Yesterday, Chris, Edwin and I took Olaf over to Blue Point Stables so that Brandy McDonnell, the trainer there, could have a look at him and determine his driving skills and abilities. Brandy is a trainer extraordinaire. She not only helped me to overcome the fear of riding that I acquired after a fall but she "cured" Mouse of all of the bad habits that I'd instilled in her through my ignorance as a novice horse owner. And she did all of that with a gentle touch and soft voice or as she always says, assertiveness but not aggressiveness. I've often said that she is a cross between a human psychologist and a horse whisperer. So, I had highly recommended her to Chris, the manager of Ten Oaks Stables, when he told me that he would like to train Olaf to drive.
Vickie Boling, Olaf's owner, has been talking about selling him. There was a prospective buyer but Olaf doesn't like to canter with a rider aboard and unfortunately, he promptly put the buyer off the same way he does anyone who asks him to canter. Brandy says that she can fix the buck as well as teach him to drive. Which Vickie and Chris feel will certainly make him more sellable but I'm hoping that once they start driving him they will decide to keep him because he is definitely one of my favorite equine subjects.
Brandy was very impressed with the boy saying that he is extremely intelligent as well as beautiful and she seems to be very excited about working with him. After first lunging him to get him relaxed and responsive, she put on the driving reins and Olaf stepped out easily. She had to slow him down at first because he wanted to do that big, beautiful round trot that he is famous for...at least amongst the fans of my photos of him, lol. But after that, he responded to her cues very well and acted as if this was all old hat to him. He wasn't so certain about the buggy at first but Brandy allowed him to inspect it and smell of it and then she pulled the buggy behind and beside Olaf as Chris led him forward. Chris is taking him back next Tuesday and Brandy is keeping him for a month so that she can work with him everyday. She says that she should have him attached to a buggy and driving within a week. I can't wait; I think he is going to be spectacular and I will keep you all up dated.
Please note: the photos are in the reverse order of the way they should be so please, "read" them from the bottom up. Thanks:)~Sande