The Big Crash

I’ve been wanting to get a harness and buggy of some sort for a while.  John the Mule is trained to pull and although I’ve never driven before, how hard could it be, right??   I picked up a harness that while it’s pretty, not very sturdy.  Black leather with little silver dots all over it, looks great on John.   But it was a ‘bargain’ and I figured it would be ok for fooling around here in the pasture.

Chris and I went to Cracker barrel this morning for breakfast and stopped by his parents afterward to see if Clinton had a single tree or hames or a collar.   We managed to get two single trees, one solid metal and the other wood and metal ( probably use that one for decoration ) and two sets of hames.  One is WAY too large for anything on my property, but it’s so beautiful I couldn’t resist.  No collar, but for now I wasn’t really worried, after all this bargain harness had a surcingle and chest piece for pulling.

We came home and after playing 5 minutes of catch me if you can, John finally consented to being caught.  I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how the harness went together and making adjustments.  Again, cheap harness – not an especially good fit.  John didn’t like the blinders on the bridle, but I thought he would be ok for today.  HA

The little garden wagon I have is made by Rubbermaid and created for pulling behind a 4 wheeler or something.  Nothing heavy duty, but just something I THOUGHT we would play around with.  I drug the wagon out of the shed, put the single tree on and hooked him up.  I led him with the lead rope through the gate and he was fine.  When I walked behind him to close the gate, he BOLTED.  I was so shocked all I could do was stand there and watch and HOPE that he didn’t wreck.   Ok, so let me paint this picture for you.  ALL the cows were down behind the barn laying in the sun taking an afternoon nap.  Here comes this white streak with a gray rattling and jumping hind end bearing down on them really fast.  Cows were going every which way.  John decided to take a right around a tree and SMASH!  Caught the right front corner of the wagon and it exploded.  John kept on trucking and made an entire lap around the pasture.

By the time I got down to the barn to catch him, he ran straight to me like the hounds of hell had been chasing him.  LOL  He was terrorized.  Poor old boy.   My bargain harness didn’t fare so well.  Several buckles, straps and fittings were destroyed.

I brought John back up to the house and cobbled it back together using some extra buckles and leather straps that I had in the shed. (I never throw old tack away, you never know when you’ll need a strap or something!)   Chris came out and helped me for a little while and we hooked him back up.  John was still terrified of that wagon.  So after walking him out for about 30 yards, I unhooked him and ended up just ground driving him for about 45 minutes.  Practiced turns, backing, whoa, etc.

Next time I go out to catch him, I’ll bet you that he won’t let me touch him.  LOL  Poor old boy!

And by the way, the wagon has modular side boards and they all snapped right back in.  Gotta love Rubbermaid!


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