and waited. After putting both reins in one hand, and starting the iTouch we were off:
Pippi rocked it!!
After this I dropped the filming and took the reins in two hands, still no lunge whip, and we did some really great turns, walked straighter and did a nice controlled walk over the "bridge." I was just amazed. Her willingness and calmness is just fantastic. So quick to learn and almost reading my mind.
During the drive home it occurred to me that Pippi has not had an extended break from training since we found her. For 3 1/2 years she has always (even after Miranda broke her leg and rode her bareback) been in some sort of training plan. This nice quiet break may be the best thing in the long run. It will give her some time off, and I can already see the changes mentally. So calm and ready to try something new.
Her concentration is amazing. Everything we are doing she breezes right through, and we are having a blast.
I also think it helps that I have no expectations except what we will work on. Don't care how it turns out, just expect to give it a try and work on it for however long it takes. Pippi and I are having the time of our lives.